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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Virtual International Thespian Festival?

The Virtual International Thespian Festival is the ultimate celebration of school theatre. For one week every summer, Thespians and other theatre fans from around the globe gather for the best performances, interactive workshops led by top teaching artists, and auditions with premier colleges and universities in a community-centered experience like no other. Plus, Thespians have the option to showcase their talents in the Thespy® Awards program, earning valuable recognition and feedback for their work on an international level.

Who should participate in Virtual ITF?
Virtual ITF is open to all theatre lovers ― including students, their parents and families, teachers, colleges, industry leaders, and artists.

Why will the International Thespian Festival be virtual in 2021?
ITF may be a lot of fun, but participant safety is always our top priority. The COVID pandemic continues to present unique safety challenges for organizations hosting large gatherings and public events, and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic’s impact has extended into 2021. At Indiana University, our ITF host venue, there are current limitations to housing and room capacities. At this time, students are not permitted to eat in dining halls, must maintain single occupancy in residence hall housing, and must adhere to limited seating in theatres and classrooms. At the same time, an Educational Theatre Association member survey conducted in August shows most U.S. school districts have limited or eliminated student travel for the 2020-21 academic year. Given the many unknowns, it was not financially responsible to plan for an in-person ITF in 2021. A virtual festival presents participants with the best possible experience and greatest level of access this summer.

How will main stage shows be selected and evaluated?
All main stage show submissions will be evaluated digitally and considered on a rolling deadline. All applications must be submitted by January 31, with videos submitted within two weeks of the performance or no later than March 31. Learn more in our 2021 main stage submission guidelines or start your application

Will Virtual ITF have Chapter Select shows? How will that work? 
Yes! Virtual ITF will continue featuring outstanding one-acts in the Chapter Select Showcase this year. Each chapter is handling Chapter Select differently in 2021. Please check with your chapter director to learn how your troupe may qualify. Performance slots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis until the schedule is full. Chapter directors must submit their recommendations to EdTA by April 15, 2021. For more, read the complete submission guidelines.

How can I take part in the Thespy® Awards?
The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespys, offer participants valuable recognition and constructive feedback on prepared theatrical performances and technical designs. To participate in the Thespys program at ITF, you must qualify at your chapter festival or at Thespian Nation Live (if your chapter has authorized that event as a qualifier for you). Thespians who receive superior scores are eligible to participate in the ITF Thespys program. Just select Thespys as an add-on activity when you register. You must sign up by May 15 and submit your Thespys video or other program materials no later than June 1 to be adjudicated. Finalists and callbacks for the Thespys Showcase performance will be announced on June 21. Note: The Thespy Awards program is open only to inducted Thespians.

Who can participate in college auditions?
The unified college audition program is open to high school juniors interested in studying theatre after graduation. At ITF, you’ll have the opportunity to audition for more than 60 colleges and universities ― and even set up one-on-one appointments during the college fair. You must sign up by May 15 and submit your audition video no later than June 1 to participate. Note: College auditions are open only to inducted Thespians.

What if I can’t attend the entire event?
All International Thespian Festival sessions will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing at your convenience. Plus, all programming is archived for 30 days following the event, giving you plenty of time to re-watch a favorite workshop or catch a performance you might have overlooked. You won’t miss a thing.

Are there sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities for this event?
Yes! We have a number of unique sponsorship opportunities available, and this event will feature a virtual exhibit hall with one-on-one appointment options. For more information, contact Angel Wuellner at awuellner@schooltheatre.org.

Keep checking this page, as we will add more information about the event as details are confirmed. If you need help with a question not answered here, contact events@schooltheatre.org. Direct questions about the Thespy Awards to thespys@schooltheatre.org.