YOU’VE SUBMITTED YOUR registration for the first-ever Virtual International Thespian Festival, and you’re ready to make history with a few thousand of your (soon-to-be) closest Thespian friends. You’ve polished your Thespy presentation or college audition, and you’ve marked off June 22 to 26 on your calendar so you can immerse yourself in theatre performances, workshops, and panels.

Now what?

There’s a lot you can do before ITF kicks off to ensure you make the most of your experience. Start with these insider tips.

1. Create your ITF website account. After registering, you received an email invitation allowing you to create a personal account on the ITF website. Do so right away to access your profile (make sure to add your photo, special interest tags, and ribbons!) and familiarize yourself with the site. A couple of notes: You’ll find the site works best when you use either Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as your web browser. You’ll also want to make sure you install free Zoom software on your computer before the event starts.

2. Map your schedule. Put together your preliminary agenda for the week. For example, you won’t want to miss Monday’s opening ceremonies; daily intermissions featuring celebrity guests Tina Fey, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and Stephen Schwartz; or Friday’s Next Generation Works readings and inaugural Thespys Showcase. Click the yellow plus sign in the corner of the events you want to attend. This will add them to your personal agenda, so you’ll remember when it’s time to tune in. Make sure to include your favorite productions from the Main Stage Marathon, Chapter Select Showcase, and ITF Main Stage. (You can preview the latter in our profile series). Check back once the event starts to find last-minute additions.

The National Individual Events program is now the Thespys, a showcase of Thespian talent that will close the 2020 Virtual ITF event.
The National Individual Events program is now the Thespys, a showcase of Thespian talent that will close the 2020 Virtual ITF event. Photo by John Nollendorfs.

3. Choose your workshops. ITF features more than 50 workshops, with topics covering all aspects of theatre, from acting techniques to technical skills. Each workshop is followed by a talkback with teaching artists and participants so you can ask questions or debrief about what you learned. Want to attend a workshop that doesn’t align with your schedule? All programs are available on demand (live events are archived the following day), so you can take a break and watch at the time best for you. In fact, with an all-access pass, you’ll have access all summer.

4. Join a chat. One of the best parts of ITF is the chance to meet Thespians from across the country and around the world. At Virtual ITF, you can do this through Dramatics Discussions, scheduled daily and hosted by your International Thespian Officers. You’ll find multiple rooms available during each chat session so you can choose the subject that interests you most — from acting or dance to technical theatre or theatre education. There’s even an open forum where you can introduce themes of your own. Some rooms have special guest hosts, so make sure to read the details before making your selection. Another option for networking: Message participants or start a discussion thread in the Conversations tab of the site.

5. Visit a college. Are you planning to study theatre after high school? Check out the virtual college fair for details about schools across the country. There, you can request more information or even join a live meeting with a college representative.

Personalize your Zoom presence with a special ITF-themed background.
Customize your Zoom presence with a special ITF-themed background. Design by Geri Shields.

6. Personalize your Zoom. When attending workshops and chats, make sure to display your Thespian pride with one of our International Thespian Society-themed Zoom backgrounds. Download your favorite, or switch them up throughout the week.

Now that you have an ITF game plan, share your excitement. Choose from our selection of ITF cover photos and other social media graphics to spruce up your online look. Plus, don’t forget to check your inbox for daily emails and follow #ThesFest20 on Facebook and Instagram for more announcements and tips leading up to and during the event.

Still not registered for ITF? Explore the activities, schedule, and pricing on our website.

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