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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Rebecca Rajswasser, the theatre teacher and troupe director at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, home to Troupe 3069. Rebecca is pretty new to teaching theatre, but jumped into the Community right away to seek advice and help others. Ginny: What kind of training/education did it take to...
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"Dashing TO the snow" easily became my go-to festive, winter song as I traveled after school towards the Missouri State Thespian Festival. I'd left my home for the airport immediately after school, and with an impending ice storm headed towards St. Louis, Missouri, I did nothing but prepare for the fun ahead of me. I arrived at the airport to meet the ever-so-amazing Diane Carr who would be my EdTA Rep for the weekend, and I know it would be a great one! After arriving at my hotel, I walked into the swarm of thespians that anxious sat awaiting to receive the room assignments so they, too, could kick off their weekend right with a good nights sleep! After...
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January 5, 2017. The school day dredged on as I awaited my early dismissal to head to the Maryland State Thespian Festival... Finally the time rolled around and I couldn't have run out any quicker! I headed to my car and rushed home, ready to go! Double checking all my packing to make sure I had everything I needed, my journey began! After a three hour drive I finally arrived at the Towson Convention Center in Maryland! After heading to my beautiful room and setting down my luggage, I rushed down to meet the Chapter Director, Mrs. Dorothy DeLucci, and several wonderful "MTO," Maryland Thespian Officers. We all jumped in Mrs. DeLucci's car...
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“Better late than never” seemed to be my motto for New Mexico State Thespian Festival! My travel started bright and early at 4:30 AM and I arrived at the conference, promptly, at 8:00 PM. I wasn’t phased by the series of delays and cancellations that the Midwest winter weather had in store, because I knew that the best was yet to come! Upon my arrival to the beautiful Santa Fe University of Art and Design, I was greeted by about 200 excited Thespians! We kicked off the weekend with opening ceremonies and Minute to Give It. When our Send a Troupe Fund was created, New Mexico had one of the first troupes to ever receive the grant, so...
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Maryland’s State Festival stormed Towson University’s beautiful Center for the Arts for the first time in a big move to a larger venue and expanded festival. With storm warnings in the forecast, the preparations to get the festival ready plowed ahead to welcome 800 Thespians from across the state for their two-day festival. With goodie bags for every troupe and director created by the adult board and assembled by the MTO (Maryland STO), everyone was ready to go! Chapter Director Dorothy DeLucchi welcomed both Blue and Gold tracks to kick off the events of the weekend. Students headed out to workshops featuring guest artists such as Kelsey...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update January 10, 2017 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education EdTA NEWS The EdTA Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN) : The Educational Theatre Association is launching a member-based three-year advocacy pilot initiative designed to train and empower adult members in state and local advocacy. The application deadline is February 3, 2017. The Educational Theatre Association’s ninth annual Democracyworks essay competition is now accepting entries. The winner will receive $1,500 toward expenses to attend Arts Advocacy...
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January 10, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association has released the 2016 Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Theatre Education (OTLs). The Theatre Opportunity to Learn Standards (OTLs) are a companion document to the 2014 National Core Arts Education Standards geared toward grades 6-8 and 9-12. The OTLs are available as a downloadable PDF , as a navigation item in the Schooltheatre.org Advocacy menu, and were included in the recently published winter issue of Teaching Theatre as a separate, bound print copy. EdTA Director of Educational Policy James Palmarini, who managed a member committee that created the OTLs, said the goal of the document was...
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3:00 PM, Wednesday afternoon- I ran out of out Thespian Troupe #69’s monthly meeting and rushed home to get my bags. Though many dread travel, I couldn’t wait to get to the airport or even for the flights ahead of me because I knew in less than 8 hours I would be in Wichita, Kansas for their State Thespian Festival! Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Mr. Max Brown and Mr. Chad Nulik for a ride to the hotel. Just seconds into my first time in Kansas, I already knew, “there’s no place like home”. At the hotel, Ryan met me on the 18th floor with a huge hug! The “Dream Team” was back together. He introduced me to...
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Nebraska Thespian Festival! I flew in on Thursday with a full day ahead of me and lots of work to do. I met up with Chapter Director Angela Dashner and EdTA Board President Debbie Corbin for lunch and initial introductions. Afterwards, students began pouring into the Embassy Suites hotel, where registration and the first day of Festival was centered. I was fortunate enough to work with the three wonderful STOs, Brett, Nic, and Christina, as well as the many troupe officers who helped with lots of fundraising activities and workshops throughout the weekend. By 5:00 we were set up and opening ceremonies...
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January 5, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association is launching a member-based three-year advocacy pilot initiative designed to train and empower adult members in state and local advocacy. The EdTA Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN) will select representatives through a competitive application process from ten states in 2017 and add ten more states and representatives in each successive year of the pilot. The ALN will be managed by EdTA Director of Educational Policy James Palmarini. EdTA will cover travel and housing costs for an in-person advocacy training meeting for representatives. Applications are open January 5 through February 3. Members interested...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Marilynn Zeljeznjak, a retired theatre teacher living in Blacksburg, Virginia. Marilynn is making the most of her retirement through volunteer/charitable activities, directing local theatre productions, and of course, sharing her expert advice with theatre teachers seeking help in our Community. ...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update December 29, 2016 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education EdTA NEWS Thespian awarded 2017 Costumer internship : As part of its 100th anniversary in 2017, The Costumer has given a national internship in costuming to an outstanding Thespian. This partnership marks the first internship for the International Thespian Society. NATIONAL NEWS Virtual Event: Keys to ESSA Readiness : This virtual event will outline the state of play on ESSA implementation, including new federal regulations and guidance,...
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December 20, 2016 As part of its 100th anniversary in 2017, The Costumer has given a national internship in costuming to an outstanding Thespian. This partnership marks the first internship for the International Thespian Society. The 2017 internship has been awarded to Grace White of Troupe 6188 from Bothell High School in Bothell, Washington. The Costumer, which provides costumes and accessories for more than 1,000 theatrical performances annually, will host White for two weeks in July 2017 at its headquarters in upstate New York. She’ll also spend a week backstage in New York City in September 2017 where White will meet costumers and...
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A program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools that currently have none. This is a series of monthly updates about the JumpStart Theatre pilot program launched this year in Cincinnati, Ohio. To view previous updates, click here . JumpStart Breakfast: The first annual JumpStart Theatre Breakfast was held earlier this month at The Center in Cincinnati, Ohio to raise awareness and funding. On Cincinnati's first cold morning of the year, 100 local supporters were welcomed with a hot cup of coffee, a slideshow of the first year of activities, and music from MTI's Broadway Junior collection....
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our latest Spotlight Member is Chris Hamilton, the drama teacher and troupe director at Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Washington. Chris reinstated Thespian Troupe 5021 a year ago, and has earned Bronze level contributor status for the insightful advice and astute questions he has posed to his colleagues. Ginny: What...
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Byron Grant, 1936-2016

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December 19, 2016 Byron Grant, for many years an important figure in American musical theatre training and a former president of the Educational Theatre Association Board of Directors, died Friday, December 16 in a Macon, Georgia hospital, a week after being struck by a car outside a restaurant. He was eighty years old. From 1991 until his retirement in 2007 he chaired Webster University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and headed the school’s musical theatre program. At Webster and through the Educational Theatre Association, he pursued the idea that the quality of American musical theatre can be sustained by nurturing young artists to...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update December 13, 2016 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education EdTA NEWS Auditions open for 2017 Festival opening show : Thespians attending the 2017 International Thespian Festival are now eligible to audition for the national cast opening show We Tell the Story: A Celebration of the works of Ahrens & Flaherty . NATIONAL NEWS Education Department Releases Final Regulations to Promote a High-Quality, Well-Rounded Education and Support All Students : After considering and incorporating extensive...
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Auditioning and casting are two of the most difficult and crucial jobs of the directing team. Good directors spend many weeks or months before the auditions studying and thinking about the show and each character in it. They have certain characteristics in mind that are necessary for each character in the play. In a perfect world, a director would find everything they envision in all of the actors they audition. More realistically, directors must decide the most important traits they are looking for in each character and then match the actor who has most of those traits. Casting a show is a difficult, emotionally draining, and complex process. Directors...
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A Charlie Brown themed weekend of fun, fundraising, and fantastic memories! This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Michigan State Thespian Conference in Saginaw, Michigan. Leaving home on a very very early Thursday morning heading to Reagan International to start making my way over to Detroit Airport. In Detroit I met up with the amazing and the incredible Mrs. Julie Cohen-Theobald! We continued on to a 25 minute plane ride from Detroit to Saginaw, where the phenomenal Chapter Director, Mr. Erik Hart was awaiting our arrival! The three of us went out for a delicious lunch at a hibachi grill where we ate in style and with entertainment!...
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As I sat at 7AM in a lecture on multivariable calculus, I struggled to focus on the task at hand. I was distracted and excited because I knew that in just a few hours I would begin my journey to the Wyoming State Drama Competition! Soon after class, I was on a plane bound for Chicago which connected me to my next flight, destination: Denver, Colorado. After arriving in Denver, the wonderful Ms. Debbie Corbin picked me up and we drove the last two hours of our journey to Laramie, Wyoming. We arrived around 10PM, checked into our beautiful hotel, and, in preparation for the exciting weekend to come, went to sleep. The next day, we woke up early and drove...
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