FOR ONE MAGICAL WEEK each June, the International Thespian Festival brings together students and their teachers from around the globe to celebrate all things theatre. This year is no exception, though the gathering will look different from past ones. Although a traditional ITF is not possible this year, the event is not being canceled. This show must go on, and there’s still time to join the fun!

For the first time in its nearly 80-year history, ITF will be held online, June 22 to 26, with a week of virtual performances, workshops, college auditions, games, and contests designed to engage every theatre fan. Keep reading for a sneak peek at this historic, once-in-a-lifetime event.


Virtual ITF will kick off on Monday with a Main Stage Marathon, featuring encore viewings of favorite ITF performances from the past. Throughout the week, troupes invited to participate in the 2020 main stage and chapter select programs will showcase their productions or highlights from them. Plus, we’ll recognize superior performances and technical theatre presentations at the inaugural showcase for the International Thespian Excellence Awards, or ThespysTM, the celebratory Friday closing of Virtual ITF.


ITF has always been the best place for Thespians to work with some of the country’s most talented teaching artists, and this year continues that tradition with more than 40 online workshops. You can try your hand at playwriting classes led by Tony Award nominees Hunter Bell and John Cariani or join a musical theatre bootcamp with iTheatrics’ Marty Johnson. Learn about careers in theatre that don’t involve performing from Rachel Reiner, education director at the Broadway League. After Virtual ITF, you’ll have new skills to take to your next adventure — onstage or off.

Virtual ITF will include performances, workshops, and auditions.
Virtual ITF will include performances, workshops, and auditions. Photo by Susan Doremus.


Thespians planning to pursue theatre after high school can get a leg up on their college research at Virtual ITF. Meet with representatives from more than 30 U.S. colleges and universities and audition for admission to their programs through the online unified auditions and college fair. These programs are open only to inducted Thespians and carry an additional cost.

Special events

There’s a surprise each day at Virtual ITF, through daily kickoff, intermission, and closing entertainment. Win virtual swag bags or prizes distributed during daily games and contests.

Rub virtual shoulders with celebrity guests!

This year, Thespians will finally make “fetch” happen. That’s right, Mean Girls book writer and 30 Rock star Tina Fey will make a guest appearance at Virtual ITF, participating in a dialogue about her career and her time as a high school theatre student.

Jonalyn Saxer, Tina Fey, Mariah Rose Faith, and Megan Masako Haley of Mean Girls.
Jonalyn Saxer, Tina Fey, Mariah Rose Faith, and Megan Masako Haley of Mean Girls. Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews.

Other special guests include:

  • Oscar winner Stephen Schwartz — composer of Wicked, Godspell, and Pippin.
  • Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, the director-choreographer of Broadway’s Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, and Pretty Woman.
  • Tony nominee Andrew Lippa — composer of The Addams Family and Big Fish.
  • Hamilton’s King George III and The Book of Mormon’s Elder McKinley, actor Rory O’Malley.
  • Aladdin’s genie, Michael James Scott.
  • Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt.
  • The original cast of [title of show]: Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Susan Blackwell.

… and many more!

The Virtual ITF schedule is updated frequently. Get details at or on the International Thespian Society’s social media accounts by following the hashtag #ThesFest20.

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