VA Thespian Update

VA Thespians Kudos & Happenings

November: Fall Shows, Flavors, and Feasts!

Many of you are well into fall shows, competitions, hopefully registering for conference, and more. Let us know how we can support you. We would also love to share out about your productions on our social media pages. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram so we can follow you back/keep track of your happenings. You may see your school or show featured soon. Keep your eyes peeled for more about our Virtual Kickoff Event too! Please send 1 headshot/picture of your Thespians in action and 1 paragraph about your program to executivedirector@vathespian.org so we can brag about you next.


Have you heard of Governor's School at Radford? There are some conflicts with festival for adjudications so plan ahead if you or someone you know intend on applying!


We just updated our website! We apologize if things were hard to find. All application/registration deadlines are pushed out until Dec 1st. Thank you for your patience! Please email if you have any questions with registration, etc.

Calling for Colleges & More!

We are looking to secure more colleges to be involved in festival. Please share the Intent Form with interested/related parties this month so we can finalize logistics for the long-awaiting weekend. Here is a PD survey from one of our partnering colleges they would love you to take. We are looking to have some classes focus on teacher PD in addition to student workshops. Stay tuned for more information coming your way!


"Greetings!

My name is Rachel Rhoades and I am the incoming JMU Theatre Education coordinator reaching out to you as a first step in developing one or more professional development sessions to be conducted virtually for Virginia high school drama teachers. I am very eager and excited to get to know all of you and to provide space for training and mutual learning based on your needs and interests. Please fill out the following survey to help me design PD workshops that are most meaningful for you all. Also feel free to reach out to me directly for resources, if you have a student interested in theatre education, or any other reason."



We are looking for other volunteers. Know any alumni interested? Have them fill out this form and we hope they can join us for festival!

Virtual Thespians is THIS MONTH!

We have a virtual mini conference to get everyone excited about festival and reach students across the state in an accessible as well as affordable way. Check out the flyer below and sign up for events here. THIS is our VIRTUAL TRACK for those that cannot join us for festival OR for those wanting a taste of festival. You may join for both. Please register by Nov. 12 so we know our numbers for each session. IF you are already busy, you can pay $10 for your class and we will send you a recorded version of the class session to view later. Each are 1 hour long.


Anyone can attend these. Here is our Facebook Event with more details about each session too- troupe directors can attend for FREE. If you are interested, email me and I will invite you with a complimentary ticket.

Big picture

Email Campaign

Please consider the following action items so we can have parity between performing arts and sports. We also had our EdTA paarent organization sign off with us. This letter will be shared out this week with our decision makers below and is attached below.

1. Sign the petition listed above. We have almost 1,500 signatures, but are aiming for over 10K.

2. Personalize this letter and send it to any news connections, politicians, and other Virginia decision makers you know. Here are some emails we suggest sending it to:


superintendent@doe.virginia.gov Superintendent Lane

healthandhumanresources@governor.virginia.gov

leah.walker@doe.virginia.gov VDOE (Equity & community Chair)

leslie.sale@doe.virginia.gov

zenia.burnett@doe.virginia.gov

kelly.bisogno@doe.virginia.gov (Fine Arts Coordinator for VDOE)

christine.harris@doe.virginia.gov

thomas.broyles@doe.virginia.gov

employment@vdh.virginia.gov (VDH HR)

joanna.pitts@vdh.virginia.gov (VDH School Health)

clark.mercer@governor.virginia.gov Gov's Chief of Staff


3. Spread the word. The more voices that join us, the more likely we will be heard!

Teacher Tool of the Month: Icebreakers

Need something to fill time? Each of these in the file below are image-based icebreakers. You can use them as class starters, conversation continuers, or add them into a drama game for class. There are over 200 included in this Google Slides. In the note section of slide 1, find a version you can adapt on your own. Based on the 2021-22 Troupe Director Survey you all sent out, one popular ask was "teaching resources for simple lessons." We will now share one a month to hopefully help you. These can be used for virtual, hybrid, or in person lessons. Happy Teaching!

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! Read this "How To" short document for festival registration. The rest of this newsletter repeats from last month. It is here again for convenience and as a reminder.

REMINDER: Want a headache-free way to sign up for conference?

Three fairly simple steps! As the troupe director, you are in charge of registering all students... But how? Well, start with the basic registration in these three steps:


1. Have students complete this form with their interest. Give a deadline that works for you and this way all of the information is in one place and hopefully it takes 30 min-1 hour to register everyone depending on your group size. *Note the form is a sample, make a copy of your own, add it to your drive to keep track of the data, and thank Neil Burch for this format!


2. Collect the appropriate amount of money from students. As suggested from veteran attendees, spend some class time, rehearsal time, or however you best communicate with students to explain conference and all its programming. Note what is paid separately like hotels, meals, auditions, Thespys, etc. (the form in step 1 above ,will include inquiry related to these add ons and the hyperlink here directs you back to the amounts for registration and the additional events).


3. Register everyone (at once) through your account. Then pay the invoice(s) through the funds you collected. Another note from veteran attendees: collect your money and put into a field trip (or other similar type) fund through your secretary or your boosters. Then write one check to cover it all or make one credit card payment to take care of all invoices. Pro tip: DO NOT submit your registration for an invoice until all of your registrants are finalized!! Looking to book your hotel now? Download the informational document below or check here, when you scroll to the bottom, on our website.


4. NEW- Can't come as a troupe due to mandates? Have your students complete this form if they want to attend as an individual and we will match them with a school to hangout with for the weekend. Email executivedirector@vathespian.org for questions or more information.

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.