Open Forum

Thespian participation rules

  • 1.  Thespian participation rules

    Posted 7 days ago

    I am relatively new to the Thespian world and I have a question for those of you who have been around the block.  Do you require all of your Thespian Students to audition for every show in your season?  If not audition, is their a requirement that they be involved with every production on some level?  I am asking because at my school we divide up our season among a few directors.  I direct all of the US plays, the Choir Director directs the Musical and the MS Theatre Teacher directs the MS play/musical.  I am the Troupe Director for our Thespian Troupe.  Some of our Thespians have let it be known that they will not be auditioning for the upcoming musical.  The Choir Director thought it was a rule that all Thespians have to audition.  Our constitution is not precise about that requirement, so I'm wondering what some of you do in your own troupes.  Thank you for any advice/insight you can provide!

    Jim Butz
    Drama Teacher
    Town and Country MO

  • 2.  RE: Thespian participation rules

    Posted 6 days ago
    As the troupe director, you have pretty broad discretion about how your troupe operates and what requirements you establish.  Once a student is inducted, they are a member of ITS for life, however, you can create any criteria you think appropriate to remain a "member in good standing" (so to speak) of your troupe. You could make it a requirement to audition if you want to, but I do not.  Speaking only for myself, I don't want to force students to audition, especially if they know they will not have the time to commit to a role etc.  It also seems a bit arbitrary - are mainly "techie" troupe members required to audition as well? or only the students your MD wants to audition?

      That being said, we do have a requirement in our troupe that, once inducted, every active member must contribute work equivalent to at least one thespian point to every mainstage production.  We felt this was a bare minimum to expect and something that every member could easily meet in a variety of ways, depending on their skills and availability. If they don't, they are considered "inactive" and cannot participate in things like inductions/awards ceremonies, graduation honors etc.  Our neighboring troupe phrases it differently, but it is a similar expectation that everyone will contribute in some way.  (If they audition and are not cast, they still have to give X number of hours to a crew of their choice etc.)

    Best wishes,

    Guy Barbato
    Theatre Teacher/Director
    Leonardtown MD

  • 3.  RE: Thespian participation rules

    Posted 4 days ago
      |   view attached
    Hi Jim,

    With 8-10 productions per year, and over 500 kids in the program we don't require kids to audition for every show. We expect them to work on at least four shows per year, and that could be as an usher, social media, program design, actor, or anyone of our running crews. This is one of the requirements for staying a Thespian in good standing and being eligible for honors at graduation.

    I've found that laying out all of our policies in our constitution (see attached) is the best way to be clear with students and parents. Our constitution is on our theatre website, shared with each kid who starts collecting points, and hard copies are available in the theatre (they are very lonely right now while we are in full time distance learning.)

    Creating a troupe constitution with your students will give them a voice in your department policies, and demonstrate to your administration that your Thespians are members of an international honor society on par with the National Honor Society and other honorary organizations.

    Krista Carson Elhai
    Educational Theatre Foundation National Board of Trustees
    CA Educational Theatre Association, Past President
    CA Thespians Director of Membership & New Teacher Outreach
    Theatre Chair Claremont HS
    An International Baccalaureate World School
    Claremont CA


  • 4.  RE: Thespian participation rules

    Posted 5 days ago
    Not all of my thespians need to audition, but all of them need to work on at least 1 production to maintain their thespian status. I have no problems finding design and tech people if it's a requirement. This has freed up so much of my time to focus on artistic directing, which is my passion and talent. I don't have a tech director or a tech class, but my kiddos step up every time.

    Amy Sando
    Minden NV