June 20-24, 2022
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Frequently Asked Questions

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  

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

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

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

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

  • because 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. 

Yes! We have a number of unique sponsorship and exhibit opportunities available. For more information, contact Angel Wuellner at

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 to earn Thespian induction. 

The Professional Development Intensives are offered 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. 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.  In addition, 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.

Workshop proposals can be submitted online from December 15, 2021 through February 15, 2022.  Selected presenters will be notified by March 15, 2022.

2. Health and Safety

Protecting the health and safety of all ITF attendees is our top priority. As such, ITF will require that all attendees be fully vaccinated (vaccine date plus two weeks). This policy is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy for Pediatrics, as well as the policy of our host college, Indiana University, requiring that all students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated. The ITF policy is also consistent with reopening practices and guidelines enacted by the Actors’ Equity Association and producers of Broadway and touring productions. 

Exemptions will be considered only for those who cannot receive a vaccine due to certain medical conditions. Please email and ask to speak with our staff about your specific situation. 

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. 

Currently, IU’s Auditorium requires all theatregoers wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. Each ITF attendee will receive a mask. 

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

Yes! Please email for an official letter you can supply to your administration.

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 have gender-neutral bathrooms. We are more than happy to work with any attendee to address specific concerns. Please email with any questions.

3. 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 will happen remotely/digitally: Our goal is 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 them in their schools. To ensure that all attendees are fully informed, all main stage shows featuring mature content are noted as such. 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, in addition to everyone on campus being vaccinated, IU’s policy requires all audience members to be masked inside its theatres, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks are required for all crew members, as well as for anyone who is onstage that isn’t using a microphone (e.g., during an awards presentation, trophy attendants would need to be masked whereas a speaker at a podium would not). Performers do not need to be masked when onstage but will need to be masked backstage before entering and after exiting. 

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 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: 

ITF 2022 will showcase 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 for details. 

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

We anticipate that ITF 2022 will include a Play Commission and Musical Commission, pending 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. 

5. Thespy® Awards

The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespy® Awards for short (formerly 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

6. 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 OpenWater.   

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


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. Registration

Standard online registration will open in January 2022 and close May 11, 2022. Registration for the Thespys, College Auditions, 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, or the Tech Challenge during this time.  

The deadline to submit materials for Thespy® and college auditions is June 1, 2022. 

Registration fees will be announced in the fall of 2021. 

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 seven 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 15, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns, please email

All ITF attendees who are under the age of 18 at the time of the event must have parent/guardian consent forms on file. During registration, you will be asked to provide a parent/guardian email address for all attendees under 18 years of age. The parents/guardians will receive an email within seven business days with instructions to complete the consent forms. 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 parent/guardian consent forms is June 15, 2022. Any attendees whose parent/guardian has not submitted a consent form by this date will be contacted. If you have any questions or concerns, please email

9. Payments

We accept the following payment methods:  

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

If you have a purchase order for your registration you must still pay the balance via credit card or check by June 15, 2022.  


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

Yes! Watch for more information on financial assistance when the grant cycle for the 2021-22 school year opens this fall. 

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 Direct questions about the Thespy® Awards to

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 Direct questions about the Thespy Awards to

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