Members of the International Thespian Society (ITS) are #ThespiansForever in our hearts, minds, and lives here at Educational Theatre Association. Through far less than six degrees of separation, we’ve reconnected with Elizabeth Hallal, a 2015 ITS inductee. She is the current Miss Indiana and is competing for the title of Miss America. She’s used her musical theatre training, in part, to earn her current title, and she’s always a passionate advocate for arts accessibility for all.

Hallal says, “I attended the International Thespian Festival (ITF) in 2016, 2018, and 2019 when it was held in Lincoln, Nebraska. I’m very excited about the new location in Bloomington, and twice as excited that my little sister now has the opportunity to attend as well. I’m currently a senior musical theatre student at Ball State University in Indiana. As Miss Indiana, I advocate for arts accessibility and equity. The Miss America competition begins on Monday, December 12th, and I am so excited to be sharing my passion for the importance of arts education.”

Musical Theatre Training Opens a Variety of Doors!

From ITS to Miss America: Theatre training helped paved the way
As a senior in high school, Hallal was approached by a family friend encouraging her to compete in a local Miss America competition that was held in her high school auditorium. At first, she was hesitant to participate, but the opportunity to earn scholarship money helped swayed her decision. Plus, she would get to perform in the talent competition; she sang “Someday” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame which her high school had performed earlier that year.

Hallal in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

When determining her Social Impact Initiative in order to compete, the cause that she has championed throughout her time in the Miss America Organization is arts accessibilty for all. “I won my first local title a year later, and as time went on, I found purpose in my mission of sharing the arts. I advanced to the Miss Indiana competition in both 2021 and 2022, earning the job this past June. I owe so much of this success to my time in the International Thespian Society,” Hallal explains

#ThespianForever – Where it all began

Hallal had this to say about her time in ITS: “I attended Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, and I was inducted into Troupe 1794 in 2015. My junior year, I earned the rank of International Honor Thespian, and my senior year, I served as our Troupe President. Through my time as a Thespian, and specifically as my troupe president, I learned collaboration skills and leadership skills that have followed me into the rest of my life. My time in high school theatre sparked a lifelong passion; today, I am pursuing my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from Ball State University! I am so thankful to the Educational Theatre Association for giving me a love for storytelling and the tools needed to share this love for the rest of my life.”

It’s a Competition, Not a Pageant

Today, the Miss America competition is far different than it used to be. In 2018, the Miss America Organization rebranded, leaving the swimsuit competition in the past and reformatting the competition to highlight the talents and professional skills of young women pursuing higher education. The activities of the organization are much more than a one-night-telecast. “In fact,” says Hallal, “the Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarships for young women in the U.S! Throughout my time competing, I have completely paid off my undergraduate degree, served my local community, made meaningful connections, and taken professional development workshops. The women I compete with are well-rounded, talented, and passionate about using their voices to better the world around them.”

Making a Difference in the World

Hallal is the founder of The Triple A Project: Accessibility to the Arts for All. The nonprofit organization is set up to provide artistic opportunities to those of various abilities and financial backgrounds. Several pillars make up the whole: designing programs for nursing homes, care centers, and school programs; providing both material and educational resources to aspiring artists; advocating for the arts in education; and using arts equity as a baseline for communication across many different barriers. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, The Triple A Project will be able to coordinate large-scale fundraisers and events catering to special education programs, hospitalized youth, and those living in low-income areas. Hallal shares, “As I compete for Miss America, I look forward to making a global impact with the power of the arts.”

A Couple #ThespianForever Fun Facts
Hallal’s last show was “Into the Woods” at Ball State University. She says, “I played my dream role of the Baker’s Wife!”

Hallal performed at the International Thespian Festival (ITF) three times! (2016 – Troupe 1794, 42nd Street; 2018 – Troupe 1794, Newsies; 2019 – Opening Show cast) She says, “My experiences at ITF were truly life-changing, and I learned that careers in the arts are completely viable.”

Streaming information for the Miss America 2022 Competition is not available at the time of this posting but Hallal’s competition schedule is below. You can watch for details on Instagram accounts: @missamerica (for the national platform), @missamericain (for the state platform, Miss Indiana), @missindiana_org (for the state organization).

– Monday, December 12th – Preliminary Talent competition (Hallal is performing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked!) UPDATE: Hallal won the talent competition on night one!
– Tuesday, December 13th – Miss America Interview; Preliminary Red Carpet & Social Impact Pitch competition
– Friday, December 15th – Miss America Final Competition & Crowning

You can also keep up with Hallal’s  The Triple A Project on Instagram at @the.triple.a.project or online at

Patty Craft is content manager for
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