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This fall EdTA is continuing to offer live professional development webinars.  EdTA polled members to learn what topics were most important for them. The survey generated more than 2,000 responses, with requests for technical theatre topics, acting, and directing ranking the highest. The webinars, which are for EdTA members only, are held twice a month. For questions about any webinar, please contact Education Manager   Cory Wilkerson . Technical Theatre Curriculum Toolkit Sep 5, 2019 7:30 P.M. Eastern B.K. Goodman, theatre educator Join Texas theatre educator B.K. Goodman as he shares his "Tech Theatre Tool Kit" and describes how he ...
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Sponsored by BookTix , the Educational Theatre Association has awarded seven members with the BookTix National Conference Grant for Theatre Educators in support of professional development. This grant was developed to: assist EdTA members in reaching a higher level of professional achievement by participating in EdTA’s National Conference; assist EdTA members with the cost of professional development and create access to valuable continuing education and networking opportunities; and enhance the knowledge and skills of experienced theatre educators so that they can better contribute to their school, students, and the profession. The following members ...
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According to the annual high school play survey conducted by EdTA, The Addams Family ; Almost, Maine ; and Check Please received top billing for the most produced musical, full-length play, and short play, respectively, during the 2018-19 school year. Conducted every year since 1938, EdTA’s annual survey of the plays and musicals most frequently produced in America’s high schools provides a showcase and a snapshot of what resonates with teens, their teachers, families, and communities.   Gregory Bossler, EdTA’s director of publications said, “Over time, this survey reveals both enduring patterns and new developments. Patterns for frequently ...
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2019 Honor Chapters

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The Educational Theatre Association established the Honor Chapter Program to recognize those chapters that do tremendous work and deserve acknowledgment for their high level of excellence. The following chapters were recognized at the national   EdTA Leadership Summit  July 17-19  in Washington, D. C.    Gold Honor Chapters:  Arkansas California Indiana New Jersey Texas Washington Silver Honor Chapters: Georgia Kansas Missouri Nevada Ohio Bronze Honor Chapters: Illinois Massachusetts Montana South Carolina West Virginia Watch for the photo album ...
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The Educational Theatre Association  (EdTA) annually awards the Legislator Leadership Award for Arts Education to a legislator who has demonstrated public leadership in support of theatre and other arts education policy and practice on a national or state level. This year’s recipient is Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), who accepted the award at EdTA’s Theatre Education Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., July 16. The award was created to demonstrate and support the association’s ongoing and growing national and state advocacy efforts on behalf of theatre and other arts education. Legislators are considered based on specific actions and outcomes that ...
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The Educational Theatre Association is pleased to announce that the Next Generation Works program is being sponsored by the National Theater Institute, the undergraduate training arm of the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.     Amanda Ritchie, Director of College Relations for the  National  Theater  Institute  shares,  “ For 55 years the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center – which pioneered new play development and originated the ‘staged reading’ – has been the ‘Launchpad of American Theater.’  Recognized for training and supporting new work and new artists with two Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts, we are proud to sponsor ...
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Gai Laing Jones   of Ojai, Calif. is beginning her two-year term as President of the Educational Theatre Association board. Jones was elected in 2016 and served as vice president from 2017 until now. Jones is a longtime theatre educator having served for 34 years as theatre and troupe director at El Dorado High School, in addition to instructing at several California colleges, theatres, workshops, and festivals as a teaching artist. She is the founder of CA Youth in Theatre and the author of  Raising the Curtain, Activities for the Theatre Arts Classroom  and  Break a Leg, Tips for the Theatre Educator . She has also served EdTA as California chapter director. ...
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The Educational Theatre Association’s President’s Award  recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the Association, EdTA President, board of directors, or volunteer leadership of EdTA. The 2019 recipient is Bob Henrichs of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Elected to the EdTA Hall of Fame in 2012 Henrichs spearheaded the effort to establish a new home for the International Thespian Festival (ITF) at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UN-L), his alma mater in 1994, succeeding in moving it from its previous site at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. ITF, produced by EdTA, is the premier high school theatre festival in the nation, attracting ...
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The Educational Theatre Association ’s (EdTA) Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes individuals who support the Association through exceptional volunteer efforts. The 2019 recipients are the volunteer ushers at the Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for their work during the International Thespian Festival over the past 25 years. During the last week of June, two times a day, the dedicated volunteers guide a full house of 2,200 high school theatre students from across the country and around the world to their seats as they prepare to watch performances from a half dozen Thespian troupes whose work has earned the highly ...
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EdTA annually awards the Melba Day Henning Theatre Education Scholarship to an inducted Thespian who is working toward a career in theatre education. This year’s recipient is  Victoria Turk , alum of Troupe 4739, Sequoyah High School in Canton, Ga.  Turk is currently pursuing a major in theatre education and a minor in musical theatre and dance at Columbus State University. Reminiscent of her scholarship’s namesake, in her application Turk says, “Performance alone will never be enough for me; I want to inspire future generations through this astounding art form. I plan to not only provide a source a joy and love for my students, but to also make big, long-lasting ...
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Students who are members of the  International Thespian Society  (ITS) from Alabama, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas will be financially assisted in their college studies thanks to scholarships established by current and former leaders of  the Educational Theatre Association  (EdTA). The scholarships are for a variety of areas of theatre and related study including: technical theatre, theatre education, marketing, student achievement, and leadership. Scholarships for leadership and achievement are: The  Educational Theatre Association Presidents’ Leadership Scholarship  is created with donations from and in honor ...
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Students who are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS) from Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Beijing will all be able to attend the International Thespian Festival (ITF) this year thanks to grants established by former leaders of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), which has produced ITF since 1941. ITF, which takes place June 24-29, is an immersion in all facets of theatre arts for high-achieving middle and high school drama students. It features student productions on four professional stages, hundreds of workshops, and dozens of opportunities for students to audition for college admission and scholarships. ...
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In 2019, the International Thespian Society (ITS) is marking the 90th anniversary of its founding with a yearlong celebration of the power of theatre to instill confidence, empathy, and compassion to build better communities. ITS, the honor society of middle and high school students who participate in theatre in their schools, is a program of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). It was founded in Fairmont, W.Va ., during the 1928-29 school year, chartering its first troupes in April 1929. Today, EdTA reaches into nearly every corner of North America and beyond. It has 135,000 active members, publishes two bimonthly magazines, operates the ...
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This summer EdTA is introducing a series of six live professional development webinars. Education Manager Cory Wilkerson says, “While students are out of school for the summer is a good time for teachers to focus on their own professional development." EdTA polled members to learn what topics were most important for them. The survey generated more than 2,000 responses, with requests for technical theatre topics, acting, and directing ranking the highest. Wilkerson added, “We also have had requests for help building curriculum, so there are webinars planned for this as well.” Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald says, “I am proud to launch the newest ...
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The Educational Theatre Foundation is pleased to announce that three California high schools damaged by last year’s fires will receive grants to aid their recovery thanks to a grant funded by licensing agency Music Theatre International ( MTI). The  2018 wildfire season  was the most destructive on record in  California , according to the  California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection  and the  National Interagency Fire Center . The MTI California Fire Relief Grants offers grants to high school and middle school theatre programs in California that were negatively impacted by wildfires in 2018. Petaluma High School, impacted by the Camp ...
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The Board of Directors of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) has appointed Jeff Whiting to a term on the Board from July, 2019 through June, 2023. Whiting is a director and choreographer for theatre, opera, television, special events and concerts around the world and acclaimed as a ‘director with a joyous touch’ by the New York Times . His Broadway credits include: Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, The Scottsboro Boys, Hair, Young Frankenstein, and Wicked.  Whiting, also the creator and founder of Stage Write Software, the standard method for documenting choreography, and the Founding Artistic Director of The Open Jar Institute, a premiere ...
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The 2019 International Thespian Festival (ITF), the nation’s leading high school theatre festival, will kick off with a high-energy show featuring favorite musical numbers from throughout the years at ITF and will feature a closing tribute number written especially for Thespians by legendary playwright, composer, and Thespian alum, Andrew Lippa.  ITF, produced by the  Educational Theatre Association  (EdTA),  celebrates student achievement in the performing arts. The 56th event, which this year takes place June 24-29, brings together more than 4,500 high school drama students and their teachers for a weeklong immersion in workshops; interaction with colleges, ...
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EdTA recognizes individuals who have inspired their students and dedicated themselves to providing quality theatre education with the Inspirational Theatre Educator Award. Veteran theatre educators and EdTA members Richard Fairchild , Rebekah Hess , and Alissa Vogelgesang will each receive this award at EdTA’s National Conference . Richard Fairchild of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Arizona, home to Thespian Troupe 320, was recognized in his nomination for his connection to students and dedication to their growth. He uses his own imagination to inspire creativity in the classroom, demonstrating the power and possibilities of theatre education. ...
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Each year, EdTA recognizes International Thespian Society  troupe directors, emeritus members, and other professional members who have dedicated themselves to the cause of theatre education for more than 20 years. Nominations for recognition are carefully reviewed by EdTA and are chosen using highly competitive criteria.The 2019 theatre educators to be inducted into the EdTA Hall of Fame include: James Thomas Bailey of Napa, California; Lynn Jensen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Tony Matthes of Edina, Minnesota; Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat of Leavenworth, Kansas; and Robert Fowler of Chesterfield, Missouri. Ceremonies will take place in New York City at ...
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Students from the Academy of the Pacific Rim in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, home to Thespian Troupe 6647, have been selected to attend the International Thespian Festival (ITF), thanks to the Educational Theatre Association ’s Send a Troupe to Festival grant. This prestigious grant will cover the troupe’s travel and registration expenses. The students of Troupe 6647 will represent the community’s growing theatre program along with more than 4,000 students from around the country and the world. The International Thespian Festival is a celebration of student achievement in the performing arts, produced by the Educational Theatre Association. The 56th event, ...
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