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International Thespian Festival Invites Eight Schools to Perform on Main Stage

International Thespian Festival Invites Eight Schools to Perform on Main Stage

Eight schools have been invited to perform on the main stage at the nation's leading high school theatre festival. The invitations are based on productions that were adjudicated last fall; three more will be invited this spring. (Complete list of schools and shows to-date follows.)

The International Thespian Festival, (ITF) produced by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), celebrates student achievement in the performing arts. The 56th event, which this year takes place June 24-29, brings together more than 4,000 high school drama students and their teachers for a weeklong immersion in workshops; interaction with colleges, industry leaders, and Broadway professionals; and opportunities to be inspired by the best high school theatre in the nation.

The highly coveted invitation signals achievement of superior work in theatre according to EdTA's Director of Educational Programs Nancy Brown. "It is a real honor," she explains, "because we send screening teams out all across the U.S. and Canada during the school year and only 11 schools will be selected to present their shows on the main stage. These Thespian troupes have earned a slot among those honored few."

Noteworthy this year is the selection of the Jemicy School, a private school that serves students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences, home of International Thespian Troupe 8269, from Owings Mill, Md. In 2017 the school earned a Send a Troupe to Festival grant, which is awarded only to schools that have never before participated in International Thespian Festival. Now they are returning based on the strength of their performance.

Shakespeare In Love

Director: Heather Biddle

J.J. Pearce High School, Troupe 6896

Richardson, Texas

26 Pebbles

Director: Mark Stutz

Parkland High School, Troupe 439

Allentown, Pa.

Bring It On

Director: Ed Shafer

Kansas All State

Olathe, Ks.

Peter and the Starcatcher

Director: Sean Elias

Jemicy School, Troupe 8269

Owings Mills, Md.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Director: Andrea Roney & Debra Buckner

North Penn High School, Troupe 5464

Lansdale, Pa.


Director: Barbara Hilt

Garden City High School, Troupe 2846

Garden City, Ks.

Noises Off

Director: Greg McGlynn

McPherson High School, Troupe 3796

McPherson, Ks.

Be More Chill

Director: Patrick Avery

South Eugene High School, Troupe 750

Eugene Or.

The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with more than 135,000 active members. EdTA's mission is shaping lives through theatre education: honoring student achievement in theatre; supporting teachers by providing professional development, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills. EdTA is the home of the International Thespian Society, an honorary organization established at nearly 5,000 schools, that has inducted more than 2.3 million theatre students since its founding in 1929. EdTA also produces the International Thespian Festival and publishes Dramatics magazine in print and online for high school theatre students, and Teaching Theatre, a journal for theatre education professionals. The Educational Theatre Foundation is the philanthropic arm of EdTA

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