We are currently upgrading our membership fulfillment service. Delivery of membership materials will be delayed through February 2023.

Close this search box.

New England Thespian Festival

Due to low registration, the New England Thespian Festival has been postposed indefinitely.
EdTA will explore moving the event to the 2023-24 school year. Stay tuned!

New England Thespian Festival 

CREC Theater of the Performing Arts 

Hartford, Connecticut 

May 12-13, 2023 

Maynard Jackson High School theatre performance

Join us for this first-ever regional Thespian festival! Students and teachers from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont will gather in Hartford to celebrate their achievements, hone their skills, learn from top industry professionals and Broadway stars, and build lasting friendships with theatre lovers from all over New England. 

A group of male students performs a song onstage.

Festival Programs 

The New England Thespian Festival will feature the following highlights: 

  • Thespy® Awards adjudication (What’s this?)
  • One-act competition 
  • Workshops 
  • Master classes 
  • Professional development for teachers 
  • College auditions 
  • Exhibitors 
  • Special guest appearances! 

Registration is open now through April 3, 2023.

Future Thespian troupes / future Thespians: You must first create a user account with us in order to register for the New England Thespian Festival. To do so, fill out this template and return it to wpho@schooltheatre.org.

Once your information has been uploaded to our system, you will be able to register for the event. Please allow 48 hours for your account to activate.



  • Inducted Thespians: $150/student 
  • Future Thespians: $200/student 
  • Troupe Fee: $150/troupe 
  • Non-Troupe School Fee: $175/school 
  • Chaperone Fee: $100/adult 
  • Adult Day Passes: $110/day 

Additional Program Fees: 

Exhibitor & College Fees: 

  • Exhibitor Fee: $500/organization  
    (includes 2 chairs and 1 table) 
  • College Fee: $250/college 
    (includes admission for 2 reps, 2 chairs, 1 table, and access to the college auditions) 
ITF18 Dear Evan audition SD 3329

Attendees shall abide by EdTA Code of Conduct, rules, and regulations.

Payment Policy
New England Thespian Festival attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees understand that full payment must be received no later than May 1, 2023. Any attendee with a balance due when checking in will be required to provide payment in full, a copy of an approved check, or a copy of an approved PO before receiving registration materials.

Confirmation Policy
The primary contact for your group will receive an email confirmation of your registration.

Cancellations & Refund Policy
Once registration is complete, no refunds will be granted. In the event that the event is cancelled, the New England Thespian Festival will do its best to refund registration fees net of committed expenses.

Substitution Policy
A registered attendee may not be substituted out of a group registration. Any additional registrants must be registered under a separate registration.

Background Check Policy
All adults participating at the New England Thespian Festival in any capacity (attendees, volunteers, chaperones, contractors, teaching artists) must consent to a background check that includes the following:

  •  A national criminal database
  • A check of the national sex offender registry

After registering for the festival, participating adults will receive an email communication from Trak-1/People Facts, an accredited background screening company, with a secure link to submit your information.

Note: This is not a credit check, and your credit report will not be impacted. Background checks must be completed no later than May 1, 2023; any attendees without completed background checks will not be allowed entry to the New England Thespian Festival 2023.

Adult Chaperone Policy
The festival requires an adult-to-student ratio of 1:8. Adult chaperones must be at least 21 years of age at the time of registration. Adult chaperones are expected to supervise and discipline minors attending with their group.

Parental Consent Policy
Parental/guardian consent is required for all minors attending the festival. Consent forms will be sent electronically to the parent/guardian email address provided during the registration process. Forms are due back to EdTA no later than May 1, 2023. Should consent forms not be submitted by this date, the student will not be able to attend the festival. No refund will be given.

Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, and Weapons Policy
EdTA has a “zero tolerance” policy on illegal and inappropriate alcohol and drug use: Violations will result in dismissal from the event.

EdTA prohibits any use of alcohol, on or off event-managed premises, that adversely affects staff or adult work performance or the safety of others.

Illegal possession, use, or distribution of alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia by event attendees, staff, or guests is a violation of local, state, and federal laws. Possession of drug paraphernalia will be treated the same as possession of illicit drugs, even if never used.

The event is hosted on a tobacco-free campus, including all indoor and outdoor areas. Use of any tobacco product is prohibited, including vaping and Juuling.

Attendees bringing any type of weapon onto campus will be sent home immediately.

Anti-Bullying Policy
Event attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees declare that they hereby acknowledge that bullying of any attendees, presenters, volunteers, exhibitors, EdTA staff, service providers, and all others is strictly prohibited and should not be tolerated. Definition of Bullying is a pattern of aggressive, intentional, or deliberately hostile behavior that occurs repeatedly and over time. Bullying behaviors normally fall into three categories: physical, emotional, and verbal, and may include, but are not limited to, intimidation; assault; extortion; verbal or written threats; teasing; name-calling; threatening looks, gestures, or actions; rumors; false accusations; social isolation; and cyber-bullying.

First Aid Policy
Students seeking medical assistance should report to the first aid station with an adult chaperone. Emergency medical forms must be submitted for a medical provider to treat any event attendees (students or adults).

Marketing Policy
Registration and attendance at, or participation in, EdTA meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees to the use and distribution of the registrant or attendees’ image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes of such events and activities by EdTA.

Privacy Policy
Adult attendees must respect the privacy of minor attendees in situations such as changing clothes and using restrooms and should intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.

Intellectual Property
Event attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees hereby assign to EdTA all copyrights and other intellectual property rights in artwork, text, music, software, video, choreography, and other types of work (“Works”) created by attendees specifically for their participation in the events or activities of Organizers. Attendees waive all rights in such Works under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 and agree to sign all further documents or instruments necessary to vest in EdTA all rights, title and interest in the aforementioned Works and intellectual property. The intellectual property rights hereby assigned to EdTA and waived by event attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees do not include rights of event attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees in works that pre-exist event attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendee’s participation in the events or activities of EdTA.

Release & Indemnification
Event attendees and/or parents/legal guardians of minor attendees release and agree to indemnify, save and hold harmless the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), its programs, Chapter and other Group Affiliates, and all respective officers, employees, agents and representatives of the aforementioned entities (each an “Organizer” and collectively the “Organizers”) from and against any and all claims, demands, causes of actions, losses, liabilities, judgments, damages, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) resulting from participating in New England Thespian Festival. Attendees shall give each Organizer prompt written notice of any claim or facts or circumstances that might give rise to any claim for indemnification.

Property Damage and Loss
Attendees are responsible to the event venue for any damage to their room or campus property. Do not remove, alter, or damage any campus property. This includes posting messages on dorm windows.

Attendees may inquire about lost and found items at registration and information.  Any items reported to lost and found will be held until registration and information closes on Friday, after which time any unclaimed items will be discarded. Neither the venue nor EdTA are responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged items.

Venue Regulations
While attending the event, you are a guest of the university. Behave graciously and respect your fellow attendees, university staff and students, and local citizens. Follow all posted rules in campus buildings — for example, no food or drink in the theatres, and no audio, video, or camera recording of performances (except for the official event photographers).

Safety And Security Policy
If there is an emergency or a crime in progress:

  1. Call 911
  2. Report the incident using the Event Safety and Security Incident Form

Students who violate safety rules may have their badge pulled by any adult chaperone who witnesses the infraction. If your badge is pulled, you must report to the Event Information Desk with your adult chaperone. Violations are divided into three categories with escalating consequences. These examples are not an exhaustive list.  EdTA determines consequences for any violation not specifically listed and reserves the right to expel any participant from the event should their actions disrupt the event or put other attendees at risk.

Minor Infractions

  • Minor property damage
  • Throwing food in cafeteria
  • Found in the vicinity of buildings not used by the event

Major Infractions
Depending on the severity of the infraction and response to the redirection or disciplinary action, an attendee may be sent home at their own expense or prohibited from participating in the remainder of the event.

  • Any action that endangers the health, safety, or well-being of others
  • Bullying, harassment, or abusive behavior
  • Causing property damage
  • Making inappropriate or disruptive posts to event-hosted social media
  • Instigating or participating in disruptive or disrespectful audience behavior during a performance
  • Willfully setting off a false emergency alarm

Immediate Removal
Attendees caught in these activities are sent home right away at their own expense.

  • Using or in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Using or in possession of tobacco, vaping, or Juuling products
  • Using or in possession of alcohol, firearms, or weapons
  • Any adult in any student’s room with door closed — for any reason

If three or more students under the supervision of the same troupe director or chaperone are required to meet with the safety and security team, then the adult may not be permitted to participate the following year.

EdTA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all event participants. All participants, including but not limited to attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, EdTA staff, service providers, and all others, are expected to abide by EdTA’s Code of Conduct. This policy applies to all EdTA meeting-related events, including those sponsored by organizations other than EdTA but held in conjunction with EdTA events, on public or private platforms, in-person or online. 

EdTA has zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment by participants or our staff at our meetings. If you experience harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, EdTA asks that you inform Brian Monk, Chief Operating Officer, so that we can take the appropriate action.  

  • Act well your part. 
    EdTA events engage participants with a wide range of beliefs and ideas about the subjects they are discussing. We encourage an open dialogue but require that participants remain courteous and respectful at all times.  
  • There are no small parts. 
    Everyone is essential during an event. Engage, participate, and encourage others to do the same.  
  • Know your audience. 
    This is an event that connects students, teachers, and people passionate about the arts. Just as you would in any educational environment, refrain from sharing inappropriate content.  
  • YES and… 
    This event is meant to be a positive experience for anyone who chooses to participate. Think before you speak. Ask yourself: Is it necessary? Is it kind? Is it true?  
  • We take reports seriously. 
    If you see any unacceptable behavior*, please notify report issues here. Your report will remain anonymous, as will the actions we have taken.  
  • All the world’s a stage. 
    Whether an event is online or in-person, you always have an audience. Respect the privacy of others. The Educational Theatre Association is not responsible for any consequences you experience resulting from anything you have posted online during an event. Please refrain from using any information that would lead to exposing your personal identify (e.g., last name, email address, or other personal information).  
  • Respect copyright laws. 
    If it’s not yours, get permission before you share, or cite the necessary sources. 

* Unacceptable behavior is defined as:   

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.  
  • Verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, EdTA staff, service provider, or other event guest.  
  • Examples of verbal abuse include but are not limited to: verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, and/or national origin; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations; or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, EdTA staff, service provider, or other event guest.  
  • Disruption of presentations during sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other activites organized by EdTA throughout the event. All participants must comply with the instructions of the moderator and any EdTA event staff.  
  • Presentations, postings, and messages should not contain promotional materials, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or solicitation for services. EdTA reserves the right to remove such messages and potentially ban sources of those solicitations.  
  • Participants should not copy or take screenshots of written Q&A or any chat room/mobile app activity that takes place during the event. 

EdTA reserves the right to take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the activity, event, or meeting without warning or refund, in response to any incident of unacceptable behavior, and EdTA reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future online or in-person activity, event, or meeting.