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Why Start a Thespian Troupe?

As an International Thespian Society troupe director, your connection to the Educational Theatre Association is more than a membership ― it’s a yearlong investment in you and in your students.

Troupe Benefits

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Community Support

As a member of EdTA and ITS, you gain access to the most engaged network of theatre educators anywhere, eager to share ideas, collaborate on problem-solving, and offer expertise. Whether through the online forum — 14,000 subscribers strong — or member-exclusives such as your online chapter community, you’ve always got a lifeline at hand.

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Student Recognition

The recognition students gain through induction into the International Thespian Society signals to colleges and employers their leadership, service, and extracurricular achievements. It gives theatre students the same validation common for sports or academic success. And it’s a valuable asset when recruiting new students to your theatre program ― giving them a distinction to strive for.

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Professional Development

Your troupe renewal comes with our Mentor Match program and full access to EdTA’s online Learning Center. Whether you’re new to the field or an expert theatre educator, the tools in the Learning Center help you navigate today’s challenges. They include 30+ interactive Click to Teach lessons, 300+ ready-to-use lesson plans, and tools to incorporate social emotional learning into your curriculum.

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Event Access

Thespian festivals provide students and teachers with unparalled learning, recognition, and engagement ― at both the chapter and international levels. Regional and national events offer Thespians a chance to compete for thousands of scholarship dollars, earn commendation through the International Thespian Excellence Awards (Thespys®), and audition for hundreds of college theatre programs.

Thespian Membership Includes:

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Thanks to Our New Troupe Sponsors

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Broadway Media logo

These companies provide discounts and gifts to new troupes following activation. Sign up today to get these and all the benefits of troupe membership!

Make Your Case for Starting a Troupe!

Planning a presentation to show the benefits of having an International Thespian Society troupe? Make your case to administrators, parents, or students using any combination of the tools and resources below.

Why Charter a Troupe?

A PowerPoint presentation outlining the benefits of ITS membership to parents, administrators, or students.

ITS Brochure

Complement your presentation with this take-home overview of ITS opportunities and benefits.

EdTA Brochure

Complement your presentation with this take-home overview of EdTA and its mission.

EdTA Mission Sheet

Complement your presentation with this overview of our vision, mission and strategies.

Need to renew your troupe membership? Visit our membership portal.

How to Activate Your Troupe

The school administration must appoint one adult to serve as the official troupe director. That person will complete the troupe activation process. Here’s a checklist to help you charter a new troupe or reinstate a lapsed troupe to active status.

  1. Confirm school eligibility.
    Public schools, private schools, charter schools, magnet schools, home school groups, virtual/online schools, youth theatre groups, theatre-only schools or academies, and professional or community theatre company educational programs are all eligible to establish troupes, so long as they serve the purpose of providing theatre education to students.

Contact our membership team if you have questions about your organization’s charter eligibility.

  1. Complete your application online.
    • Create an account or log in to an existing account.
    • Click Activate a Troupe in the left-hand menu.
    • When prompted, search for the name of your school in the Search for a School/Troupe field. If multiple troupes with the same name exist, verify you are selecting the correct record using the city and state. Select your school and click Next.
    • If the search returns no results or you know your school has no prior affiliation with ITS, check the box next to New School. Enter the information for your school and click Next.
    • When prompted, select your preferred method of payment and submit your application.

For more detailed instructions, please visit How to Use the Online Membership Portal.

If you want to notify students in advance, need help collecting student contact information, or want to collect induction fees from students, you can download the optional Thespian induction invitation sheet, give one to each eligible student, and have them return the R.S.V.P. to you.

  1. Arrange payment.
    One-time activation fee (charter or reinstatement)$100 US / $127 CAD
    Annual troupe dues$129 US / $163 CAD
    *One-time Thespian induction fee (per student, grades 9-12):$35 US / $45 CAD
    *One-time Junior Thespian induction fee (per student, grades 6-8):$17 US / $22 CAD

* Junior Thespians (grades 6-8) must be re-inducted at the Thespian level once they enter the ninth grade and have completed the additional requirements for Thespian induction. Their work as a Junior Thespian starts them off with a minimum of five of the 10 points needed for Thespian induction.

Payment and processing options are detailed in the troupe activation application process.

Questions? Contact our membership team.

Ready to go?

A Message from our Chief Membership Officer

Troupe Directors Say...

I think the value of having a Thespian troupe at your school is that it really elevates the stature of your program. It adds a level of prestige. Journalism students have Quill & Scroll, the academics have National Honor Society, and so for theatre students they have the International Thespian Society. And whether they’re going to go on to study theatre or not, it’s going to open a lot of doors for them and connect them to thousands of other students who really love doing theatre and give them that feeling of belonging that they sometimes don’t always feel because they feel like they’re part of such a small group at their own school.
Ray Palasz speaking about the benefits of an ITS troupe at the 2019 EdTA Theatre Educators Conference
Ray Palasz
Director, Troupe 2861, Munster High School, Indiana