The International Thespian Society
is an honorary organization for high-school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...
theatre students located at more than 3,600 affiliated secondary schools across the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
, and abroad. The International Thespian Society was founded in Fairmont, West Virginia. The mission of ITS is to honor student excellence in the theater arts; its motto is, "Act well thy part; there all the honor lies." It is a division of the Educational Theatre Association
The Educational Theatre Association , founded in 1929, is the professional association for theatre education. EdTA’s mission is to make theatre a part of lifelong learning...
The ITS inducts high school students active in theater each fall or spring, with members earning points towards a higher status.
The International Thespian Officers
(ITO) are student leaders, elected annually at the Leadership Conference, a training event for leaders at the troupe, state, and international level held at the International Thespian Festival. There are six ITO offices: a Chair/International Liaison, an officer from each of the four Thespian regions of the USA, and a Webmaster-Secretary.
In some schools there are 8 officers, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Master, Historian, Tech Representative and Publicity.
The International Thespian Officers is a group of student members of the International Thespian Society who are elected by their peers to serve as the voice of the student membership of the organization. They bring the needs of Thespians and suggestions for policy and service changes to the attention of the Educational Theatre Association Board, serve as an integral part of the leadership training program, and represent the Society and take an active role at student-oriented functions such as chapter conferences and the annual International Thespian Festival. The International Thespian Officers remain connected with Thespians from across the country through their website, GOBO.
Festivals are held annually, at the district, state and national levels. The season culminates with the International Thespian Festival
The International Thespian Festival is an annual week-long theatre festival that brings together U.S. high school theatre clubs, thespian troupes, and programs...
, held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln each June.
At "Festival", the "Chapter Select Showcase" showcases troupes qualifying from their respective State Thespian Festivals who have previously qualified from their respective District Thespian Festivals. Main Stage
is where adjucators watch shows from the various middle and high school groups in front of an audience of about 3,000, in the Lied Center for Performing Arts
The Lied Center for Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility located in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA that opened in 1990. It is part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is used for various events, including orchestra, theatre, and speakers.The Center consists of 5 separate...
. There are auditions for national cast productions, as well as individual events. The Individual Events offered at the Thespian Festival are monologue, duet acting, solo musical, duet musical, group musical, mime, lighting design, scenic design, publicity design, costume design, costume construction, stage management, and short film.
Workshops and performances fill the daily schedules of Thespians, while dances and themed chaperone dinners occupy the evenings.
Additionally, High School Juniors are given the opportunity to audition for dozens of colleges and universities, and Seniors are given college scholarship opportunities.
At the high school level, students can reach Life member status, and receive a bronzed membership card and Pass, for free admission to all high school productions for life.
There is also a Jr. International Thespian Society (or Jr. ITS) for Middle School in grades 6-8. Junior Festivals are offered annually in two areas of the country. The 2010 festival was held in Columbus, Ohio. The 2011 Junior Thespian Festival will be held in Denver, Colorado.