Professional Development for Educators

Professional Development for Educators

While the week is predominantly geared toward the developing theatre student, Festival also features Professional Development Intensives. PDIs are two-day interactive, hands-on opportunities for theatre educators to develop their arsenal of professional skills on topics ranging from directing, to costuming, to stage lighting design. PDIs can even allow attendees to advance a graduate degree or earn credit required for continuing education. For an additional fee, teachers can reserve a spot in a PDI when registering for Festival.


Confirmed PDIs for the 2018 International Thespian Festival:

Directing the action: Taking your artistic leadership skills to the next level

Joe DeerRegistration cost: $225. Twenty-Five student limit. Six instructional hours.

High school teachers and directors can up their game by adding new skills in coaching student actors, bringing script analysis into composition, and staging ideas that tell stories effectively and dynamically. Perfect for plays and musicals. This workshop is ideal for both new directors and those with more experience. Leave with new strategies and classroom activities for student directors.

Instructor: Joe Deer is a Broadway veteran actor, dancer, and stage manager who is now chair of Wright State University’s Department of Theatre, Dance, and Motion Pictures. He is an internationally known director and master teacher. His two books have been translated into five languages. Acting in Musical Theatre is the most used book in the world on the subject. Joe’s former students appear on and Off-Broadway, in national tours, and around the world — from London to the high seas. He is a former Thespian troupe president (Troupe 2217, King High School, Tampa, Fla.) and loves working with young theatre artists.





Lighting designers: Bringing your imagination to light

Dana_Taylor_croppedjpg.jpgRegistration cost: $225. Twenty student limit. Six instructional hours.

Lighting design is deciding where to hang a light, where to focus it, and what color and intensity to use. However, a designer has to understand how to use all the available tools, if their vision is to be brought to fruition. In brief, lighting design is a craft and not just an art. This session will provide attendees with an understanding of fixture functionality, accessories, electrical requirements, lighting math, programming, patching, and color theory. Attendees will increase their ability to create what they want to see onstage.

Instructor: Dana W. Taylor has been director of vocal music and technical theatre instructor at Mt. Vernon Senior High School for 29 nine years. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, USITT, Entertainment Services and Technology Association (board of directors), and EdTA. Dana was technical editor for Dramatics and Teaching Theatrefrom 2006 to 2016 and an editor on Basic Drama Projects and Concert Lighting. He was recognized with Stage Directions magazine’s Technical Theatre Educator of the Year, EdTA’s Founders’ Award, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana’s Artist of the Year, and USITT’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Education.



Learning and teaching costuming for 2018

 Shirlee Idzakovich.jpgRegistration cost: $225. Twenty-Five student limit. Six instructional hours.

Costuming has evolved, so be sure you are on the leading edge of it. We will go through the process of costuming for school theatre in 2018. You do not need to have a costume shop to take this course. It is for the teacher who wants to create a better show, teach better lessons, build their shop, or become an all-round better costumer. This course will help to provide you, the director, with timesaving examples to follow in the future. There will be an opportunity to work on industrial sewing machines for those who wish.

Instructor: Shirlee Idzakovich is a costume designer based in New York City who has done over 100 buildouts. Recent credits include Austen’s Pride (pre-Broadway), Crashlight (Off-Broadway), and A Little Princess (Off-Broadway). She is also an educator and artist-in-residence instructor who has taught many workshops at EdTA festivals and served as an adjudicator in costume design and costume construction. She is also a contributing editor for Theatrics and has been awarded the Freddie G Fellowship. Her passion is passing the torch of her knowledge and love of the stage to the next generation of costumers.