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International Thespian Festival Thespy® Registration Guide 

A student performing at the Thespsy award showcase at ITF 2023

Everything you need to complete your students’ Thespy applications.

Summer is almost here, and that can only mean one thing – the International Thespian Festival (ITF). It’s a celebration for students and theatre lovers from around the world, with opportunities to come together, showcase amazing talent, and learn plenty of new skills. For Thespians who’ve made it to the final round of adjudication in the International Thespian Excellence (Thespy) Awards, it’s also a chance to continue their competition dreams.

But before your students can compete on the Indiana University campus, you first must complete their Thespy application – with some help from this handy guide.

Who’s Eligible to Register for the Thespys?

Thespians who earned a superior overall rating at qualifying events – regional (if applicable in your area), chapter, or the alternate qualifier – are eligible for the final round of adjudication at ITF. Additionally, they should be:

  • An inducted Thespian in an active, chartered troupe.
  • Have an active status with ITS in the academic year of submission.

If your students meet those criteria, congratulations! You can add on Thespy participation when registering them for ITF. The $50 fee covers one student’s in-person or virtual participation in one or multiple Thespys categories.

Understanding the Categories

As a refresher, the Thespy Awards are divided into 21 official categories: performance categories (such as Acting or Musical Theatre Performance), technical categories (such as Costume Construction or Lighting Design), and playwriting/film categories. Be sure to visit our categories page for a full list of official categories recognized by EdTA (some chapters feature unofficial categories) and guidelines specific to each category.

When filling out the application, be sure to choose the correct category for your student(s) as your selection will determine the type of room they’ll present in. You may only submit an application for a student in the same category in which the student previously qualified. So, if your student received a superior overall rating in Sound Design at your chapter festival, they must compete in the Sound Design category in the final round of adjudication at ITF.

04 In PersonEvents thespy awards showcase performance dance

Before Submitting Your Thespy Application

Some chapters’ guidelines vary slightly from the official guidelines set forth by EdTA. To avoid disqualification in the final round of adjudication at ITF, you will want to be sure your material is eligible for use as outlined in the official Thespy Program Guide. Here are some of the criteria you should be checking before completing your student’s application.

Licensing Requirements

In performance categories, the show’s rights must be approved for use in Thespy adjudications by the authors (or their representatives) as well as EdTA. You’ll be prompted to list the licensing agent on the Thespy application. If you’re unsure who holds the performance rights for a given piece, check out our Rights and Licensing page, or follow these steps:

  • Most of the time, Googling the show’s title and “licensing” will point you in the right direction to get started. Find the name of the company on the list of licensing agencies on the Rights and Licensing page of the Thespy website and read the instructions for that company. In some instances, this will be your final step. However, if the instructions ask you to consult the Red- and Green-Light List, continue to step 2.
  • Consult the Red- and Green-Light List at the bottom of the Rights and Licensing page if instructed to do so. In some cases, not all titles from an agency will be approved, and those titles that are not approved will appear on the red-light list. Conversely, sometimes the list of approved titles from an author/agency is short, so only certain titles will be approved while all others are not. These titles will appear on the green-light list. The instructions following each company’s listing will point you to the list you should refer to for their titles.

In-Person vs. Virtual Adjudication

Students who have qualified for the final round of Thespy adjudication at ITF can participate in person or virtually. In-person adjudications will take place at ITF on June 24-25, 2024, while those participating virtually will upload their digital presentations to their Thespy application and will be adjudicated prior to ITF. Digital presentations may be uploaded to a student’s Thespy application at any time between the time of registration and May 15, 2024. You cannot finalize your application for virtual participation until the digital presentation has been uploaded.

Note: All entries in Playwriting and Short Film are done by virtual adjudication only, regardless of whether the student plans on attending ITF. These categories’ submissions require additional time to thoroughly adjudicate.

What You Need to Complete Your Thespy Application

Now that we know your student is eligible and you’ve selected the Thespy add-on during the ITF registration process, it’s time to complete the Thespy application for each qualified Thespy entry you have registered. The link to the application form will arrive in your ITF registration confirmation email. You will need to submit one application per Thespy entry, and you’ll use your EdTA account to login. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free by clicking on the yellow My Account button at

You’ll need the following information for each Thespy entry to complete your application:

Note that it is important to click the Save and Finalize button to complete the application for each Thespy entry. Selecting Save will save the application in the system for later completion but will not submit the entry to EdTA for scheduling.

Ready to Register?

And just like that, you’re ready for the next step of your students’ Thespy journey. Be sure to watch the video below for step-by-step instructions to complete your Thespy application with a live screen capture showing exactly what to expect. You may wish to keep this video open in a separate window during the registration process.

The Thespy® Awards are presented by

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