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Frequently Asked Questions

ITF Q&A Forum

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1. General Information

The International Thespian Festival is the ultimate celebration of school theatre. For one week every summer, Thespians and other theatre fans from around the globe gather for the best performances, interactive workshops led by top teaching artists, and auditions with premier colleges and universities in a community-centered experience like no other. Plus, Thespians have the option to showcase their talents in the Thespy® Awards program, earning valuable recognition and feedback for their work on an international level.


ITF is especially for:  

  • Thespians, Junior Thespians, and their troupe directors  

  • Theatre students (grade 6-12) who want to experience the best shows and workshops (chaperones required)  

  • Theatre teachers who want to give their students a once-in-a-lifetime experience and earn professional development hours  

  • College representatives eager to meet talent for their programs  

  • Industry representatives who serve the school theatre market 


You should attend ITF because...  

  • you love theatre and want to celebrate the efforts of students in the world of educational theatre  

  • you want your students to bond with peers in their areas of interest and learn from one another  

  • you want to expose your students to renowned collegiate theatre programs where they can continue their education  

  • you want to take part in PDIs and workshops from industry professionals that allow you to expand your theatre skills  

  • you want to earn international recognition for the hard work you and your Thespians put into your training and productions  

  • you want to explore the latest theatre technology, resources, and licensing materials  

  • it’s FUN! 


ITF will be held June 20-24, 2022. 


ITF will be held on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington in Bloomington, Indiana. 

We wish to acknowledge and honor the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people, on whose ancestral homelands and resources Indiana University Bloomington is built.


Yes! We have a number of unique sponsorship and exhibit opportunities available. Or for more information, contact Angel Wuellner at awuellner@schooltheatre.org.


EdTA anticipates returning to in-person events beginning in 2022, provided social distancing requirements of future meeting locations allow for in-person events. 
 
ITF is traditionally held the last full week of June and will be held on campus at Indiana University Bloomington in Bloomington, IN the following dates: 
 
June 20 - 24, 2022 
June 19 - 23, 2023 
June 24 - 28, 2024 
June 23 - 27, 2025 


Absolutely! If you are working toward your Thespian induction, participating in ITF is a great way to earn points. In general, you can earn one point per day attended. Troupe directors have discretion over the actual points awarded, so talk to your teacher about how to earn the maximum points possible from your participation. You may need to demonstrate which workshops you attended, for example, or new things that you learned as a result of attending. 
 
Download our handy points sheet for more ideas on how to earn Thespian induction. 


The Professional Development Intensives are offered specifically for teachers in addition to the workshops at ITF as a series of three courses providing a deep dive into selected topics. Each course is three hours in length, totaling nine hours of instructions. All available for one price. College credit is available. To participate, choose this add-on when you register for ITF.  


All attendees will receive a certificate of participation for attending ITF. Because of EdTA’s stature and reputation for high-quality professional learning experiences, many school districts accept these for professional development credit. Please check with your administration to find out whether your attendance will be accepted for continuing education or professional development credit. 

In addition, three Professional Development Intensives are being offered as an ITF add-on for an additional registration fee. All PDI attendees will receive a certificate of completion.  EdTA partners with an institute of higher education to offer graduate credit for these sessions.  

Certificates of Participation Will Be Available After ITF. You'll receive an email from us after ITF with clear instructions on how to access your Certificates of Participation. 


EdTA seeks proposals in theatre and technical theatre which reflect a broad spectrum of standards-based learning covering all five of the theatre framework categories (acting, producing/directing, designing, writing, and dramaturgy) and which model best thinking in the field, informed by theory, experience, and practice.

The submission period for workshop proposals for EdTA's 2022 events has ended. (Submissions were accepted between December 15, 2021 and February 15, 2022. Selected presenters were notified by April 1, 2022.)


Several volunteer opportunities are available. All volunteers must submit to a background check. Volunteer positions include:

  • Safety & Security volunteers will partner with EdTA staff to ensure safety and the enforcement of policies at ITF.
    • Security Chair (up to 6)
    • Floor Captain (75+)
Refer to the volunteer application for more information about open positions.


 


There will not be a student leadership training session on site at ITF. Instead, the Student Leadership Summit will be held virtually on June 11-12, 2022. Additional information will be provided as soon as possible.


2. Health and Safety

The EdTA staff and board of directors look forward to welcoming you back to the International Thespian Festival (ITF) at our new home on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. The health and safety of our attendees and event staff will drive all in-person event decisions and will comply with current guidance and restrictions from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Indiana Department of Health (IDOH), local governments, and Indiana University policy. View our COVID-19 Health and Safety guidelines


ITF can only make exemptions for certain medical conditions. View the exemption policy.


Indiana University theatres and other venues are currently operating at full capacity. Because of the vaccination requirement, we do not anticipate a need to limit capacity in theatres, classrooms, dorms, and dining halls — but we will be required to follow the university’s rules for large events, which may change by the dates of ITF. 

In addition, many event processes, including registration check-in and theatre ticketing, will go paperless to limit one-to-one contact. 


Yes! Please email events@schooltheatre.org for an official letter you can supply to your administration.


All in-person attendees must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to arriving in Bloomington, Indiana.

All attendees are required to be up to date with their vaccinations per the definition on the CDC's website as of May 11, 2022. They must provide proof of vaccination via VaccineCheck prior to arrival on campus. Registrants can expect to receive an email from VaccineCheck after May 11, 2022. The email will come from support@vaccinecheck.us and will include instructions on how to upload their proof of vaccination. The HIPAA compliant VaccineCheck Verification program works directly with health departments to confirm vaccination status.

ITF can only make exemptions for certain medical conditions. View the exemption policy.

The deadline to submit consent forms is June 10, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns, please email events@schooltheatre.org.


Please review the COVID-19 policies and guidelines carefully before registering, as these policies are non-negotiable. An online experience is available to anyone uncomfortable with our protocols. 

We understand that restrictions may change. In the event that you are no longer able to attend ITF due to COVID-19 restrictions, please email events@schooltheatre.org by June 20, 2022 to transfer your registration to ITF 2023.

Full refunds, less a $100 administrative fee per attendee, will be issued for any cancellation requests submitted via email to events@schooltheatre.org by May 11, 2022. Cancellation received after that date will receive a refund, less a $400 administrative fee per attendee. No cancellation refunds will be issued for no-shows. Exceptions will be considered for COVID-19 travel restrictions. 


We understand that circumstances may change, and health is a priority. If an attendee tests positive within one week of the start of the event (between June 13 and June 19, 2022), they will have two options with regard to their registration: they may defer their registration to ITF 2023 OR they may receive a full refund less a $100 administration fee.

In the event that you test positive within that time frame, please email events@schooltheatre.org and provide a copy of your positive PCR test results. No cancellation refunds will be issued for no-shows.


We will have ASL interpreters and live captioning for general sessions, performances, and our online experience.  Please email events@schooltheatre.org if you have any other accessibility requests.


Promoting an inclusive environment is a top priority at ITF. Pronouns can be indicated during the registration process for all attendees, and if shared, they will be included on the official ITF name badges. Housing accommodations will be made in the dorms if requested and dorms and many public buildings on campus have gender-neutral bathrooms. View a map of all-gender restrooms on the IU Campus. We are more than happy to work with any attendee to address specific concerns. Please email events@schooltheatre.org with any questions.


The use of service animals such as guide dogs is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). With a few exceptions (due to health and safety concerns), service dogs are permitted anywhere the handler is permitted on the IU Bloomington campus.

The use of emotional support animals is not covered under the ADA. Emotional support animals are permitted on campus only with prior approval in the residence halls.

For attendees staying on campus, troupe directors and chaperones will be asked to include service animals in the On-Campus Housing form completed after registration is submitted.


Accessible parking can be found in a number of places across campus. Please refer to this interactive map for specific locations and details. 


Students attending with their troupe (not chaperoned by a parent or other relative) should follow their school’s policies for carrying and administering medications. Chaperones and/or parents of students who normally take required medications outside of the school day should check with administration to ensure the necessary forms and protocols are in place prior to ITF.

For students who are attending ITF separately from a Thespian troupe, parents and/or adults acting as chaperones are responsible for their own students’ medications.


3. Registration

Standard online registration will open in January 2022 and close May 11, 2022. Registration for the Thespys, College Auditions, PDIs, and Tech Challenge add-ons closes May 11, 2022

The late registration window is from May 11 through June 1, 2022 and there will be an additional charge of $200 per attendee. You will not be able to register for Thespys, College Auditions, PDIs, or the Tech Challenge during this time.  

The deadline to submit materials for Thespys and college auditions is June 1, 2022


A complete list of registration fees can be found on the Registration Fees page of this website. 


All ITF attendees who are 18 or older at the time of the event must complete a background check. After registering for ITF, you will receive an email from Trak-1/PeopleFacts within 7-10 business days that includes instructions on how to complete the process. Note: This email will not come from EdTA, and this is not a credit check. After you complete the instructions in the email and submit your information, no further action is needed. EdTA will reach out to you if an issue is flagged. You can sign up to have the results of the background check mailed to you. The deadline to complete your background check for ITF 2022 is June 10, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns, please email events@schooltheatre.org.


All ITF attendees must have completed consent forms on file.   

Attendees 18 and older
Any attendee 18 or older will receive an email within 7-10 business days with instructions to complete the consent form. Once the form has been submitted to EdTA, the attendee will receive a confirmation email, and no further action is needed.

Attendees under 18
During registration, you will be asked to provide a parent/guardian email address for all attendees under 18 years of age. Parents/guardians will receive an email to the address provided within 7-10 business days with instructions to complete the consent form. Once the form has been submitted to EdTA, the parent/guardian will receive a confirmation email, and no further action is needed.

The deadline to submit consent forms is June 10, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns, please email events@schooltheatre.org.


Students who are not part of a troupe and wish to attend ITF must attend with an adult chaperone.  Chaperones must complete the registration form for themselves and any students they will be chaperoning.


Once you’ve completed the online registration form, you’ll receive a confirmation email from events@schooltheatre.org. A valid email address is required to receive your confirmation email. 
 
IMPORTANT: If you don't receive a confirmation, search your mailbox and check your junk folder first. Many school firewalls block external emails, especially to students. If you have registered with a school email address and don't receive a confirmation email, please contact events@schooltheatre.org for assistance.


If you need to make changes to your online registration, you can do so by logging in to the Attendee Service Center using the login credentials in your confirmation email. In the Attendee Service Center, attendees can manage their individual registration and Troupe Directors/Group Chaperones can manage their group registration. 

If you need to make changes to your registration after May 11, please email events@schooltheatre.org. The deadline to make changes is June 1, 2022.


If you need to add fees for an attendee that is already registered or substitute an attendee that is already registered, you can do so by logging in to the Attendee Service Center using the login credentials in your confirmation email. In the Attendee Service Center, Troupe Directors/Group Chaperones can manage their group registration. There is no charge to add or substitute students prior to May 11, 2022.

If you need to modify your registration after May 11, please email events@schooltheatre.org. Any modifications made after May 11 will incur a $15 fee per change. No modifications can be made to registrations beginning June 1, 2022.

Cancellation requests can be submitted via email to events@schooltheatre.org. Full refunds, less a $100 administrative fee per attendee, will be issued for any cancellations before May 11, 2022. Cancellation requests received after that date will receive a refund, less a $400 administrative fee per attendee. No cancellation refunds will be issued for no-shows. Exceptions will be considered for COVID-19 travel restrictions. 


If you need to modify your registration after it's confirmed, you can do so by logging in to the Attendee Service Center using the login credentials in your confirmation email. In the Attendee Service Center, attendees can manage their individual registration prior to May 11, 2022.

If you need to modify your registration after May 11, please email events@schooltheatre.org. Any modifications made after May 11 will incur a $15 fee per change. No modifications can be made to registrations beginning June 1, 2022.

Cancellation requests can be submitted via email to events@schooltheatre.org. Full refunds, less a $100 administrative fee per attendee, will be issued for any cancellations before May 11, 2022. Cancellation requests received after that date will receive a refund, less a $400 administrative fee per attendee. No cancellation refunds will be issued for no-shows. Exceptions will be considered for COVID-19 travel restrictions. 


Yes. All registered attendees should receive a confirmation email shortly after the registration form is submitted. 

In addition, attendees will receive the following information shortly after registering for ITF:  

  • Parent/Guardian Consent form for anyone under 18 or Background Check form for anyone over 18 

  • VaccineCheck request for proof of COVID vaccination
  • Balance Due reminders 

  • Housing assignment instructions (to troupe directors/group chaperones)   

  • Thespys and college auditions instruction and reminder emails (to attendees who registered to participate in these activities)  
     

If you don't remember receiving these, please search your mailbox and check your junk/spam folders before contacting us.  
 
IMPORTANT: Many school firewalls block external emails, especially to students. If you are not receiving emails about ITF, this may be the reason why. If you have registered with a school email address and are not receiving emails from us, please contact events@schooltheatre.org for assistance.


Those add-ons are only available to members, so if you didn't see those options during registration, you were most likely registering as a non-member. If you have not yet completed registration, make sure your myedta.schooltheatre.org account is up to date and that you entered the correct email address in the registration search box. If you completed registration already and this was an error, please email events@schooltheatre.org for assistance. 


Students may attend ITF as part of a Thespian troupe or individually with a parent/guardian chaperone. All chaperones must be registered and consent to a background check, whether staying on campus or off site in a hotel, regardless of their relationship to any students they might be accompanying (i.e. a parent staying off site must still complete a background check). Registration must be completed by the parent/guardian chaperone.

As a chaperone, your registration selection depends on the registration type of the student you will be chaperoning. 

If the student(s) you are chaperoning will be staying on campus, then you must also stay on campus for the duration of the event. Both the student(s) and chaperone must register for an All-Access Pass.

If the student(s) you are chaperoning will be staying off campus, then you must also stay off campus. The student(s) must register for an Activities-Only Pass. Chaperones can register for either an Activities-Only Pass or a Chaperone Pass, depending on the level of access the chaperone desires during ITF.

  • Activities-Only Pass: Includes access to all ITF activities except late night events in dorms. Does not include housing or meal plan.
  • Chaperone Pass: Includes access to Exhibitor Hall, Opening Ceremony, and Thespy Showcase. Does not include access to other ITF activities, housing, or meal plan.


4. Housing

Once you registration has been submitted, you can view your housing information using the Hotels & Housing link within either the Attendee Service Center or Troupe Director Service center.

This is where you will make housing assignments or hotel reservations or review existing housing/hotel information.  


Single Occupancy rooms are reserved for adult All-Access Pass registrants who wish to room individually or do not have a pre-determined adult roommate within their registration group.

Adult registrants should only opt for the All-Access Pass (Double Occupancy) registration if they have a pre-determined adult roommate within their group registration. Unpaired adults will not be assigned a roommate and should register for a Single Occupancy room.

All students must be paired with a roommate unless a specific request is made, which may incur an additional fee. If a troupe is bringing an odd number of students, the unpaired student will be assigned a roommate from another troupe with an unpaired student. 


To receive ITF-negotiated rates at the official host hotels below, attendees who select the Activities-Only Pass during registration must make reservations during registration or via the Attendee Service Center or Troupe Director Service Center after registration. Please do not contact the hotels directly to make reservations. The last day to book a room at the group rate is May 17, 2022. Note: Residence hall meal plans are not available for attendees staying at hotels.


5. Payments

We accept the following payment methods:  

  • Credit Card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa)  
  • Check


Click here to download a completed W-9 form for the 2021-2022 program year. 


If your organization requires a quote for purchase orders, please email events@schooltheatre.org for complete instructions on requesting a quote. The deadline to request a quote is May 11, 2022.


After completing registration if you need a copy of your invoice in order to make a payment, log into the Attendee Service Center (login credentials are in your registration confirmation email). Select either “Make an Individual Payment” if you need your individual invoice, or “Make a Group Payment” if you need an invoice for all of the attendees in your group. Then scroll down and select "View/Print My Invoice" at the bottom of the page.


To pay your balance, log into the Attendee Service Center (login credentials are in your registration confirmation email). Select either “Make an Individual Payment” to pay for your registration only, or “Make a Group Payment” to pay for all of the attendees in your group. You can then enter your credit card information, or mail a check with a copy of your invoice to:  

International Thespian Festival  
PO Box 7410258 
Chicago, IL 60674-0258  

All registration fees must be paid in full no later than June 10, 2022. Any registrations with balances due (including those with a purchase order) by that date will be cancelled with no refund.


Full refunds, less a $100 administrative fee per attendee, will be issued for any cancellation requests submitted via email to events@schooltheatre.org by May 11, 2022. Cancellation requests received after that date will receive a refund, less a $400 administrative fee per attendee. No cancellation refunds will be issued for no-shows. Exceptions will be considered for COVID-19 travel restrictions.  

Registration transfers or substitutions can be made prior to May 11, 2022 in the Attendee Service Center. Substitution requests after May 11 must be submitted to events@schooltheatre.org and will incur a $15 fee per substitution. No substitutions will be accepted after June 1, 2022. The individual submitting the substitution request is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with that substitution. 


Yes! International Thespian Festival grants are available for troupes as part of our annual grant cycle. View more information on grants. 

Keep checking this page, as more information will be added about the event as details are confirmed. If you need help with a question not answered here, contact events@schooltheatre.org. Direct questions about the Thespy Awards to thespys@schooltheatre.org


6. Performances

Any Thespian troupe can submit its production to be considered for the ITF main stage. Each director who applies will receive an adjudication for educational purposes. For ITF 2022, adjudications happened remotely/digitally. Our goal was to make the process accessible to the most troupes and to mitigate health risks involved with adjudicator travel. Eight shows will be invited to participate. View the full Main Stage Guide.

A team of theatre educators, professionals, and EdTA staff form the main stage adjudication committee for ITF. Productions are scored against rubrics that highlight skill sets and standards for educational theatrical productions, and robust feedback is given as part of the educational process. Review our selection process


At the end of the day, art is subjective. Our scoring rubrics attempt to level the playing field on some common components of theatrical productions, but each viewer’s perception of what they see will be affected by all the experiences — lived and artistic — they have encountered before they see the show. One person may like a particular production, but another person may not — art is not an exact science. 

Each production has strengths and weaknesses, and our adjudicators must weigh many factors earnestly and at great length when selecting a Main Stage lineup. Sometimes mitigating circumstances — like timing or travel expenses — can affect which shows end up on the ITF Main Stage. Rest assured that all selected shows have shown exceptional artistic merit and are worthy of sharing with other Thespians for that reason. 


What constitutes mature content varies widely among school districts and communities. EdTA will never tell ITF audiences what they can and cannot watch, understanding that some people are uncomfortable watching mature content and/or that they would not be allowed to view such content in their schools. To ensure that all attendees are fully informed, all Main Stage shows featuring mature content are noted as such in the schedule. With the schedule published in advance, attendees can decide whether to see the performance in question, attend another show, or choose a different activity. The full schedule is posted before ITF begins to allow audience members to make choices about which shows to see. 


To respect the policies of our host school, we plan on following the masking policy at Indiana University in force at the time of the festival. Currently, everyone on campus must be vaccinated, but IU’s policy does not require audience members to be masked inside its theatres. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this website with the most current information available. 


While the goal is to showcase high-quality educational theatre, we understand that sometimes students have deep learning experiences by working closely with adult professionals in a given theatrical field. Therefore, if adult pit musicians or running crew were utilized during the adjudicated production, a troupe may bring them to ITF to fulfill those roles during the Main Stage performances. 

For the safety of our attendees, any adult associated with the production must register for ITF and consent to a background check to gain access to the performance venue(s). Troupe directors will receive discount codes to waive registration fees for any adult pit musicians or running crew associated with their productions. If any of these adults are also serving as chaperones or attending other events at the festival, they must be pay the adult registration fee or they will not be allowed on site outside of the Main Stage setup, performances, and strike. 

Troupes selected for the Main Stage can communicate any unique needs to our Events team after they receive their invitation to perform at ITF. 


Please complete the adjudicator application here: https://edta.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/166/home 


ITF 2022 will invite at least 20 outstanding one-acts nominated by their chapters. Chapter directors must submit their recommendations to EdTA by April 1, 2022. Slots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the application and submission details


The former Playworks competition is now the Playwriting category of the Thespy® Awards. As before, any student writer may submit a script, and the winners will work with directors and casts to develop their plays and present staged readings at ITF. As part of the Thespys, all students who enter will receive an adjudication of their work. See Thespys.org for details. 

Musicalworks, Criticworks, and Filmworks will not happen at ITF; filmmaking students can participate in the short film categories of the Thespy Awards.  

ITF 2022 will include a Play Commission and Musical Commission thanks to financial support from our sponsors. 


Students are invited to audition for staged readings that will take place during ITF. These are great opportunities for students to learn firsthand how new works are developed for the stage. The Tech Challenge allows technicians to show off their skills. 


7. College Auditions and Scholarships

The unified college audition program is open only to inducted Thespians who are in the class of 2023. At ITF, you’ll have the opportunity to audition for more than 60 colleges and universities, and even set up one-on-one appointments during the college fair. You must purchase the audition add-on during registration by May 11, 2022, and submit your audition materials by June 1, 2022. Attendees who have registered for college auditions will receive an email with instructions on how to submit their audition application via our online submission platform, OpenWater.   

All students will be welcome to visit the booths and speak to representatives at our college fair in the exhibit hall. 

 


If pursuing college admission and scholarships for theatre is your dream, ITF is a great place to make it happen. 
 
Juniors can participate in college auditions for the chance to wow reps from 60+ college theatre programs nationwide. Colleges who attend ITF award admission and scholarships to ITF attendees each year. 
 
Thespians can earn scholarships through the Thespy Awards program. Top-scoring participants at the international level will be automatically eligible for nearly $40,000 in Grace Kelly Scholarships and the Amy Bennett Musical Theatre Scholarship. Those eligible will participate in an interview process to determine the winners. 
 
If you do not qualify for the Thespys, EdTA offers several merit-based scholarships. Learn more about other EdTA scholarship opportunities


8. Thespy® Awards

The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespy® Awards for short (formerly known as National Individual Events), recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre performance and technical theatre. To participate at ITF, students must first earn an overall Superior score at a qualifying event, and then the Thespys Participation Fee must be added to their ITF registration. 

Qualifiers who earn the top Superior scores in their categories at ITF earn Thespy Awards. Learn more about the Thespys


Within a week of registering for ITF, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to submit your Thespy(s) via our online submission platform, OpenWater. The submission deadline is June 1, 2022. Please email thespys@schooltheatre.org with any questions or concerns. 


Keep checking this page, as we will add more information about the event as details are confirmed. If you need help with a question not answered here, contact events@schooltheatre.org. Direct questions about the Thespy Awards to thespys@schooltheatre.org.

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