The Role of the Troupe Director
The troupe director is the official representative of the Thespian troupe. The troupe director is responsible for overseeing troupe activities and operations, subject to the authority of the organization’s administration and all EdTA policies. This troupe director is a professional member of EdTA as long as the troupe remains an active membership status. The troupe director can access all EdTA professional member benefits.
Troupe Director Eligibility
Any adult appointed by the organization’s administration may serve as the official troupe director (e.g., the theatre director/teacher, another teacher, a parent, or a Thespian alum).
Associate Troupe Directors
The troupe may have more than one person who helps fulfil troupe director duties. ITS identifies this person as an associate troupe director. The primary troupe director and the associate troupe director, if appointed, have the designation to do troupe business. This gives them the ability to sign forms and applications, award Thespian points, induct students in ITS, order Thespian honor items, and access troupe account information. However, only one person may be designated the official troupe director and have troupe leadership authority. Associate troupe directors must be active members of EdTA to be appointed.
Using the Management Portal
The Management Portal is where the troupe director conducts official troupe business, including creating and updating student records, inducting students, and making troupe payments. A Management Portal user guide and instructional videos are available via EdTA.
Key Troupe Director Tasks
Keep the troupe’s membership active. Troupes must pay their annual dues by October 31 each school year to remain active. Troupes must also pay outstanding balances promptly and adhere to EdTA/ITS guidelines to remain active and in good standing. If a troupe’s membership lapses, the troupe may reactivate.
Verify/update troupe contact information with EdTA. Troupe directors must maintain accurate troupe and personal contact information through the Membership Portal. Review/update reminders are sent to all active troupes at the beginning of each school year.
Review the troupe’s constitution. Every troupe should adopt a constitution that includes troupe operation and organization information specific to that troupe. The constitution should be reviewed each year and updated, if necessary. The troupe constitution should be accessible to all members of the troupe.
Induct Thespians. Troupe directors recognize student achievement by assessing student work and inducting eligible students into the International Thespian Society. Students must earn 10 Thespian points to be inducted into ITS. Active troupes may induct new members at any time of the year.
Advance Thespians through honor ranks. Following induction, troupe directors encourage and reward achievement by continuing to award Thespian points, advancing students through Thespian honor ranks. Troupe directors must update the ranks on their Thespians’ online member profiles.
Award Thespian scholar distinctions. Troupe directors recognize their Thespians’ success in overall academic coursework by awarding Thespian scholar distinctions.
Conduct troupe officer elections. Each year, troupes may conduct officer elections. This establishes a team of student leaders who support the troupe director and troupe activities throughout the year.
Manage information. The troupe director is the primary conduit of information among the school/organization, ITS, and students. Correspondence from EdTA is sent to the troupe director’s attention. It is the troupe director’s responsibility to maintain and check an active email address and to share appropriate information with students and forward all invoices and statements for processing as required by the school/organization’s payment policies. The troupe director authorizes transactions, orders, inductions, and membership queries on behalf of the troupe. EdTA does not release sensitive troupe information to students or parents. Whenever possible, troupe directors – not students – should contact EdTA/ITS.
Replace lost, damaged, or incorrect Thespian credentials. Troupe directors and Thespian alumni can order replacement credentials from EdTA for a fee by filling out and submitting the Thespian replacement card and certificate order form. Clearly identify any errors or changes in names.
Control troupe funds. Control of troupe funds is vested exclusively with the troupe director and school officials. The troupe director submits official records, transactions, and payment of fees to EdTA. All payments must be made in United States funds. We highly recommend the troupes outside the U.S. pay by credit card. Doing so automatically converts payment to U.S. funds and locks in the correct conversion rate.
For more information and resources about key troupe director duties, please visit the Troupe Directors’ Resources page.
Administrator Awareness Letter – Each fall, EdTA sends a congratulatory letter to the principals of ITS-affiliated schools that highlights the hard work of their theatre honor students and troupe director. Along with the letter, each principal receives a list of all Thespians that were active at the end of the previous academic year and their Thespian honor ranks and scholar distinctions. To provide the best possible list, troupe directors must update the rank and distinction fields on each Thespian’s online profile before July 31. Directions for updating a student profile can be found in the Membership Portal User Guide.
Application Assistance for Production Royalty Discounts – The ITS royalty reduction program helps troupe directors apply for discounted rates on royalties for upcoming productions through cooperating play publishers. The service is not available for musicals. Additional guidelines and restrictions apply.
Changing Troupe Directors
Incoming Troupe Directors – Transitions between troupe directors are particularly important times for Thespian troupes. It is important that EdTA/ITS be informed of troupe director changes as quickly as possible to ensure that professional membership is transferred to the new troupe director and that accurate contact information is available. To make the change official, the incoming troupe director must create or access their account through the EdTA Membership Portal and submit the change through the Change of Troupe Director button.
Outgoing Troupe Directors – If staff changes (such as retirement) are known in advance, the outgoing troupe director can help to facilitate a smooth transition by doing the following:
- Communicating to the new troupe director the value of Thespian affiliation, including:
- The honorary nature of induction;
- Professional member and Thespian benefits and services;
- Chapter and international event and program opportunities, etc.
- Giving the new troupe director all troupe-specific materials, including:
- The current troupe constitution, complete with any membership eligibility amendments;
- Thespian membership rolls and induction history;
- Student point record, rank, and scholar distinction information;
- Troupe leadership information;
- Copies of important correspondence with EdTA/ITS.
- Do not pass on troupe director login credentials or edit the existing troupe director profile with the incoming person’s information. The incoming troupe director will need their own member record and login credentials, which will be set up when the Change of Troupe Director form is processed by EdTA.
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