VA Thespian Update

VA Thespians Kudos & Happenings

April 2023: Welcoming Spring & more!

Thanks for a great March celebrating Theatre in our Schools month and more! Meet your 2023-24 board & student officers!

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

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Meet your 2023-24 VTOs!

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Going to ITF? See our Tip guide below! (Anyone can register to go!)

Punchcard & Permission Slip

See what New Kent HS sends out to their community to prepare students for ITF. Thank you to our previous Chapter Director, Tori Kesling Councill for these helpful resources!


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Teacher Tool of the Month: GRANTS

Looking for grants to support your classroom projects next year? Here is a resource to map out your projects & plans for this spring and next year!


There are two theatre teacher positions open currently in Richmond Public Schools. One is at Thomas Jefferson High School and the other is for River City Middle School. Anyone interested can reach out to Julz for more information.

Julz Suder

Richmond Public Schools

Instructional Specialist, K-12 Fine Arts

Looking for vocal directors for summer camp in Ashburn, VA. Send resume to asap if available for July 10th-22nd & July 24th- Aug 5th or all dates.

Did you know you can order our thespian swag online now?


We know it took a while for initial orders to go out. Thank you for your patience as we learned our processes for the first time.




Thespian Educators Intensive (TEI)

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.

*Add the item for an extra night stay if you plan to come for the optional welcome evening on August 7th.

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

TOPICS: The 2023 topics include (you pick up to 5 across the two days):

  1. Consent Based Intimacy Direction: Learn how to help students work through intimacy on stage. It is hard to fabricate relationships with two students who barely know each other. Learn how to navigate that for various shows and scenes.

  2. Thespy Crash Course: Come learn how to prepare your students for Thespys, what to expect, what is an eligible piece or not, and more!

  3. The Art Behind Puppetry: Take part in a unit plan showcasing the movement behind puppetry. We will participate in warm-ups and activities to bring life into ordinary objects. Play with hand puppets, stick puppets and transition to group puppets similar to Japanese Bunraku. Walk away with a full set of lessons to bring to your class!

  4. Classroom Crash Course: Technical Theatre 101: This session will focus on Set Design & Construction, Stage Lighting, & Sound in the theatre. We will cover safety for each area along with fun activities and projects that the students can execute throughout the school year. A google drive will be shared with the following: slides, documents, and project layouts that you can use throughout the school year. This session will encompass how your students can drive these projects while you can guide them.

  5. Everyday SEL for Building Community & Confidence: Learn strategies for social-emotional wellness for yourself, your students and your troupe. This will include some light movement activities.

  6. Theatre for Diverse Learners: Our theatre classes can sometimes feel like a "dumping ground" for kids with a variety of needs we don't always know how to meet. Join me for a workshop on how to differentiate theatre lessons for a variety of diverse learners to make your theatre class a more inclusive space! Teachers: bring a lesson you would like to work on modifying for various learning types.

  7. Elevating Your Next Show: Directing & Empowering Your Students: Learn how to elevate your next show through precise planning and student empowerment. Participants will explore communication techniques, how to lead student exploration, and how to grant space as well as guidance to student leaders. Students today can be lost and emotional. Learn how to boost their confidence and leadership skills in this collaborative workshop.

  8. Writing & Applying for Grants: Learn about grants accessible to you for class projects, your after school programs, for PD, and more. You will have time to share resources and respond to application prompts to help you break down and tackle applications together.

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.

VTF 2024 will be January 4-6th at Capital One & Hilton in Tysons Corner, VA!

We are so excited to announce next year already! Mark your calendars! Registration opens in September but start your planning now! Things to consider:

1. Do you want to bring a show? We are accepting mainstages NOW!

2. Do you want to come for one day or a full weekend? Only full weekend schools can compete now so consider fundraising, asking your administration for support, add this into your yearly calendars now to plan your season around it.

3. Will you need transportation? Reach out to nearby schools to consider sharing a bus to save on money and getting to know a nearby program.

We hope to see you there!

Check out our main 2024 spaces in the Capital One Hall & Hilton Hotel!

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Connecting with local artists

Looking to add more skills into your department? Tackle a new show or theatre discipline? We can connect you with artists! We bring in almost 100 artists with different disciplines each year. We also work with our partner, Creative Stages to bring master classes to YOU! Reach out to us or them for more information today!

4th Wall can help at any stage!

Thinking about your future? Wondering about what's next after high school? 4th Wall will help guide you through the whole process (as early as Freshman year) to map our your high school courses, shape your resume, edit your essays, find the perfect program for you post-high school, and more! They specialize in performing arts programs but could help you will any secondary programs/ processes. Check them out today!

They were also a sponsor this year to help us give out the Alumni Scholarship & Sponsor a Troupe Grants at #VTF2023!

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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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Planning a field trip soon?

Taking a school trip soon? There's a new tour company called ImpACT Tours! Click on the PDF below to read more about them! They can also plan your family vacations and any travel needs!
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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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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!