Main Stage Production Guide
Revised August 2021
Table of Contents
- Adjudication Fee & Payment
- Important Dates
- Submission Requirements
- Adjudication Process
- Selection Process
- Production Requirements
- ITF Main Stage Specifications
- Safety Guidelines
There is nothing like the thrill of performing for thousands of fellow Thespians, and the 2022 International Thespian Festival main stage is where your troupe can do just that!
During the 2021-2022 academic year, Thespian troupes may have one of their full-length productions (a play or a musical) adjudicated for constructive feedback and the chance to be invited to perform on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival. Adjudications will be done virtually, and up to eight high-scoring troupes will be selected to bring their full productions to the campus of Indiana University to share with the world.
NEW! Troupes interested in only receiving feedback for educational purposes may opt out of the consideration for the ITF main stage. Simply indicate so by checking the “feedback only” box on the application form. The adjudication fee still applies.
NOTE: To give as many schools as possible the chance to perform at ITF, troupes selected to perform on the main stage are not eligible to perform in the Chapter Select Showcase.
Due to the ongoing complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, two previous policies will not apply for the 2021-2022 school year:
- Main stage selection will not be divided into fall and spring seasons (with proportional slots allotted for productions in each window).
- All directors are welcome to submit an application, regardless of when they last brought a show to the main stage.
Adjudication Fee & Payment
A $249 (USD) non-refundable adjudication fee is required per submission. Each troupe may only submit one production to be adjudicated per academic year. To submit a production for adjudication, please complete the Main Stage Production Application by November 1, 2021. Invoices will be sent after the application deadline and must be paid in full by December 31, 2021.
Refunds will not be issued for adjudication fees. (Exceptions may be made should the production be canceled or rescheduled due to complications from COVID-19.)
|November 1, 2021
|October 21, 2021
||Troupes invoiced adjudication fee
|December 31, 2021
||Adjudication fee due
|January 8, 2022
||Fall productions notified
|March 1, 2022
||Video submissions due*
|March 15, 2022
||Feedback given to directors (if not before); invitations sent to selected troupes
|April 1, 2022
||Main stage lineup announced; once EdTA announces full lineup, schools/troupes may announce publicly.
|May 11, 2022
||Deadline for troupes to register for ITF 2022.
* Directors must submit a video for adjudication within two weeks of the final performance date of their production, or by March 1, 2022 – whichever comes first. Any video submissions received after the March 1 deadline will be screened for feedback but will not be considered for the ITF 2022 main stage lineup. No refunds will be given for late video submissions.
Both the application and adjudication process will be conducted via EdTA’s private online submission platform, OpenWater. Productions will be screened digitally by uploading video submissions to a secure video hosting platform, such as Vimeo or YouTube, selecting the appropriate privacy settings, and providing the URL to EdTA in OpenWater for adjudication. It is a violation of your licensing agreement to make the video publicly available for viewing without express written consent from the rights holder
. Productions are not to exceed a 2.5-hour running time, including intermission.
Two types of productions will be considered for the ITF 2022 main stage:
- Live productions (traditional in-person performances)
- Hybrid/video-enhanced productions (prerecorded to accommodate virtual productions)
— Defined as an onstage, in-person play or musical, the video submission for a live production should be of one continuous performance. Multi-camera format is acceptable (for close-ups and wide angles) so long as all the shots are of the same continuous performance with no post-production video editing to enhance any aspect of the live production. Any video editing will result in a disqualification for consideration for the in-person main stage at ITF 2022.
HYBRID/VIDEO-ENHANCED PRODUCTION — Defined as a production in which scenes are edited together using prerecorded student performance videos and/or video enhancements, such as animations, b-roll, etc., into a final creative product that combines elements of theatre and film. This category includes prerecorded virtual performances, online performances, and digital performances with video special effects or enhancements with appropriate licensing rights.
For the 2021-2022 school year, all productions will be adjudicated virtually. Adjudications will occur as video submissions are received. An EdTA staff member will assign adjudicators to screen production based on availability.
A panel of three adjudicators will evaluate assigned productions based on the main stage adjudication rubrics for musicals and/or plays, respectively, depending on the genre of the production. The full rubric, an overall score, and written feedback from the adjudicators will be shared with each director via OpenWater once the adjudication is complete.
Adjudicators are required to disclose any conflicts of interest prior to screening a production. Adjudicators will not be assigned to screen a production should any of the following conflicts of interest arise:
- The adjudicator and/or their troupe is also submitting a production for consideration.
- The production to be adjudicated is from the adjudicator’s home state and/or chapter.
- Any other conflicts of interest the adjudicator wishes to disclose to EdTA.
Education is a central part of the screening process. Adjudicators will use an evaluation form designed to provide ample feedback to directors and students involved with the production.
Download the Musical Rubric (PDF)
Download the Play Rubric (PDF)
Up to eight live productions will be selected for the in-person ITF 2022 main stage lineup. Up to six hybrid/video-enhanced productions will be selected for the ITF 2022 hybrid experience. The final lineup will depend on the number and types of productions submitted.
Productions will be selected for the ITF main stage based on the following factors:
- Achieving among the highest scores according to the main stage adjudication rubric.
- Promoting diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency in the cast, crew, director, playwright, and/or the subject matter of the work.
- If top-scoring productions lack representation for underserved populations and artists, other high-scoring productions that do represent these communities may be selected instead to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion on the main stage.
- Creating a well-rounded main stage lineup that provides variety for festival attendees and fits the themes and needs of the event (a.k.a. “producer’s choice”). For example:
- Two productions of the same show might not be chosen even if they are both among the top scorers to provide variety in title selection.
- If the top-scoring productions are all musicals, high scoring plays may be selected to provide variety of genre.
The production presented at ITF – whether in-person or online – must be substantially the same production presented for adjudication.
- If the production submitted for adjudication included live musicians, the production presented at ITF must bring live musicians.
- Concert versions may not be substituted for full-scale productions if the adjudicated performance was a full-scale production.
- Any changes to casting (emergency or otherwise) must be submitted and approved by the EdTA staff prior to the event. NOTE: Exceptions will be considered for incidents involving COVID-19 and corresponding restrictions.
Live Production Requirements
Prior to ITF:
- A copy of the licensing agreement and video license (or the adjudication permission form) for the school’s production must be submitted to EdTA at least two weeks before the schools’ scheduled performances.
- If selected for the main stage, the school must obtain additional approval for two in-person performances at ITF and supply EdTA with a copy of that approval. Proof of permission to perform must be received no later than May 11, 2022.
- Cast, crew, and adult chaperones/production staff must register to attend ITF by May 11, 2022. All adult attendees who will be on site must consent to a background check, whether attending the festival or only working the main stage production. (See the FAQ for questions about adult production staff.)
- Main stage directors must arrive on campus for orientation by 12 p.m. ET Monday, June 20, 2022. Considerations may be made for individual troupe needs.
- Troupes presenting on the main stage must register and bring a stage crew to mount and strike the set.
- Productions are allowed a maximum of four hours to set up and two hours to strike.
- Productions are not to exceed a maximum 2.5-hour running time, including intermission.
- All scenery, props, costumes, makeup, etc., must be supplied by the performing troupe.
- Productions must adhere to stage safety guidelines.
- Schools who wish to provide programs may do so digitally (paper programs will not be used).
Hybrid/Video-Enhanced Production Requirements
- A copy of the licensing agreement and video license for the school’s production must be submitted to EdTA at least two weeks before the school’s scheduled streaming performances.
- If selected for the main stage, the school must obtain additional approval for streaming rights for June 20-24, 2022 and supply EdTA with a copy of the approval. Proof of permission to stream must be received no later than May 11, 2022.
- Cast, crew, and director must register to attend ITF 2022 in-person or virtually through the hybrid experience.
To submit and present a production at ITF, directors must:
- Secure appropriate licensing rights for their school’s performances as well as a video license that allows recording of at least one performance to be shared with EdTA for adjudication (or the adjudication permission form). If presenting a hybrid/video-enhanced production, appropriate streaming rights must be obtained for the school’s presentation of the show.
- Include proof of applicable performance rights at the time of the application submission or at least two weeks prior to the scheduled performance dates.
- Pay all royalties and adhere to the policies in the production contract with the licensing agency.
- If selected for the ITF main stage, secure additional permission to present two in-person performances or to present their streamed virtual performance between June 20-24, 2022 and send a copy to EdTA by May 11, 2022. Any additional royalties must be paid by the school/director.
- Register the cast, crew, and adult chaperones/production staff no later than May 11, 2022, and coordinate transportation for your troupe and the production (for in-person ITF attendees).
ITF Main Stage Specifications
|Proscenium (maximum opening)
||54 feet 8 inches wide
||36 feet (to last available working lines)
|Height (floor to grid)
||Stage Left: 20 feet
Stage Right: 25 feet 1 inch to the fly rail
|Overall Width (playing space + wings)
||99 feet 9 inches
|Size of Orchestra Lift
||50 feet 4 inches wide (cud); 13 feet us/ds
||48 total lines (including electrics);
21 available for use by main stage productions
Main drape, teasers, legs, cyclorama + black
traveler for masking the cyc are provided, along
with electrics and sound monitors
|With advanced approval, additional setup and prep time may be allowed in the Auditorium’s scene shop. Printed programs are no longer allowed. Watch IU Auditorium tour video.
|Musical Arts Center (MAC)
|Proscenium (maximum opening)
||48 to 68 feet wide; 32 feet high
||Full Stage: 64 feet 1 inch
|Height (floor to grid)
||Stage Left and Stage Right: 51 feet each
|Overall Width (playing space + wings)
||190 feet 1 inch
|Size of the Orchestra Lifts
||Downstage: 64 feet wide; 6 feet 6 inches us/ds (curved) Upstage: 59 feet wide; 10 feet 6 inches us/ds (curved)
|Size of the Orchestra Pit
||70 feet wide; 20 feet 9 inches us/ds
|Watch MAC tour video.
Stage Safety Guidelines
To support our teachers and provide a safe performance experience, EdTA and ITF have partnered with the United State Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) to provide stage safety resources and educational materials. The following standards must be reviewed and adhered to by any program performing on a main stage at ITF:
Walking and Working Surfaces (OSHA 1910.25)
Guidance on OSHA standards for Work Surfaces/Platforms
Stairways and Ladder Safety (OSHA 1926.1052)
Guidance on OSHA requirements for Guardrail and Safety Railing Compliance
How are shows selected?
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
Why does the quality vary among the shows that get invited?
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.
Why do you allow shows with “mature content” to be presented?
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.
Our show utilized adult staff members. Can we bring them to ITF?
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.
What is the masking policy for the ITF main stage?
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.
In am interested in adjudicating Main Stage productions. How can I get involved?
Please complete the adjudicator application here: https://edta.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/166/home