Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Cast and Crew Announced for International Thespian Festival Opening Show

Just 28 students, representing 13 states and Canada, have been chosen as the cast and crew for the opening performance of the 2017 International Thespian Festival (ITF) being held June 19-24 in Lincoln, Nebraska. They were chosen from a field of more than 120 applicants. (The complete list of students is below.)

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.

For the past five years ITF has opened with a show cast by audition from among the thousands of current members of the International Thespian Society--the Honor Society for drama students founded in 1929-- in high schools across the country and around the world.

The 2017 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.

Being selected for this show affords students the opportunity to perform and work alongside Broadway 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 Producer Eric Cornell (Anastasia), Artistic Director J. Jason Daunter (Wicked), and Musical Arranger/Supervisor Jason Yarcho (Wicked), among others."

Editor's Note: Videos show what students were told in preparation for audition, and give a glimpse of what the 2016 opening show experience was like.

2017 International Thespian Festival Opening Show Cast and Crew List

Antonio Cipriano, Troupe 5253, University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan
Arianna Hardaway, Troupe 4048, Heritage High School, Conyers, Georgia
Bryson Jackson, Troupe 7052, McKinney Boyd High School, McKinney, Texas
Cherish Myers, Troupe 513, Westerville South High School, Columbus, Ohio
Chloe Abram, Troupe 7398, The Ensworth High School, Nashville, Tennessee
Connor Ripperger, Troupe 69, Dubuque Senior High School, Dubuque, Iowa
Eric Leigh, Troupe 3842, Wahlert Catholic High School, Peosta, Iowa
Lucy Geller, Troupe 750, South Eugene High School, Eugene, Oregon
Maura Cunning, Troupe 3093, Lake Havasu High School, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Nathan Bonsall, Troupe 1811, Kearney High School, Kearney, Nebraska
Nicholas Boegel, Troupe 3681, Widdifield Secondary School, North Bay, Ontario
Sylvia Fisher, Troupe 830, Pennsbury High School, Yardley, Pennsylvania

Brett Rose, Troupe 7050, Cypress Woods High School, Cypress, Texas
Catherine Adams, Troupe 5022, Mehlville High School, St. Louis, Missouri
Emily Hayman, Troupe 513, Westerville South High School, Columbus, Ohio
Eva Granger, Troupe 7050, Cypress Woods High School, Cypress, Texas
Grant Perry, Troupe 4463, Sylvania Northview High School, Sylvania, Ohio
Hailey Brunson, Troupe 8104, Rock Ridge High School, Ashburn, Virginia
Hannah Kane, Troupe 8104, Rock Ridge High School, Ashburn, Virginia
Jerran Kowalski, Troupe 1794, Floyd Central High School, Lanesville, Indiana
Kendall Swendsen, Troupe 7014, Seven Lakes High School, Katy, Texas
Madison Sutton, Troupe 2526, Texas High School, Texarkana, Texas
Martin Benesh, Troupe 1470, Mt. Vernon High School, Mt. Vernon, Iowa
Meghan Emanuel, Troupe 8104, Rock Ridge High School, Ashburn, Virginia
Nathan Dunahoo, Troupe 739, North Scott, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sean Gardner, Troupe 8093, Brownell Talbot, Omaha, Nebraska
Thomas White, Troupe 4379, Poplar Bluff High School, Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Zach Brunkhorst, Troupe 5140, Fort Zumwalt North High School, O'Fallon, Missouri


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Omaha Stories

More Hot Stories For You