Seven Schools Selected to Perform on High School's Biggest Stage
International Thespian Festival Features Thespian Troupes from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas
Seven schools have been selected to perform on the main stage at the 2023 International Thespian Festival (ITF), the annual teen theatre event that represents high school theatre’s biggest stage, held June 19-23 this year at Indiana University in Bloomington and produced by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).
The highly coveted invitation to the main stage is a huge honor for International Thespian Society students. More than 30 high-caliber productions were screened this year for the seven available slots. This year’s lineup of five musicals and two plays includes two schools showcasing for the first time* and three titles never before seen on the ITF main stage†:
Alexandria Senior High School*
Troupe 731 | Alexandria, LA
The Color Purple
Director: Tyler Price
Bridgeland High School*
Troupe 8503 | Cypress, TX
Director: Adam Delka
Champaign Central High School
Troupe 5981 | Champaign, IL
Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical†
Director: LaDonna Wilson
Floyd Central High School
Troupe 1794 | Floyds Knobs, IN
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Director: Broolyn Chalfant
J.J. Pearce High School
Troupe 6896 | Richardson, TX
Mean Girls: High School Version†
Director: Heather Biddle
Mount Carmel Academy
Troupe 2075 | New Orleans, LA
Antigone in Munich†
Director: Kristi Jacobs-Stanley
Mount Vernon High School
Troupe 1470 | Mount Vernon, IA
Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor
Director: Tom Stephens
“ITF’s main stage is a celebration of outstanding student work from across the country,” said Dr. Jennifer Katona, EdTA’s executive director. “We’re thrilled to showcase these seven schools and proud of the students and teachers for their accomplishments.”
The Color Purple will run Monday, June 19 as part of the festival’s activities honoring the Juneteenth holiday. Later in the week, EdTA’s charitable arm, the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), will present a performance of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella by Maynard Jackson High School (Troupe 8590) from Atlanta. The production is part of ETF’s Pathway program for racial equity through school theatre, which launched nationally earlier this month.
In addition to these performances, ITF features up to 17 one-acts nominated by EdTA’s 40+ chapters, hundreds of interactive workshops, a college fair and auditions with 60+ colleges, and the final round of the International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespys® for short. The Thespys recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre – the equivalent of the Tonys® or the Oscars® for high school. ITF culminates with a Thespy Awards Showcase celebrating the top scorers and scholarship winners.
Broadway also will be in Bloomington for ITF, as Ashley De La Rosa, whose credits include Mean Girls and Hamilton, will emcee the opening ceremony.
Registration for ITF runs through May 3 at itf.schooltheatre.org.