International Thespian Society Basics and Why You Should Join

  • The International Thespian Society (ITS), an honorary group for middle and high school theatre students, is a division of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). The mission of ITS is to honor student excellence in the theatre arts. Thespian troupes are just a component of a school’s theatre program. ITS membership offers many valuable benefits, services, and opportunities to troupe directors and Thespians alike.

    Thespian induction is a great motivator for students to become more active in their school’s theatre program. Whether or not these students pursue careers in the performing arts, the skills that they learn through theatre and Thespian activities are invaluable and ensure that future generations will appreciate and support the arts in our communities.

    Benefits of Thespian induction:

    • Membership in the only international honor society for high school theatre arts students—a recognized demonstration of achievement and a valuable addition to college and employment applications.
    • A membership certificate (see “Thespian credentials” below).
    • A personalized membership card (see “Thespian credentials” below).
    • A one-year (nine issues) subscription to Dramatics magazine (a $27 value). The first issue will arrive within 6 to 8 weeks for students inducted August through March. Students inducted April through July will receive their first issue in September.
    • The ability to renew the subscription at a special member rate ($15 as of 4/1/10). Note: All Thespians are sent renewal notices before their subscription expires. This provides them the opportunity to continue receiving the magazine at our lowest member rate, and is a lifelong benefit.
    • Leadership opportunities at the troupe, chapter, and international levels.
    • Eligibility for scholarships through EdTA chapters and the home office.
    • Eligibility to apply for student grants, including the Doug Finney Festival Grants (juniors and seniors), which are need-based grants to help Thespians attend the ITS Festival.
    • Eligibility to audition at the Thespian Festival for admission to college theatre programs.
    • Eligibility to submit original plays to the Thespian Playworks program.
    • Eligibility to audition for chapter Individual Events programs and qualify for the National Individual Events Showcase (NIES) at the Thespian Festival.
    • Eligibility to receive Thespian graduation and honor items (honor cords, point stars, pins, etc.).
    • Eligibility to advance to Thespian ranks of Honor, National Honor, or International Honor Thespian.
    • Eligibility to receive Thespian scholar distinction for academic achievement.

    For more information, check out the official ITS website.

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