The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespys® for short, made their grand debut at the 2020 International Thespian Festival (ITF). The first virtual edition of EdTA’s signature event was a fitting venue for the first Thespy Awards.
Renamed to reflect the Thespian brand and program’s prestige, the Thespys (formerly Individual Events) recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre performance and technical theatre. Students who achieve overall Superior scores at a qualifying event and earn the top scores in their category at ITF earn Thepsy Awards.
To go with the new name, the Thespys aim to elevate honoring students with “golden ticket” invitations, medallions, trophies for the winners’ schools, and a red-carpet showcase to close ITF.
When ITF went virtual because of COVID, the 2020 qualifiers had to swiftly adapt their carefully crafted in-person presentations and performances to a virtual submission process. Nearly 700 students rose to that challenge, and when the judging was complete, 15 inaugural Thespys were awarded in 14 categories to 21 students.
The winners were celebrated in a live Thespy Showcase event hosted by Thespian alum Seth Rudetsky’s Stars in the House and broadcast on Playbill.com. Highlighting these talented, hard-working students made for a festive closing to ITF — even though the red carpet had to wait.