What is the International Thespian Festival?
ITF is the nation’s premier high school theatre event, created for high-achieving theatre students and their teachers. The preferred summer theatre experience for more than 50 years, ITF is where you see, think, and do theatre nonstop for a week!
Who attends ITF?
ITF is an educational event for theatre teachers and their students ages 12 and up. Any student under the age of 21 must attend with an adult teacher or parent chaperone.
I’m an inducted Thespian, but my troupe isn’t attending ITF this year. Can I still register?
Yes! Working with your troupe director, canvas other schools in your area to see if they are planning to attend ITF. If you find another school that is attending, ask that troupe director if they are willing to “adopt” you as part of their troupe. They can add you to their registration, and you can coordinate travel and payment directly with your adopted troupe.
If there is not another school in your area willing or able to adopt you, you can also have your parent or delegated guardian chaperone you at the event. Your chaperone must register and pay for ITF attendance.
How are shows selected for the ITF main stage?
A team of roughly 50 theatre educators and professionals is sent in pairs to view each show requesting adjudication for the ITF main stage. Each judge is required to submit a lengthy critique and itemized score that offers their perception on all aspects of each production. Shows are chosen based on scoring and other selection criteria. For more information, see the Main Stage Guide.
Why do you allow schools to present shows with mature content on the ITF main stage?
ITF does not censor. Because we realize some people are uncomfortable watching shows with mature content or would not be allowed to view them in their schools, we post the full schedule and show descriptions prior to ITF to allow audience members to choose what to see. All main stage shows are given a rating, noting mature content when applicable. Every attendee can decide whether to see the performance in question, attend another show, or choose a different activity.
How are main stage seats assigned in the IU Auditorium?
Each troupe is assigned a number when their registration and full payment are received, and seating is assigned based on that number. For example, the troupe that sends in its materials and full payment fifth will be given the number five and will be the fifth troupe seated. Once a troupe is assigned their seating number that number doesn’t change even if you add, delete, or substitute delegates. Seating assignments are alternated between blue and yellow performance tracks.
How do I select the main stage shows I want to see in the Musical Arts Center?
Troupe directors are given flexibility to select the shows they want their students to see in the Musical Arts Center and to select specific seats that ensure their students are placed together. EdTA works with BookTix to provide online selection of MAC seats. The sooner a troupe is registered and paid in full, the wider selection of shows and seats they receive.
Troupe directors will receive an email with a MAC ticket reservation code after the performance schedule is set (usually by late April). Once you receive your code, log in to BookTix to select your seats. You will receive three tickets per ITF registrant to use as you wish. For example, you may choose to have all students attend two shows together or break tickets up to allow a smaller portion of your troupe to see each show. Each troupe can decide!
How does seating work in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre?
This venue hosts the Chapter Select Showcase, Next Generation Works staged readings, and late-night shows. There are no assigned seats for these performances. Tickets will be distributed at the door beginning one hour prior to each Ruth N. Halls show.
What are ITF’s behavior policies and etiquette guidelines?
To ensure a fun and safe experience for everyone, ITF attendees must follow these rules.
Be a Good Audience Member
- Give the actors and crew the respect they deserve.
- Not every show will be your favorite, but stay engaged: You may be pleasantly surprised.
- Don’t take photographs or videos during the performance. It violates copyright laws.
- Be kind and respectful of the audience members around you.
- Turn off phones. Text and talk after the show.
- Don’t talk during shows.
- Don’t put feet up on seats.
- Don’t sleep during shows.
- Respect university property and the property of others.
The use of alcohol, tobacco, and weapons are strictly prohibited on the IU campus. Violations will result in dismissal from ITF.
What happens when students don’t follow the behavior or safety rules?
ITF has a disciplinary court for behavioral and safety violations. Please see the security guidelines for more information.