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Benanti, Colella, Fitzgerald White, Hilty, Pasek, Paul Sign on to Be with Theatre Students— Joining Tina Fey, Dolly Parton, Stephen Schwartz Tony, Oscar, and Grammy winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will chat with students participating in the Virtual International Thespian Festival (ITF) about their path to success, from Dogfight to James and the Giant Peach to the enormously popular Dear Evan Hansen . The dialogue will be moderated by Timothy Allen McDonald , Founder and CEO of iTheatrics. SiriusXM On Broadway’s Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley will host the debut of the International Thespian Excellence Awards ...
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The Educational Theatre Association has endorsed “Arts Education is Essential,” a one-page statement that asserts the ongoing value of arts education for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic. EdTA is one of 52 national organizations that signed the document, which notes the pivotal uplifting role the arts have already played during the health crisis, and the value that arts education experiences can have for traditionally underrepresented students as they return to school in coming school year. According to EdTA Director of Educational Policy James Palmarini, “Arts Education Is Essential” puts the safety and wellbeing of students at the center school ...
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Earlier this year, we launched a brand new Community program called Mentor Match . This unique online networking and career development tool is an EdTA members-only benefit that helps you find, connect, and share experiences with others. Our Mentor Match spotlight will feature some of the incredible mentors who are available to help you accomplish your professional goals. Our current featured mentor is Kathleen Woods , an educator with over 40 years of classroom experience. Kathleen has served as a Thespian troupe director and on the boards for both California State Thespians and the California Educational Theatre Association. Kathleen plans to retire ...
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Each year, EdTA recognizes International Thespian Society troupe directors, emeritus members, and other professional members who have dedicated themselves to the cause of theatre education for more than 20 years. Nominations for recognition are carefully reviewed by EdTA and are chosen using highly competitive criteria. The 2020 theatre educators inducted into the EdTA Hall of Fame   include Tim Buchheit of Washington, Missouri; Michael Daehn of Muncie, Indiana; Marti Fowler of Chesterfield, Missouri and Billy Houck of Carmichael, California. Tim Buchheit has served as a distinguished theatre educator for 31 years and is currently director of ...
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           A Message from EdTA Education Manager Cory Wilkerson March of 2020 marked a watershed change in theatre education. Suddenly educators were faced with the challenge of moving an art form centered in collaborative work into a virtual environment, and some districts are already making plans to continue virtual teaching into the Fall.   Now is the time to gather up lessons learned, to plan for the future, and to find creative ways to teach and support students as emerging artists in a new art form.    With this in mind, EdTA has redesigned our professional learning offerings through Theatre Educator Pro to support you, now and in the future, ...
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Students who are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS) from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Texas, and Germany received awards to attend this year’s   International Thespian Festival (ITF) thanks to grants established by former leaders of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), which has produced ITF since 1941. The 57th event on June 22 – 26, is being transformed into the first-ever  Virtual International Thespian Festival . The virtual event will feature adjudications, auditions, the inaugural International Thespian Excellence Awards Showcase (aka the Thespys TM ), performances, workshops, masterclasses, and more. The Doug ...
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We all know how challenging the current environment has been. Due to the measures that have been taken to fight the spread of the coronavirus, states and cities across the country are struggling to maintain even the most basic services. Everyone has seen the effects of the battered economy, but as educators, the full impact of COVID-19 has not yet been made clear. There is, however, some broader indicators of what is to come: According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the combined estimated shortfall for state budgets – not including additional costs incurred by the pandemic – will be approximately $650 billion. States are already looking to revise ...
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EdTA Advocacy Update May 13, 2020 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education. STATE NEWS Do you have state or province theatre or arts education news you want to share? Send it to Leah at lball@schooltheate.org California: COC Receives Grant to Fund Arts Integration Program for K-12 Education (SCVTV) Colorado: Colorado theater companies are clinging to life and worry coronavirus will mean shows cannot go on (The Colorado Sun) Connecticut: Connecticut Offers Arts Organizations A Road Map For Reopening (Connecticut Public Radio) ...
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Dolly Parton and Stephen Schwartz will make guest appearances at the first-ever Virtual International Thespian Festival  (ITF), happening June 22-26 on the screens of theatre-lovers around the world. Oscar, Grammy, and Tony-award winner Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked, Godspell, and Pippin, will perform, participate in a dialogue with students, and announce the winner of the Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year award . Andrew Lippa and Lynn Ahrens , who judged the final round along with Mr. Schwartz, will also participate in the award presentation. The multiple Grammy-winning Dolly Parton, who starred ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our next Spotlight is Scott Cooney, the troupe director and theatre arts teacher at Burlington County Institute of Technology-Medford in Medford, New Jersey, home to Troupe 7891. Scott serves on the board of the New Jersey Thespians and has been contributing plenty of helpful tips and advice over the last 6 years. Why do you believe theatre ...
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Award-winning writer, producer, author and actress, Tina Fey, will make a guest appearance at the first-ever Virtual International Thespian Festival (ITF) , happening June 22-26, 2020, on a screen near you. Fey will be asked to dialogue with participants about her own journey as a performer, which began as a student in high school theater. Fey’s  Mean Girls: The Musical , based on the screenplay Fey wrote 15 years earlier, earned the most Tony nominations of any Broadway musical in 2018.  Just as the in-person festival has done since 1941, Virtual ITF will host the best high school theatre of the year from across the country. This exciting ...
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The Educational Theatre Association recognizes individuals who have inspired their students and dedicated themselves to providing quality theatre education with the Inspirational Theatre Educator Award. Veteran theatre educators and EdTA members Victoria Kesling , Sarah Lindvall , and John Tourtellotte will each receive this award at EdTA’s National Conference . Victoria Kesling of New Kent High School in New Kent, Virginia, home to Thespian Troupe 7644, was recognized for empowering her students to be proud of the art they create. Kesling’s process-based instruction shows students how to make creative production decisions for themselves. She encourages ...
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EdTA Advocacy Update April 28, 2020 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education. STATE NEWS Do you have state or province theatre or arts education news you want to share? Send it to Leah at lball@schooltheate.org Alaska: Alaska Humanities Forum to distribute emergency funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support Alaska’s cultural organizations (Anchorage Press) Arkansas: New grant paves way for relief for arts organizations (Pine Bluff Commercial) California: AB 5 forced arts groups to evolve. For some, ...
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Earlier this year, we launched a brand new Community program called Mentor Match . This unique online networking and career development tool is an EdTA members-only benefit that helps you find, connect, and share experiences with others. Our Mentor Match spotlight will feature some of the incredible mentors who are available to help you accomplish your professional goals. Our current featured mentor is Sarah Serbus , a theatre teacher and high school troupe director at Union High School in Union, Missouri, home to Thespian Troupe 5406. Sarah is also a Thespian Alum, so she has plenty of knowledge to share about troupe management. How long ...
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The International Thespian Society annually recognizes up to three individuals who have gone above and beyond their role as a volunteer. The Honorary Thespian of the Year Award honors those adults who have selflessly given their time and ability to help a Thespian or Junior Thespian troupe with set construction, chaperoning, fundraising, advocacy, and more. This year’s Honorary Thespian is Debra Brinkman, theatre volunteer for Cape Central High School’s Thespian Troupe 1508. Debra Brinkman , of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, volunteers her time designing and overseeing the costume crew projects.  The seamstress affectionally known as “Mi-mi” is the queen ...
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At the present time Section 4.14 on attendance permits electronic participation in meetings for members of the Board. However it also stipulates that in-person attendance is mandatory two times a year. In light of the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a proposed change to this requirement. The current wording reads: Section 4.14. Attendance Through Electronic Communications Equipment . Meetings of the Board of Directors may be held through any electronic communications equipment if all persons so participating can hear each other or contemporaneously communicate with each other. Such participation shall constitute presence ...
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Going hand-in-hand with the just-announced extension for inducting Thespians is the need to be able to award students points when the usual ways to earn them—rehearsals and performances—are not available. This is especially true for graduating seniors and 8th-graders. For example, if normally induction requires 10 points which are earned over two shows and in two categories, consider substituting one of the categories. It’s fine to be flexible about how many hours it takes (this year) to earn a point, including awarding points for cancelled activities for the work that was done on them. Here are a few options and ideas, curated from the Theatre Education ...
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EdTA Advocacy Update April 14, 2020 The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education. STATE NEWS Do you have state or province theatre or arts education news you want to share? Send it to Leah at lball@schooltheate.org   Alabama: The epidemic and the arts: ‘a very different storm’ (AL.com)  Arizona: UA music professor to serve on National Council for the Arts (The Daily Wildcat) Colorado: Coronavirus losses wreak havoc on Denver arts and culture organizations (The Know) Connecticut: New Survey Finds Coronavirus Hitting ...
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EdTA  Educational Theatre Association recognizes outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond their role as a school administrator, demonstrating exemplary support for educational theatre. This year’s Administrator’s Award goes to Shellie Hatch , director of curriculum and assessment at Pasco School District in Pasco, Washington. Hatch has worked to make theatre funding more equitable across the Pasco School District, particularly at Pasco High School, home to Thespian Troupe 6569. Her advocacy increased the school district’s annual performing arts budget from $500 to $7000 and allowed Troupe 6569 to purchase scripts and rights for their shows ...
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      Last week, Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, hosted a phone conference in which she outlined the NEA’s plan to help non-profit arts organizations that have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19. Upon concluding her overview of the Endowment’s strategy, Carter took questions from the attending leadership of various organizations. The Q&A session, remarkably, lasted for two hours. It needed to, given the stories related by the many organizations about the dire straits they now found themselves in since their doors closed to meet the stay-at-home orders in place, since mid-March. Performances, classes, rehearsals, ...
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