The main stage at the International Thespian Festival (ITF) hosts the best and brightest productions in school theatre. In 2023, Damn Yankees will be performed by Thespian Troupe 8503 from Bridgeland High School (Texas). It’s Faust meets professional baseball in this Broadway sendup of love and the American pastime. Based on the novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop, Damn Yankees follows the story of middle-aged baseball fanatic Joe Boyd, who trades his soul to the devil for a chance to lead his favorite team to victory in the pennant race against the New York Yankees. Transformed into a young baseball sensation, Joe single-handedly whips the hapless Washington Senators into a winning team, only to realize the true worth of the life that he’s left behind. Debuting on Broadway in 1955 in the hayday of the golden age of musical theatre, ITF is excited to present this classic on the 2023 main stage.

Here’s a peek behind the curtain with Bridgeland director Adam Delka. (At the time of this posting, you can still register for ITF and see this production live and in-person!)

DRAMATICS: Please finish this sentence : “You wouldn’t know it, but … “

DELKA: You wouldn’t know it, but Bridgeland High School is only six years old. In this short time, we have grown our theatre department into a successful and competitive program. This experience is certainly a highlight, and we couldn’t be more excited or proud. We have also performed on the Texas Thespians Main Stage the past two years, had State University Interscholastic League Theatrical Design qualifiers, advanced to the Texas Region One-Act Play competition for three consecutive years, have earned numerous Houston Tommy Tune Awards musical theatre nominations, qualified a Best Performer contestant to the NYC Jimmy Awards, and this year we qualified more than 50 students in the ITF Thespys.

It is also interesting that we use LED screen panels versus projections in our production. We worked with Covenant Communications out of Houston to be one of the first high schools to implement this technology in a musical. This heightened the visual element, which we feel is a game changer in high school musical theatre.

DRAMATICS: Even though you’re only six years old, it seems like you have an immense amount of talent in the program.

DELKA: We have a lot of fantastic talent and dedication in the Bridgeland Theatre Company. So much so that roles are often double-cast. This year for  Damn Yankees, Gloria’s and Lola’s roles are double cast, which is exciting for our audiences that get to see the musical more than once!

More About Main Stage 

The main stage at ITF is the only place you can watch the best in high school theatre productions, from around the globe, all in one place. Troupes selected to perform have invested maximum amounts of time, energy, and passion for their craft to achieve this distinction. Here are all the shows you can see at ITF 2023. We hope you’re registered and we’ll see you at the show!  ♦

Patty Craft is a regular content contributor for Thanks goes to Mr. Adam W. Delka, Bridgeland High School Theatre Director, Bridgeland Theatre Company, for taking us behind the scenes of their production of Damn Yankees

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