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Update: Eleven Schools Invited to Perform on Main Stage at International Thespian Festival

Thespians singing on stage at the International Thespian Festival

Three additional schools* have been invited to perform on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival (ITF), the nation’s leading high school theatre festival, which is produced by the Educational Theatre Association. They join eight announced earlier this year. (Complete list below.)

ITF celebrates student achievement in the performing arts. The 55th event, which this year takes place June 25-30 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, brings together more than 4,000 high school drama students and their teachers for a weeklong immersion in workshops;  interaction with colleges, industry leaders, and Broadway professionals; and opportunities to be inspired by the best high school theatre in the nation.

The highly coveted invitation signals achievement of superior work in theatre according to EdTA’s Director of Educational Programs Nancy Brown. “It is a real honor,” she explains, “because we send screening teams out all across the U.S. and Canada during the school year and only 11 schools will be selected to present their shows on the main stage.  These Thespian troupes have earned a slot among those honored few.”

Additional schools will be honored with invitations to perform on other stages, such as the Chapter Select Showcase during the week.

“A main stage performance at ITF also can be a real boost for the play itself,” adds EdTA’s Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald. For example, Almost Maine took off after it was performed on the main stage at ITF. In fact, according to EdTA’s annual Play Survey, for the last two years it has been the most-produced high school show in America.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin
Director: Shawn Hann
Denver School of the Arts, Troupe 5869
Denver, Colorado

Bright Star
 by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Director: Tara Whitman
West Orange High School, Troupe 1983
Winter Garden, Florida

Big Fish* 
by John August and Andrew Lippa
Director: LaDonna Wilson
Illinois All-State Cast & Crew
Director’s School: Champaign Central High School, Troupe 5981
Champaign, Illinois

Disney’s Newsies
 by Harvey Fierstein, Alan Menken, and Jack Feldman
Director: Robbie Steiner
Floyd Central High School, Troupe 1794
Floyds Knobs, Indiana

 by Stephen Gregg
Director: David Hastings
Olathe South High School, Troupe 5006
Olathe, Kansas

One Man, Two Guvnors
 by Richard Bean
Director: Jeremy Riggs
Blue Valley North High School, Troupe 4151
Overland Park, Kansas

Celtic Tales* 
adapted by Leslie Coats
Director: Leslie Coats
Paola High School, Troupe 66
Paola, Kansas

rinetown by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann
Director: Greg Shaw
Pittsburg High School, Troupe 3149
Pittsburg, Kansas

Silent Sky
 by Lauren Gunderson
Director: Kristi Jacobs-Stanley
Mt. Carmel Academy, Troupe 2075
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Maurice Valency
Troupe Director: Tony Matthes; Show Director: John Reidlinger
Edina High School, Troupe 1539
Edina, Minnesota

Freaky Friday* 
by Bridget Carpenter, Tom Kitt, and Brian Yorkey
Director: Holly Stanfield
Bradford High School, Troupe 4982
Kenosha, Wisconsin


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