Broadway Performers Lend Their Talents to International Thespian Festival

Broadway Performers Lend Their Talents to International Thespian Festival

Broadway performers Rebecca E. Covington, Arbender Robinson, and Kristen Beth Williams will join 28 students, representing 13 states and Canada, for the opening performance of the 2017 International Thespian Festival (ITF) being held June 19-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The International Thespian Festival is a celebration of student achievement in the performing arts, produced by the Educational Theatre Association and attended by more than 4,000 students and teachers.

The 2017 Festival Opening Show is We Tell the Story: A Celebration of the works of Ahrens & Flaherty and will feature the works of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, lyricist and composer known for Once on This Island, Ragtime, Anastasia, Seussical, and more.

It won't be Kristen Beth Williams' first time on stage at the Lied Performing Arts Center in Lincoln; she appeared there in 2015 in the national tour of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. On Broadway, she has been in Pippin, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, and Promises, Promises. She is from Mesquite, Texas.

Rebecca E. Covington's Broadway credits include Motown, the Musical (OBC); Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and international/national tours of Mamma Mia; Motown, the Musical; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Ain't Misbehavin'; and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She is from Lexington, Kentucky.

Arbender Robinson, from Joliet, Illinois, has been on Broadway for 15 years appearing in: Hairspray, Hair, Little Mermaid, Book of Mormon, Ragtime, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Shuffle Along, In Transit, and Lion King, among others.

The Festival Opening Show offers Thespians the unique opportunity to work alongside and learn from professional talent including writers, actors, and musicians. Students and artists rehearse and produce the show in only 48 hours.

EdTA Executive Director Julie Theobald says, "The Educational Theatre Association is committed to continually raising the bar for Thespians and connecting them with talented professionals. In 2017 those professionals include Executive Producer Matt Conover, Disney Parks Live Entertainment; Producer Eric Cornell, Anastasia; Artistic Director J. Jason Daunter, A Doll's House, Part 2; and Musical Arranger/Supervisor Jason Yarcho, Wicked; among others."

The sponsors of the 2017 International Thespian Festival opening show are AMDA and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment.

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