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Andrew Lloyd Webber Joining Celebrities Addressing Students at Virtual International Thespian Festival

Thespians singing on stage at the International Thespian Festival

alw-dark1.jpgEmmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony-award (EGOT) winner and legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is joining the lineup for the Virtual International Thespian Festival. Lloyd Webber will share insider tips and inspiration with students. 

The virtual edition of the renowned International Thespian Festival (ITF), taking place June 22-26, features performances of the best high school theatre of the year from across the country, plus more than 50 workshops, 25 celebrity guests, a college fair with 45 schools, and more.

Brittney Mack, who plays Anna of Cleves from the cast of SIX, will host a Q&A with students. SIX was set to open on Broadway the day it closed for COVID-19. Mack created the role in North American productions of the show, and this was to be her Broadway debut. Other credits include: Memphis, Beehive, Ain’t Misbehavin, Avenue Q, The Wiz/ Shrek the Musical, and RENT.

Susan Blackwell is creating The Spark File video podcast especially for Virtual ITF. Susan is an actress, writer, and singer for the original musicals [title of show] and NOW. HERE. THIS. Her special guest is two-time Tony-nominated and Grammy Award winner Jonathan Groff, known for his work in Spring Awakening, Hamilton, Frozen, and Mindhunter

Sirius XM’s Broadway Names with Julie James highlights some of the many roles in theatre that are not on the stage. She will feature Ryan and Sam Ratelle of RRR Creative, the team who make the jaw-dropping red carpet looks for Tony, Grammy, and Emmy-winner Billy Porter and talk about how she turned her passion for performance into a dream job at Sirius XM.

“The International Thespian Festival has been the go-to summer theatre event for students since 1941, and this year is no exception,” noted Julie Cohen Theobald, Executive Director of the Education Theatre Association, which is producing Virtual ITF. “This is the one you don’t want to miss. Nowhere else this year can you find the powerhouse combination of performances, interactive workshops, and celebrities working together with participants in a virtual environment. And this communal experience is available to all theatre lovers, not only students.”

The continually expanding Virtual ITF special guest list now includes:

  • Frank DiLella, journalist and host of New York 1’s On Stage, who will host the closing showcase of the International Thespian Excellence Awards (aka Thespys) on Stars in the House;
  • Nevin Steinberg, sound designer for Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hadestown who will host a Q&A with students;
  • Playon Patrick, the high school student who captured the nation reading his poem to introduce President Obama, has written a new poem for ITF and will open the previously announced segment with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Virtual ITF is open to all Thespians and theatre students from around the world; their teachers, parents, and families; and colleges, industry leaders, and artists. An all-access pass enables 90 days of access to all the celebrities, shows, and workshops.

Registration is open now. Students in financial need may apply for a grant to attend Virtual ITF.


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