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Maximizing Your Troupe Director Membership

Two troupe directors looking at a computer to help manage their troupe

There’s More to Membership Than Meets the Eye

When you join EdTA and charter your troupe, you’re connecting with folks who are just as passionate about theatre education as you — we’re a community of more than 2.5 million Thespian alumni, 6,200 adult members, and 5,000 Thespian troupes. And while a troupe director membership gives you the tools and platform needed to induct students into the International Thespian Society (ITS), that’s just the start.

EdTA chatted with some of our troupe directors to get their advice on how best to maximize your membership.

4 Member Benefits Troupe Director Can Access

When you join EdTA as a troupe director, you’re also getting all the benefits of a professional membership. Not sure what your membership includes? Here are four suggestions from fellow troupe directors to help get started.

1. EdTA Learning Center

As troupe directors, you’re dedicated to advancing theatre education and opportunities for your Thespians. In the day-to-day, that can mean teaching, planning, and directing your theatre season, often with the added challenge of producing resources on your own. Instead, dive into the EdTA Learning Center.

Made for theatre educators by theatre educators, the Learning Center has resources for every aspect of your job, including:

“When you’re a teacher, you’ve got limited time. If I’m doing a lesson on Greek theatre, where can I find that?” says Zach Schneider, Director at Natrona County High School Theatre. “In the Learning Center I can type in Greek theatre, and there are resources. As a teacher, that’s what’s valuable to me. I had rehearsal until 10 o’clock last night and I need something for my kids to do today.”

 

A screenshot of the search function in the EdTA Learning Center

Tip: Not sure what you need specifically? Try using the Full Site Search to find resources. Experiment with terms like acting or lighting to explore the types of resources you have access to.

2. Theatre Education Community

There may be plenty of social media platforms out there today, but how many can connect you specifically with theatre educators from around the world? That’s exactly what the Theatre Education Community gives you.

Whether you’re looking to connect with theatre educators in your area, need some advice for your cast or show, or simply want to see what other schools are doing, the community has a lot to offer. For Tracy D. Bourne, Theatre Director at On Stage Performing Arts Academy, community digest emails – which send a daily recap of recent posts and discussions – often offer new insights on shows she’s doing or planning or challenges she’s facing.

“I like to go there when I’m trying to solve a problem because I’m sure I’m not the first or last person needing to figure out how to clean the curtains, or what’s the right paint to tell my school system I want to use on the floor,” she says. “I like to use the community to see what other people have to say and get me some research other than Google. It’s good to see I’m not alone, because I have been the lone theatre teacher for such a long time.”

Tip: Explore the Open Forum! It’s our most active community and often where most conversations get started.

A group of theatre teachers networking at a conference
Theatre Educators Networking at TEC 2023

3. Event Discounts

The International Thespian Festival and Theatre Education Conference are our flagship events. They’re a celebration of school theatre, opportunities to highlight the work of your Thespians, and also an opportunity to connect with educators and enhance your skillset.

With a troupe director membership, you get discounts for both!

“Having a community of people to connect with makes a big difference in morale. So often theatre educators are the only ones in their school – sometimes their district – who teach their craft,” says Medina Demeter, Troupe Director at Hoke County High School. “Having an event where we can meet like minds, get new ideas, and rejuvenate our souls helps to ease the frustrations on our little islands for at least a little bit.”

Tip: Need help getting your Thespians inducted or registered for big events? Consider appointing an associate troupe director to help share the workload.

4. Advocacy Resources

As the leading professional association for theatre teachers, EdTA proudly serves as the voice of theatre education, ensuring that the interests and needs of theatre educators are heard and addressed through our advocacy efforts.

“Participating in Advocacy Days and Hill Day in Washington, D.C., really opened my eyes to the strength of my voice,” says Demeter. “We are capable of being heard and invoking change, but only when we are informed and have the data to convince those who don’t understand us. The Advocacy Toolkit makes it easy to take the skills I learned in D.C. home to my own district.”

However, it isn’t just about changing legislation. Our advocacy efforts and community support can help individual members with their specific “battles.”

“Because we have people getting up at school board meetings and yelling about the play we’re putting on, people want to have a community that has their backs and has dealt with it before,” Schneider says. “[Advocacy Resources] can give them a road map to anything from ‘how do I update the lighting system that I’ve had since 1985?’ to ‘I need to go talk to my principal about giving me money to do the rights to this musical or fight for my theatre class.’”

Empowering Theatre Educators Everywhere

At EdTA, we are so excited to have you as a part of our organization. Our goal is to support you in every step of your career with resources, community, and enriching programming. We understand that your challenge is a difficult one – teaching and leading Thespians. And while you already have a lot on your plate, your membership can act as a tool to free up your time or help you grow to new heights.

Whether you’re downloading lesson plans after tech rehearsal in our Learning Library, chatting up fellow educators in our online community, or coming together for the ultimate celebration of theatre arts with a discounted ticket to ITF, your troupe director membership is a resource that offers benefits beyond just inducting students.

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