International Thespian Festival main stage adjudication procedures

Invitations to perform on ITF's main stage are issued on the basis of adjudications or screenings. A screening can be arranged at a school or a Thespian chapter conference. A production can be screened only one time per school year. The National Office will send two adjudicators. If a situation such as bad weather or airline difficulties prevents both adjudicators from arriving then only one adjudicator will screen the show.

How to request a screening at your school

The troupe director must:

1.) Complete and submit the International Thespian Festival main stage adjudication form by October 15, 2017.

A check made payable to the International Thespian Festival for the $250 application fee is due at the time of the application. This $250 will be applied toward the direct cost of the adjudication but is not refundable.

The total, direct cost of the adjudication depends on the day selected:

  • Thursdays = $1,650
  • Fridays = $1,500
  • Saturdays = $1,300

The full payment (as noted above) must be received 8 weeks prior to the adjudicated production. Cancellations are allowed within 8 weeks of the production with no additional administrative fees.

2.) Submit two copies of the script for review by the adjudicators.

3.) Recommend a hotel near the site of the performance for the representative(s) screening the performance, provide written directions to the site of the performance, and if requested, attempt to provide local transportation for the representative(s).

4.) Secure written permission from the play publisher to present a cutting or one-act version of a longer work. This written permission must be submitted to the National Office with the main stage adjudication form.

5.) Schedule the performance to be screened on a Saturday evening between October 1, 2017 and April 1, 2018. The performance must not conflict with the dates of the Thespian chapter conference.


The National Office will decline to screen a performance and return the fees within thirty days of receiving it if:

1.) Any of the requirements outlined above are not met.

2.) The choice of play is not appropriate in the judgment of the National Office.

3.) There are no adjudicators available to attend the performance.

4.) A different production of the same show has already been selected.


New for 2017-18: Seasons

All applications are due by October 15, 2017. This is because we will be breaking the main stage adjudication school year into two seasons, fall and spring.
Fall: shows adjudicated by December 31, 2017.
Spring: shows adjudicated by April 1, 2018.

Main stage spots will be held in proportion to the number of shows submitted. For example, if 36 shows are submitted for 11 main stage slots with the ratio of 12 in the fall and 24 in the spring, then fall will be awarded 4 slots and spring will be awarded 7 slots.

Shows will be selected based on the highest scores per season. In the event of a tie or other extenuating circumstances, the main stage adjudication committee will make the final selections. It’s important to note, if anyone on the main stage adjudication committee has a conflict of interest, they will be excluded from the discussion and voting.

Shows not selected will be invited to a wait list to fill spots if they become available. The additional slots will combine the fall and spring seasons and order them by highest score. In January, a note will be sent to fall schools not selected to confirm their interest in being considered as an alternate should an opening become available. Those schools will be notified in the spring announcement period.

Selected shows will be contacted directly and announced in the EdTA News & Notes on January 5, 2018 for fall, and April 5, 2018 for spring.


Additional updates for 2017-18

  1. Adjudicator restrictions - Judges cannot judge:
    1. In seasons where they or their school is submitting a show.
    2. In their primary state.
  2. Selection rotation - Directors, chapters and/or troupes will not be eligible for a main stage performance slot 2 years in a row.
    1. This rules begins in the 2017-18 school year. It will not affect any participants until the 2018-19 school year.
  3. Consistency in performance - Similar to NIES, the show that has been awarded a main stage slot must be substantially the same as presented originally. Examples include:
    1. If the original show had live musicians, the main stage show must bring live musicians.
    2. If the full show was selected, a concert version cannot be substituted.
    3. If there are any changes to casting (emergency or otherwise), it must be submitted and approved by the main stage adjudication committee prior to the event.

After a show has been screened...

The troupe director will receive a written evaluation, as submitted to the ITF director by the adjudicator(s), no more than thirty days following the performance. No written or oral critique will be provided at the time of the performance.

Screenings at Thespian chapter conferences

Chapter directors can request to have productions screened at Thespian chapter conferences.