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June 20-24, 2022
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Performances

A picture of the Floyd Central High School cast of Newsies in 2018. Crutchie stands atop a pile of newspapers singing
Newsies; Troupe 1794; Floyd Central High School; Floyds Knobbs, IN

What celebration of educational theatre is complete without showcasing the performances that Thespians, theatre students, and their teachers create? At ITF, you’ll find a myriad of performances to attend and participate in. From full-scale productions on the main stage to one-acts that highlight the best work from ITS chapter events around the world, you’ll find multiple new shows to watch each day! Commissioned plays and 24-hour development marathons select casts and mount staged readings during the festival, and individual talents are highlighted at the culminating event of the week: the Thespy Awards Showcase.

Explore all of the performances you can attend and/or be a part of below!


Table of Contents

Click the links below to jump to the corresponding section of this page.

Main Stage Performances
Chapter Select Showcase
The 24 Hour Plays®
Thespy® Awards Showcase
Thespy® Playwriting Workshops

 


Main Stage Performances

A picture from Heathers: The Musical performed by J.J. Pearce High School.
Heathers: The Musical; Troupe 6896; J.J. Pearce H.S.; Richardson, TX

There’s nothing like the rush of presenting a show for thousands of enthusiastic Thespians—or the electricity you’ll feel being part of all-Thespian audience. The ITF main stage is the only place you can watch the very best high school theatre productions from around the globe—all in one location!

During the academic year, Thespian troupes have the opportunity for their full-length plays and musicals to be adjudicated for constructive feedback and the chance to be invited to perform on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival. Adjudications are done virtually, and eight high-scoring troupes will be selected to bring their full productions to the campus of Indiana University to share with the world.

ITF 2022 Main Stage Lineup

New Albany High School; Troupe 4501; New Albany, IN
Authors: Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Linda Woolverton
Director: Amy Miller

The classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial French village, and the Beast, a tormented young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will return to his former self. But time is running out… This “tale as old as time” never fails to warm hearts and teach us how to love. 

Washburn Rural High School; Troupe 6193; Topeka, KS
Author: Lauren Gunderson
Director: Maeghan Bishop

Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever! After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the First Folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They’ll have to borrow, beg, and band together to get it done. Amidst the noise and color of Elizabethan London, The Book of Will finds an unforgettable true story of love, loss, and laughter – and sheds new light on a man you may think you know. 

Paola High School; Troupe 66; Paola, KS
Author: William Inge
Director: Leslie Coats

In the middle of a howling snowstorm in 1955, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a cheerful roadside diner. All roads are blocked, and four or five weary travelers are going to have to hole up until morning. Cherie, the nightclub singer, is being pursued by Bo, the brash cowboy, but as secrets are spilled over the course of the night, destinies will be changed forever as this pair of young lovers struggle to find love in the modern world. 

North Broward Preparatory School; Troupe 5880; Coconut Creek, FL
Authors: Terrence McNally, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Director: Brian Edgecomb

Based on the hit film and the incredible true story, this high-flying musical comedy about chasing your dreams (and not getting caught) is a big, bright spectacle. Seeking fame and fortune, precocious teenager Frank Abignale, Jr. runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure. With nothing more than his boyish charm, big imagination, and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, all while FBI agent Carl Hanratty inches dangerously closer to catching the imposter. 

Jemicy School; Troupe 8269; Owings Mills, MD
Author: Simon Stephens
Director: Sean Elias

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain. He is exceptional at mathematics but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and distrusts strangers. It is now seven minutes past midnight and Christopher stands beside his neighbor’s dead dog, who has been speared with a garden fork. Finding himself under suspicion, Christopher is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. But his detective work will take him on a thrilling journey that will upturn his world. 

Bradford High School; Troupe 4982; Kenosha, WI
Authors: Danny Rubin, Tim Minchin
Director: Holly Stanfield

How would you spend your time if you were forced to repeat the same day over and over again? Phil Connors, a seasoned big-city weatherman, is frustrated to be reporting the annual Groundhog Day ceremony in the small town of Punxsutawney, PA. His arrogance and cynicism are in direct contrast to the cheery townsfolk, who are perpetually ready to celebrate the winter holiday. As Phil awakens day after day, will he be forced to relive February 2nd for eternity? Or will he learn the secret that will set him free? 

Lincoln Southwest High School; Troupe 6547; Lincoln, NE
Authors: Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper
Director: Bob Henrichs

Based on an exhilarating true story about a struggling shoe factory, this musical will lift your spirits to high-heeled heights! Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds unexpected inspiration from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, the unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible and discover that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world. 

+1 more to be selected in February 2022!

Interested in Bringing Your Show to ITF?

The deadline for submissions for ITF 2022 has passed, but you can view the Main Stage Guide for complete details about the selection process.

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Chapter Select Showcase

A photo from How to Succeed in High School performed by Marianas High School
How to Succeed in High School; Troupe 5374; Marianas H.S.; Susupe, CNMI

Do you live for discovering a new favorite show? ITF’s showcase of Chapter Select performances celebrates over 20 one-act productions from ITS chapters around the world. Join the audience to discover rich new theatrical works or to rediscover a classic piece from a fresh new angle. Every show represents the absolute best from chapters far and wide!

Thespian chapters have the opportunity to send one top-scoring one-act performance from their respective festivals/conferences to the International Thespian Festival. At least 20 Chapter Select performances will be showcased at ITF (slots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis), so you'll be sure to see a glimpse of what's happening across the #ThespianNation.

Want to Submit a Show?

Chapter directors must submit their recommendations to EdTA by April 1, 2022View the Chapter Select Guide for more details.


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The 24 Hour Plays®: ITF Edition

The 24 Hour Plays official logoThe ultimate collaboration for theatremakers! Everything's on the line when you write, rehearse, and perform a brand-new play in a single day! Now, the team behind the international phenomenon comes to ITF to create six brand-new 24 hour plays with YOU!

Each registered Thespian troupe attending ITF may nominate one student in each of four disciplines – playwrights, directors, stage managers, and actors – to audition for six production teams. If selected, you'll be off and running to write, rehearse, and perform a new original work in just 24 short hours. Anything can happen!

"The equivalent of a high-wire act without a net"
The New York Post

Nominations must be submitted by June 1, 2022. Nominated students must be affiliated with an active troupe, but induction into ITS is not required for participation. View The 24 Hour Plays Guide for all the details on how you can participate!

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Thespy® Awards Showcase

A young Black actress stands onstage singing an audition song.
2019 Thespy Awards Showcase

Broadway has the Tonys, Hollywood has the Oscars®, Thespians have the Thespys®. The International Thespian Excellence Awards recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre performance and technical theatre. Thespians who receive overall Superior scores at a chapter qualifying event are invited to have their performances adjudicated at the international level. The top scorers in each category will be announced live at the Thespy Award Showcase, the culminating event of the festival, which also features selected performances and highlights from technical categories.

Want to Enter the Thespy Awards?

For more information, visit the official Thespys website:

THESPYS.ORG

Check out the Thespys information session recorded on November 4, 2021, below.



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Thespy® Playwriting Workshops

A picture of two students workshopping a new play.
2015 Thespy Playwriting Workshop

Always wanted an inside peek at the creative process? At ITF, you can be part of the development of an original play written by one of your fellow Thespians! Students entering the Playwriting category of the Thespys submit original works for adjudication prior to arriving in Bloomington. Top-scoring playwrights are selected to workshop their pieces at ITF. A professional director and dramaturg will cast, rehearse, and help to refine the students' original scripts, culminating with a live staged reading. There's no better way to learn how a new play is developed than to be part of it! (View more information on how to enter the Thespy Playwriting category as an author.)

Students who are registered to attend ITF in person and who wish to participate in the staged readings may indicate their interest by submitting this form. We are specifically seeking student performers and stage managers, but feel free to complete the form if you'd like to be updated on any news about this opportunity. Auditions will take place in person on Monday, June 20, rehearsals will be held at designated times throughout the week, and the staged reading will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Check the schedule page for updated information.

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