NEARLY 80 YEARS ago, Indiana University hosted 700 high school theatre students and teachers at the inaugural national gathering of the Thespian Society, then called the National High School Drama Conference. Fast forward to this year, and roughly 5,000 Thespians will converge at IU from June 22 to 27 for the 2020 International Thespian Festival, now the nation’s premier high school theatre event.

Thespians are invited to discover their character and explore all things theatre at what promises to be the biggest and best weeklong celebration yet. Check out these insider tips to make the most of your ITF journey this year.

Experience performances

ITF is the only place you can witness some of the very best high school theatre performances from across the country in one location. Catch a Chapter Select one-act show in the afternoon, then watch a full-scale main stage production that night. See a favorite musical one day, then encounter new works written by Thespians for Thespians the next. And don’t forget to cheer your friends participating in the showcase of the International Thespian Excellence Awards, or ThespysTM.

TIP: Plan your schedule around performances you don’t want to miss and try to take in at least one show in each of IU’s three venues.

Expand your theatre world

At ITF, you’ll be working with expert teaching artists from across the U.S. and around the world. Plus, you can meet with more than 60 colleges and audition for admittance and available scholarships.

TIP: Allow flexible time in your schedule for networking with theatre professionals and college representatives. These connections reap future benefits no matter where your post-graduation path leads.

Build your theatre family

Theatre builds community like no other activity, and at ITF that community includes thousands of Thespians from around the world. You can make lifelong friendships so you’re never a stranger in any city where you may travel.

TIP: Don’t just hang out with your classmates. Take advantage of ITF’s educational and social events by introducing yourself to at least one new person every day. Learn something about their troupe that you might implement when you return home to your own.

Grow your knowledge

At ITF, you’ll have unparalleled opportunities to discover new skills thanks to hundreds of workshops and hands-on classes guaranteeing something for every theatre interest.

TIP: Primarily an actor? Expand your versatility with a beginner’s sewing workshop. Cringe at the thought of being in the spotlight? Benefit from learning how to think on your feet in an improv class. You may uncover a new passion or even a potential career.

Learn to lead

Interested in taking on a leadership role at your troupe, chapter, or national level? Consider participating in ITF’s Student Leadership Program. Delegates attend leadership-themed workshops taught by the International Thespian Officers and help elect next year’s ITOs.

TIP: While other workshop attendance is always first come, first served, Thespians interested in participating in the Student Leadership Program must register in advance.

Learn more on the 2020 International Thespian Festival website and follow updates on social media using the hashtag #thesfest20.

  • Like What You Just Read? Share It!

  • Other Related Articles You May Enjoy

    Tech Challenge Champs

    Tech Challenge Champs

    Arkansas has long dominated this event at ITF

    Jan 28, 2020

    Honored Few

    Honored Few

    First eight productions invited to ITF 2020 main stage

    Jan 14, 2020

    Game Changer

    Game Changer

    2019 Send a Troupe grantees on attending their first ITF

    Jan 13, 2020