Thespian inductions highest in four decades

Thespian inductions highest in four decades

August 21, 2015

Thespian troupes inducted 41,440 new Thespians during the year that ended July 31, the highest number of inductions since 1972. And Junior Thespian inductions set an all-time record in 2014-15, with 6,007 middle school students becoming members.

Entering the new school year, there are 97,070 active Thespians—defined as students who have been inducted into the International Thespian Society and are still in high school—and 10,209 active Junior Thespians. The Thespian Society has now inducted more than 2.2 million members since its founding in 1929.

At year’s end there were 4,307 schools affiliated with the Thespian Society and hosting Thespian or Junior Thespian troupes. Seventeen of the Thespian troupes are in schools outside the United States. With the establishment of a chapter in China this year, international membership is expected to be a growth area during 2015-16.

The Educational Theatre Association, which operates the Thespian Society, has 5,289 professional members, including Thespian troupe directors.

Attendance at the Thespian Festival and at state chapter Thespian events was also strong during the past year. Festival attendance was over 3,700, an all-time record, and more than 49,500 Thespians participated in state events.

“All of these numbers are positive indicators of the value of the work we are doing and the vibrant health of our organization,” said EdTA Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald. “Strong membership growth brings us closer to our vision of making theatre part of the educational experience of every student.”