VA Thespian Update

VA Thespians Kudos & Happenings

October 2022: VTF!

Hi all, we are full swing into VTF planning and I am sure you are getting ready for fall productions, one act competition pieces, and more. We will outline how VTF will help grow your program and opportunities for students below! As executive director, I am also happy to hop into classrooms virtually via Zoom or Google Meets, etc. to share about festival, being a Thespian, etc. Email if you need any help or support. We would love to have you join us!

CHANGES TO KEEP IN MIND (from last year's registration)

1. Registration closes earlier so start sooner on your process!

2. MEALS are on your own, we are not offering meal plan options

3. STUDENT EVENTS will be registered through Open Water.

4. You must be registered and mostly paid up to apply to bring a show. We will choose a few days before the deadline so check your email so you can make choices accordingly.

5. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting colleges, events, workshops, etc.

Follow us on social media for more information and updates! We would love to know how to support you this year. Please complete our 2023 Troupe Director Survey.

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ALL NEW SWAG is coming to VTF this year. Complete & share this with students for input!

REASONS TO COME TO FESTIVAL (Just a starting list)

1. COLLEGE AUDITIONS- Juniors & Seniors can get early acceptance, scholarship, extra consideration outside of the typical auditioning process with colleges from all over the USA! As far as Wisconsin to Georgia, we typically have a diverse array of colleges LOOKING for students to meet and make connections with at festival. Where else can a junior get early acceptance and a potential early scholarships?!

2. THESPYS- Bring home that clout! We know VHSL has shout outs for stand out actors. We give individual feedback for these pieces (solo, duo, small group options) AND your students can qualify for nationals! This is Virginia's theatre all-state competition for your students to grow, shine, and try something they may not get to perform otherwise. Check out the guidelines here and the "red light" list for what to avoid.

3. WORKSHOPS- You and your students can learn so much here in one weekend on so many theatre topics, which will help strengthen and diversify your program. We have professionals from all over the country, in the industry, working at the college level, and more who come to help train the next generation of artists in all disciplines. Look at our previous offerings here and stay tuned for this year's list coming in Nov/Dec. The list of artists and topics changes from year to year however, many artists return and we try to keep the wide variety of topics each year.

4. OUR GUEST ARTISTS- We bring in high-quality, engaging artists each year. We listen to feedback and make more adjustments each year as we hear what students like and what they would add or change to festival. THIS YEAR- our headliner is playwright, John Cariani! Read more in the press release below about this amazing opportunity & more on our website.

5. MEETING THESPIANS- How often are you in a room with +1,000 other theatre folks? This is an opportunity to be "in the room where it happens", "you knew them when..." and meet others who have similar passions, interests, etc.

6. BE ON A CAMPUS- You get to experience college campus life for a weekend: eating in a cafeteria potentially, sitting in a college classroom, performing on a college stage- a sneak peak into your potential future!

7. FOOD- We will have a variety of food trucks coming with delicious meal options! We will have a food brochure for you upon arrival, likely printed for directors and a digital version in Eventsential, our festival app, to tell you about all the options available.

8. TRAVEL SOMEPLACE NEW- Winchester is full of surprises. 30 minutes away from the Shenandoah National Park & Blue Ridge Mountains, great restaurants, antique stores, and more. We encourage you, on your day off, either Sunday afternoon or on Monday, to explore the nearby town and surrounding areas.

9. BRING A SHOW- Bring a mainstage full length performance, one act, or small scene(s) (Thespys) to present, get adjudicated (optional), and potentially move onto our National Festival in June in Bloomington, IN. Never heard of this? Read more here and come to our director's meeting on Sunday at our Virginia Thespian Festival!

10. SUPPORTIVE COMPETITION- You can come to compete BUT instead of competing against peers, you really compete against yourself as you are adjudicated on a rubric and then given a rating which correlates. You can compete to be in our Sunday showcase (top Superior Thespy ratings across the weekend) or to be our Chapter-Select mainstage or One Act to represent us at nationals too. What an honor to share with your administration when you get back!

11. SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE- Whether you are a musical theatre focused-person, a techie, a Shakespearean protege, or something in between... There is a place for you here! Between our student-run events like karaoke or our Tech Olympics, all students can come learn, explore, create, play, and shine on several stages!

12. STUDENT OFFICER EVENTS- Chosen and made BY your peers. Our state officers, Virginia Thespians Officers (VTOs) are planning some fun events around meal times that when you are done munching you will be crunching time with them. Events like Backwards Broadway, Improv, Open Mic, and more.

13. GET FEATURED ON OUR SOCIAL MEDIA- Want your 10 seconds of Virginia fame? Come to participate at VTF and potentially get featured on our website. We try to promote your shows throughout the year too if you follow us, tag us, or use #vathespians OR #vtf2023.

14. TRY SOMETHING NEW- You are not tracked based on your school experience. This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of festival. We do suggest you watch at least one one act, attend all evening ceremonies, go to as many workshops as possible, and try a new food truck meal. However, your journey, is up to you! If you are an acting student who wants to start learning some technical theatre stuff, go for it!

15. AND MANY MORE- This is just a starting list. Join us, to experience the true magic IN PERSON for theatre chants, new Thespian swag, learning new skills, and much more!

Apply to be VTO for the 2023-24 school year!

What's a VTO?

VTO stands for Virginia Thespian Officer.

The State Thespian Officers are made up of a small group of elected and appointed students (7-15) from around the state. They are open to Juniors/ Seniors ideally with prior leadership experience. They are elected at VTF via an application and interview process. Positions include but are not limited to:

STO Chair - A Senior who was formerly the STO Vice Chair. They lead the STO Board.

STO Vice Chair- Ideally a Junior elected to a 2 year term. During their second year they will serve as the STO Chair. They shadow and assist the Chair(s).

Technology STO - Serve as an STO Representative "stage manager" for the various spaces where schools and Festival leadership will be presenting.

RTO (Regional)- 4-5 STOs are elected to best represent the various regions of the state and to help facilitate the conference and advocacy events.

ADVOCACY - Coordinate with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids for silent auction and fundraising at Festival; publicize and help coordinate other arts advocacy events throughout the year.

AMBASSADOR - Provide student festival attendees (especially new troupes attending for the first time) with necessary information for navigating the venue, helping with logistics and directions, and designing promotional materials to welcome troupes to the organization and to Festival.

COMMUNICATIONS - Point person for VA Thespians' various social media platforms and communication with Thespian members.

ENCORE/ EVENTS - Coordinate the additional social opportunities/ student events that occur at Festival (Broadway Backwards, Tech Olympics, etc).

STO HOSPITALITY- Helps as a student liaison at festival, helps with check in, planning student events, supports communications, and helps with building positive atmosphere at VTF.

STO ADMIN/ SECRETARY- Takes notes at meetings and sends them out to all, helps with check in, decorating/ aesthetics, and other VTO/STO logistics surrounding festival.

APPLY HERE TODAY! (Deadline is January 9th to be considered & interviews will take place during festival so we can announce our new officers at the Sunday closing ceremony.)

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Join us for Virginia Thespian Teacher PD summer 2023!

Here's what you get this coming summer...

Your Full Conference (FCON) registration includes:

-1 room stay on August 8th

-Daily happy hour with FREE drinks & appetizers

-Two FULL days of PD with multiple options per session

-Boxed lunches for both days from Apple Spice Catering

*You can opt for the Basic Conference (BCON) option if you are commuting, sharing a room to split the room costs with a teacher friend, or plan to stay elsewhere.

*Register here and complete this form.

All hotel rooms (reserved through us) & meeting spaces will be at Drury Plaza Hotel: 11049 W Broad St, Glen Allen, VA 23060

Teacher Tool of the Month: Dramatics Magazine

Here's a great article on costuming do's/dont's based on an interview Shirlee Idzakovich, who costumed Fig Jam, Lonely Wolf, Broadway/TV, etc. and over 100 costume builds to her name. Another perk to joining Thespians is the Dramatics magazine, which is full of resources and stories from the industry.

Read below for grant opportunities!

How to Find out More...?

Check our social media accounts for EdTA, our parent organization or for VA Thespians for recent reminders and updates. Get more resources, learn more about International Thespian Society, and more! The remaining information below is a friendly reminder from previous newsletters.

Virginia Thespians Alumni Group

Did you hear we have a Virginia Thespians Alumni Facebook group? Consider passing this along to your graduating seniors. So far, it is an inspiring network of over 250 professionals, who can be valuable resources for your students beyond high school. These are previous Thespians who remember what it is like to be in their shoes and many of which are happy to serve as mentors. We are creating an alumni board to also fundraise resources for students going to festival, bring in more alumni guest artists, and more! If you are an alumni, consider joining it yourself! We have many more plans in store for the alumni to partner with us to support the current as well as future generations of Virginia Thespians! Join us today!
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Join this mailing list for rich virtual panel discussions, up-and-coming works, & more!

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Spring/ Fall ITS Inductions Checklist

Here is an easy step-by-step checklist for spring inductions. Use these materials as you see fit!

1. Hold an interest meeting. Ask- Who is interested in becoming inducted into ITS?

2. Share out the point application for students to complete with their past and current theatrical experiences for certain point values.

3. Have students fill out the Member Google form, for the exact information you need to collect to put them into the official ITS/ EdTA system, and pay $35 for the one-time membership fee, which lasts them a lifetime. (More materials at the bottom of the newsletter to promote and explain ITS.)

4. Hold inductions. Here is a sample outline to use. You can create your own rituals, traditions, or if you are in a pinch, it can be less than 30 minutes before school starts or before a rehearsal for example.

5. Log into your myedta account to input all of your new inductees.

6. Pay the lump sum as the director, if your students didn't pay EdTA directly. Our suggestion is to collect the money as you typically do for school events, work with your bookkeeper or boosters to cut one check to EdTA to keep it simple.

7. Hold an end of year or semester celebration to hand out the new goodies when they are delivered to the school!

Don't have a troupe yet? Read more about the benefits and process here!

Join this art platform below for local artists, resources, and more!

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Festival 2023!

Our festival will be Jan 13-15th, 2023 at Shenandoah University again! Mark your calendars now and we hope you join us then! Registration will be open September- November. Our working theme is Thespians are "Out of This World" and getting finalized by our current as well as hopefully new incoming student leaders. We want to bring the energy, show the importance of the arts, and make our next festival the best one yet! Stay tuned for more information coming soon! Check out the link below and remind your students to apply for a VTO position by May! Be the first to watch our YouTube Thespian Festival 22 Highlights thanks to our festival photographer/videographer & Virginia Thespian Alumni, Destiny Martinez!

Need information to share about Thespians or VTF?

Here is a Google Slides PPT about Thespians to encourage students to join.

Here is a Festival Guide for students or new troupe directors.

Why join or have an ITS troupe? Share with students & administrators!