VA Thespian Update

VA Thespians Kudos & Happenings

December 2022: Last Call for Late Registration!

Late registration closes Dec 2nd. 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. Hotels are on your own but we set up a few blocks for you.

4. Personalized name badges, t-shirts, and a director welcome bag are included in registration. Don't forget to update your t-shirt sizes. If you have issues, do this under the "Directory" tab in our registration system and you can manually do it there.

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

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.

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Also, download our app: Eventsential: Type “Virginia Thespians" in the search bar. It will take you to the Education Theatre Association page, then click “Virginia Thespians Festival” again as an option, it will load the content and you press continue. It is very interactive and filled with useful information. You can see what programs/majors are offered at colleges, which artists are teaching which sessions, and 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.

APPLY BY Jan 9th to be considered, HERE TODAY!


Need an adaptable script for your next show? TIFE Theatre might be for you!

Hi my name is Jason Lemire, a fellow theatre teacher, and founder of a new, unique playscript licensing company, TIFE Theatre.

What sets TIFE apart is our enthusiasm for working with schools to customize our playscripts to reflect the creativity and community of the programs who license with us.

This includes allowing troupes to change the names of characters to reflect the names in their own communities, and encouraging troupes to work with their partnering playwright to infuse their troupe's production with improvised discoveries made during the rehearsal process.

We also happen to have very strong material that is particularly successful at capturing the teenage voice and experience.

TIFE was warmly received this fall at the EdTA's National Conference in Los Angeles, and we are now exploring which state conferences to attend as vendors and workshop presenters.

With this in mind, I was curious if you could tell me a bit about Virginia's events this year, both for students and teachers, in terms of expected attendance as well as what opportunities there might be for TIFE to introduce itself to the teachers and students in Virgnina.

Wishing you the best in your respective upcoming productions!

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Signup Genius!

First come, first serve. Sign up for your volunteering slots below. IF they are all full, please email us so we can put you on as a back up for certain duties/time slots.

Teacher Tool of the Month: Drama Works Teaching System

Here is a curriculum resource you may want to check out! Read more from them below...

Below is information to help you learn how to:

• Complete an order for Drama Works! curriculum materials for yourself.

• Advocate for school/district adoption of DW for you and/or your colleagues.

• Advocate for PD teacher training for you and/or your colleagues.

Product Information

Drama Works! Complete System (DW Online 1yr access + Companion Book of Lesson Plans + Creativity Cards + Vocabulary Cards)

Single Teacher License includes use by 1 teacher, sub, aide, and all of their students (cannot be shared with another teacher)

$299.95 plus $29.95 shipping plus tax (CA only). Will be $99.95/yr renewal for digital subscription.

Ways To Order

• Personal or school credit card online.

• School or district purchase order. Email any vendor setup paperwork to See Help for details and PO instructions.

District-Wide Adoption

• All theatre teachers K-12. DW has 100% alignment with the NEW CA theatre arts standards, Texas TEKS, and national core arts standards

• Elementary classroom teachers to cover K-5 theatre standards, enhance literacy, and use arts integration across the curriculum.

* DW is ideal for schools with a focus in arts integration, STEM to STEAM, or literacy development for second language learners (ESL or ELLs).

PD Teacher Training

• We have led hundreds of trainings for teachers nationawide (for theatre K-12, elementary generalists, and English teachers).

• We can design a PD Plan for your school/district with ongoing support throughout the year to inspire successful use of DW.

• 1-on-1 PD with Video Conferencing: get inspiration and expert advice directly from the author and creator of Drama Works!

Links to Learn More

Drama Works! Teaching System for product details and tours

Texas Textbook Adoption school/district adoption details for Texas (where DW is the new state-approved textbook for K-12 theatre)

Drama Game File vs. Drama Works! to see how much new was added/changed in the new program

Staff Development teacher training

College Courses for Credit easy 3 units of graduate level college credit for using Drama Works!

If you were interested in getting DW and/or PD for multiple teachers, then please discuss this idea with your administrator (principal, curriculum/ELA, or performing arts) and email me their contact information (name, phone, email), and I will follow-up with them.

Thank you for choosing Drama Works! Teaching System. We’re here to support you in getting the most out of our exciting new program! Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. And thank you for taking the time to connect me with your administrator, so that we can, with the support of the school/district, work together to provide the curriculum and PD training to set you up for success!

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

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.

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 our 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 more 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 in to 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 your day off either Sunday afternoon or on Monday to explore the nearby town.

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. 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 though 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. 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 conference. 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 this year for theatre chants, new Thespian swag, learning new skills, and much more!

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!

Join this mailing list for rich virtual panel discussions, up-and-coming works, & more!

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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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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!