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This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my fourth and final Pennsylvania State Conference! I arrived on Wednesday with my troupe director, Marlene Thornton, where both the adult and student state boards began work on preparations for the next day. After a long night, we were ready for the buses to arrive on Thursday, and registration opened the next day at noon. The first day of any conference is always filled with bustle and chaos, people reuniting with friends after months apart, nervous newcomers tentatively searching for a bathroom after three-hour bus rides from across the state. I had the pleasure of meeting up with and working alongside...
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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 Jodi Disario, an EdTA professional member and the Director of Drama at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, California. Jodi is in her first year as a theatre teacher, but is no stranger to the stage. She quickly jumped into the Community, adding advice and asking thoughtful questions. Ginny:...
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Last week I had the opportunity to go deep in the heaaart of Texaaas and attend the Texas State Thespian Festival. To sum in up in one word? Wow . I think that covers everything quite nicely. But in all seriousness, I was astounded by the thousands (7,000 to be more specific) of students who are helplessly in love with theatre. The passion for art was seriously palpable. The theme of the festival was "Home", and the adult leadership and STOs did a fantastic job of ensuring festival felt just that way. Like a home. The performances (from what I had time to observe) were breathtaking, and the creativity was everywhere. I'd look to my left and see a...
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December 5, 2016 The Educational Theatre Association has awarded its 2016 Linda P. Wise Grant for Theatre Educators to Kimberly Patterson, of Thespian Troupe 7866, Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches, in West Palm Beach, Florida. This $250 grant is awarded to an EdTA professional member and theatre educator who presents a well-laid plan for an in-class program in need of financial support. Patterson teaches a course in stagecraft and will use the grant to purchase tools and tool storage. Her students currently work with used, incomplete sets of tools, Patterson’s personal tools, and tools borrowed from a woodworking class with limited availability....
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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 . This show offers students the opportunity to perform and work alongside Broadway talent including writers, actors, and musicians. Students and artists from across the country arrive early at Festival to produce the show in only 48 hours. Joining the show’s production team this year is Broadway producer Eric Cornell, whose credits include company manager for Sister Act , Next to Normal , and Wicked , as well as assistant company manager for the second...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update November 30, 2016 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education EdTA NEWS EdTA is seeking proposals from teaching artists for presentations at three national events : the Junior Thespian Festival, the International Thespian Festival, and the EdTA National Conference . NATIONAL NEWS Trump picks billionaire Betsy DeVos, school voucher advocate, as education secretary : Betsy DeVos is hardly a household name, but the Michigan billionaire and conservative activist has quietly helped change the education landscape...
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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 . Fieldtrip to The Wiz : Earlier in the month, a local magnet arts school, the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) invited the JumpStart teachers and students to their final dress rehearsal of The Wiz , an urban retelling of The Wizard of Oz. It was the first live performance for many of the students and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience,...
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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 . Bootcamp 1: Nearly 40 people arrived bright and early for the first JumpStart Theatre Bootcamp of the year on September 30. iTheatrics Instructor, Marty Johnson, and JumpStart Project Manager, Dee Anne Bryll, started the day with some fun warm-ups that quickly had everyone up on their feet and smiling. Telling a story through a series...
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Word reached us today of the death on Saturday of Glenn Edwards, one of the Thespian Festival’s busiest main stage directors during the eighties and nineties and a much-loved teacher in Las Vegas and southern Indiana. He taught theatre for more than thirty years, most of that at Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, and then at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts. He directed nearly 150 productions in his career. His association with the Thespian Society began in 1979 when he chartered a Thespian troupe at Floyd Central. He taught there twenty years. When he was inducted into the EdTA Hall of Fame...
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What a wonderful and exciting time I had this past weekend in Phoenix for the Arizona Thespian Festival! Much to my surprise, the festival was not hosted in the middle of a desert. I, as I'm sure many other travelers who haven't visited the lovely state, might have assumed there to be an overabundance of sand and cacti, but all I found was a multitude of warm hugs and theatre-lovers! Late Thursday night my flight landed and I was quickly transported to my hotel via the wonderful Mrs. Denise Ferguson. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out to gather as much sleep as I could for the weekend ahead of me! 5:30a.m. came much earlier than expected, but...
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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 Rod Reilly, an Australia native, EdTA professional member and entrepreneur. Rod is the founder/owner of Bodymics , a company that sells and rents good quality, cost effective wireless microphones and accessories. Rod regularly contributes advice on all aspects of technical theatre. Ginny:...
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Auditions are unavoidable if you want to perform on stage. No two directors run auditions exactly the same, so each audition experience will be a little bit different. There are some standards, however, that you can count on every time you audition. Knowing how to prepare before the audition, how to act during the audition, and what to expect afterward will help you feel confident about the process. Your audition begins when you walk into the room so remember to act accordingly—and always arrive a few minutes early so that you can relax and get focused. First and foremost, come prepared to listen and learn. Listen carefully to everything that...
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This past weekend I had the pleasure of starting off my season's travels with a trip to the Iowa State Conference! Arriving on Thursday the tenth, I flew from DC to Waterloo with a couple layovers in between. Upon my arrival, Chapter Director Ms. Helen Brennan was ready at the airport, greeting me with open arms! Her and I kicked off a spectacular weekend together with some lunch and a wonderful Midwestern chain, Old Chicago! On full stomaches, we headed over to our hotel, checked into our rooms, and prepared for the arrival of the STOs as well as the adult board. While beginning to unpack by suitcase, the door of my hotel...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update November 15, 2016 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education EdTA NEWS Scholarships : The Educational Theatre Association offers a variety of options to recognize student achievement through its scholarship opportunities. Applications for the 2016-2017 school year must be received by April 1, 2017. NATIONAL NEWS Trump ushers in a New Vision for Education Policy : With Donald Trump’s stunning victory on Tuesday, the education community is asking, “What will a Trump presidency mean for...
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I am so excited to have recently come back from my first state festival of the year in Connecticut! I arrived at New Haven, Connecticut on the Friday before the festival began and was met by five of the six wonderful CT STOs. They were having a sleepover at one of the STO’s houses to prepare and finalize details for the Festival the next day. They accepted me with warm, open arms, and I cannot be more thankful for the hospitality and generosity I received during my time there. That night we accomplish much of the planning and organizing for workshops and announcements needed for the next day, as well as creating connections circle necklaces that...
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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 Crit Fisher, the Resident Lighting/Sound Designer at New Albany High School in New Albany, Indiana. He is an EdTA member, working with Troupe 4501. Crit is a particularly interesting addition to our Community, serving in the operating room during the day and working in the theatre at night. ...
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Last week, I had the honor of attending the Kentucky Thespian Festival in Richmond, KY, and I'll say I was amazed by this marvelous state. Going into the event, I (as anyone else who hasn't visited Kentucky might expect) thought of fried chicken and endless country side, but I was quickly blown away with not only how beautiful the state itself was, but also how welcoming and kind it's Thespians were. After landing Thursday afternoon, I got to meet all the wonderful STOs with a fun evening of relaxing mixed with a little work here and there. It was a wonderful evening to prepare me for the weekend ahead. Friday morning began with a spring, and we got...
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Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update November 1, 2016 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education EdTA NEWS EdTA Democracyworks student essay competition is now accepting submissions. This year’s prompt is ““Why do you think STEAM education is important to the well-rounded education of all students?” NATIONAL NEWS U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Supporting Early Learning through the Every Student Succeeds Act : The U.S Department of Education released a non-regulatory guidance to help ensure young children...
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Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut is looking for talented high school students who want to have their original work developed and performed in the summer of 2017. Shutheatrearts.org/npc It's a great opportunity for new playwrights.
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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 Billy Houck, troupe director of Troupe 2753 at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California. Billy is an experienced educator and playwright and also serves on the California Chapter Board. Ginny: What inspired you to become a teacher? Billy: My first high school drama teacher...
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