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Who are Ohio Thespians?

Any Ohio student in grades nine through twelve attending a school with an active thespian troupe can become an Ohio Thespian. Ohio students in grades six through eight are eligible to become Junior Ohio Thespians. To qualify for membership, they must complete a set quantity of work in theatre arts and pay a one-time induction fee.

Membership comes with a number of benefits, including access to Dramatics, discounts on theatre media, and more. Most Thespian benefits last through grade twelve. Graduated members become Thespian alumni.


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What kind of events can I participate in as an Ohio Thespian?
Ohio Thespians sponsors a variety of annual and special events. Highlights include the Ohio Thespian State Conference, the Ohio Junior Thespian State Conference, Interview and Audition Day, a leadership training workshop, and more.
How are Junior Thespians different from Ohio Thespians?

Junior Thespians are a subset of the theatre arts program specifically designed for students in grades 6-8 across Ohio. Junior Thespian troupes are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS), an association of theatre educators and schools whose focus is on maintaining a theatre learning community where talent and art are shared, new skills are learned, and the whole of theatre is explored.

To charter a new troupe at your school, start by visiting the International Thespian Society registration page or contact Becky Rhinehart.

What are the Ohio Thespian areas?

Ohio Thespians divides the state into six areas: northeast, north, northwest, southwest, central, and south. In addition to our state conference, each area hosts its own area conference and events, allowing you to connect with other thespians close to home.

Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Harrison, Jefferson, Lake, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas counties.

Ashland, Crawford, Erie, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Washington, and Wyandot counties.

Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Paulding, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, and Wood counties.

Belmont, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingham, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, and Union counties.

Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Warren counties.

Adams, Athens, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties.

What kind of awards and scholarships are available?

There are a number of grants, scholarships, and awards available to Ohio Thespians.

Send a Troupe to Conference
Providing a one-time grant for a current Thespian troupe and Junior Thespian troupe unable to attend state conference for the past three years because of financial barriers.

Herb Sprowls Grant
Granting financial assistance for select students to attend the Ohio Thespian State Conference.

Ginny Chizer Scholarship
Benefiting Thespians who have demonstrated exceptional participation and leadership on the local and state level.

Bob Fose Scholarship
Benefiting Thespians who have demonstrated exceptional participation and leadership on the local and state level.

Jimmy Humphries Scholarship
Assisting Thespians who have participated in technical theatre and are planning to study technical theatre in college.

Southwest Area Scholarship
Recognizing exceptional southwest area thespians hoping to study theatre or theatre education after high school.

Honor Troupe
Honor Troupe recognition promotes excellence and challenge troupes to achieve greater things in the future. Any number of troupes can be recognized each year. You are not in competition with other Thespian Troupes.

Can I nominate someone else for an award?

You! You can celebrate the valuable contributions thespian troupe directors and educators make to the culture of their high schools and the lifelong impact they have on students. Any one may nominate a theatre educator to receive the award.

How can my troupe become an Honor Troupe?

Honor Troupe recognition promotes excellence and challenge troupes to achieve greater things in the future. Any number of troupes can be recognized each year. You are not in competition with other Thespian Troupes.

  • Honor Troupe Awards will be divided into three categories: bronze, silver, and gold. The timeframe for troupe activities one school calendar year. Applications are due at/by Leadership Conference for the previous year’s activities. The awards will be announced at the State Thespian Conference.
  • Any school that meets the criteria, completes the necessary paperwork, and successfully participates in an interview session may earn an Honor Troupe Award. Any number of troupes may be honored in each category.
  • Each troupe is responsible for submitting a portfolio. Included in the portfolio should be evidence of involvement which can be shown through pictures, newspaper clippings, minutes of Thespian meetings, correspondence, etc. There must be proof for all activities. The book must be in the order listed on the Honor Troupe Application.
  • One student should be selected to participate in the interview process in order to answer any questions about the application and scrapbook.
  • The Thespian Troupe does not need to be present at the State Thespian Conference to receive recognition.
  • In order to achieve Gold or Bronze levels, the troupe must score at the designated level or above in all categories. To achieve Silver level, the troupe must meet the requirements for the Silver level in the criteria of Community/Educational Service Projects, Troupe Image Boosting, Thespian Point System, and Member Inductions as well as meeting the requirements for Silver level in three of the four criteria of New/Innovative Project, Educational/Social Service Play, Touring Production, and Full Length Shows.

Community/School Service – (1 project/Bronze, 2 projects/Silver, 3 projects/Gold)

These projects give back to the community and/or the school. The troupe will participate in such activities as community food drives, fundraising for non-profit organizations, beautification projects, etc. These projects can be theatre-related, but do not have to be. The project counts if a number representing at least 50% of your inducted Thespians participates for a minimum of one hour on the project. (examples of proof: photographs of the event, thank you letter from the organization, news clippings, newsletter mentioning the workers, etc.)

Troupe Image Boosting – (1 project/Bronze, 2 projects/Silver, 3 projects/Gold)
Troupe image boosting projects introduce the Thespian Troupe to the school and community. The projects can be new or repeated from year to year. (examples of proof: photographs, newsletter, news clippings, programs, etc.)

Innovative, New Projects – (NA/Bronze, 1 projects/Silver, 1 projects/Gold)
This project can be anything theatre-related and connected to the school’s theatre department that hasn’t been done in the past. This project can count in ONE other category to allow the troupe to continue the new project into the next season. (examples of proof: photographs, newsletter, news clippings, program, etc.)

Social Services/Educational Plays – (NA/Bronze, 1 play/Silver, 1 play/Gold)
This play must be educational or address a social issue. (examples of proof: program, ticket stub, poster, etc.)

Touring Productions – (NA/Bronze, 1 production/Silver, 1 production/Gold)
Any complete production that is presented in more than one location. This may be a full length or one-act play. This production can count in ONE other category. (examples of proof: pictures showing the change in venue, program or poster stating the places toured, etc.)

Full-Length Productions – (1 production/Bronze, 2 productions/Silver, 2 productions/Gold) 
(examples of proof: pictures of shows, programs, ticket stubs, posters, etc.)

Thespian Point System – (maintain accurate point system)
(examples of proof: copy some members’ point sheets)

Inductions – (induct new members into your troupe)
(examples of proof: copy of the form sent to ITS Home Office, copy of member cards)

The entire application process is completed digitally through a Google Form. We will only accept digital portfolios, which can be uploaded directly to the application form. We recommend that your troupe use a digital presentation program, such as PowerPoint or GoogleSlides, and export the finished portfolio to a PDF before submission to ensure formatting remains intact.

If you have any questions regarding the honor troupe application, please contact Justin Drummond.

Honor Troupe applications are due Friday, February 7, 2020.

What is the All-Ohio Show?

The annual All-Ohio Show is one of the most exciting opportunities that the EdTA: Ohio Chapter offers. Each registered troupe may send as many inducted thespians to audition/ interview for cast and crew. No more than six from any troupe will be offered roles in the cast and no more than six will be offered roles on the production team. Once chosen, cast and crew only have three rehearsal/build weekends and one and a half days of tech/dress rehearsals in which to create an amazing production. The All-Ohio show is the featured opening show of the EdTA Ohio Chapter State Conference. The All-Ohio show intends to provide participating students with the experience of working on an advanced level of theatrical production. Involvement in the All-Ohio show is a special honor for the participants and schools, as well as an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Past All-Ohio shows have included Time Capsule (2020), Carrie: The Musical (2019), Letters to Sala (2018), Once On This Island (2017), She Kills Monsters (2016), and Spring Awakening (2015).

Learn more about this year’s All-Ohio Show show.

What are the Thespys?

The Thespys (formerly Individual Events or IEs) are available in performance and technical categories and allow students the chance to receive feedback and ratings from theatre educators.  The National Thespy Competition will be held virtually for 2021.

What are the categories?

  • Monologue
  • Duet Acting
  • Group Acting
  • Solo Musical Theatre
  • Duet Musical Theatre
  • Group Musical Theatre
  • Costume Design
  • Costume Construction
  • Scene Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Sound Design
  • Theatre Marketing
  • Makeup Design
  • Stage Management
  • Short Film

Who can participate?
Any student who attends a high school or middle school in Ohio that is associated with an International Thespian Troupe is eligible to register and participate. Students may register for multiple events but may not register more than once per solo event. For example, a student can compete in monologue, light design, and solo musical, but can NOT compete twice in solo musical.

What else should I know?
You can learn more about the Thespys online.

What is tech challenge?

Tech Challenge offers a fun, competitive, educationally sound environment that showcases the skills and talents of young theatre technicians. Each event is designed to demonstrate as closely as possible the techniques and practices used in the professional theatre industry. Participants are strongly encouraged to watch, cheer for, and support other teams during the competition.

What is Ohio Unified Theatre Audition and Interview Day?

Acceptance into top theatre programs can be extremely competitive with many students auditioning and interviewing for a limited number of spots. Ohio Thespians’ annual Ohio Unified Interview and Audition Day allows students the chance to be seen by numerous programs using a single simple application.

Learn more about the 2021 Ohio Unified Theatre Audition and Interview Day.

What leadership opportunities are available?

The Ohio EdTA Board of Directors comprises adult members and Student Thespian Officers (STOs). STOs are elected representatives from each of Ohio’s six areas and enjoy full voting privileges. They represent and are the voices of all thespians in Ohio. STOs attend all board meetings and help in the planning of all Ohio EdTA events. STOs meet with thespian troupe officers to share leadership skills and lead thespian-related discussions. STOs are the main workshop presenters at LEAD and are involved in planning and running both area and state conferences. They conduct fundraisers, oversee the dance, introduce shows, and make themselves available to network with and talk to conference delegates. STOs are eligible to run for International Thespian Officers (ITO), who plan the International Thespian Festival.

In order to be an STO from your area, you must first be a StAR. StARs (Student Area Representatives) are troupe members from individual areas who meet in order to plan their area’s conference. It is a great way to network with other theatre students, as well as contribute to theatre beyond your school.


How do I become an STO?

A State Thespian Officer (STO) is a thespian appointed to serve as a student leader on the Ohio Chapter Board. The STO Board consists of 10 exemplary student leaders, six of whom represent their respective Area of the state and four of whom serve in an at-large capacity. The STOs have a variety of responsibilities throughout the year focused on advocacy for the Arts and Ohio Thespians, fundraising for Ohio Thespian scholarships and grants, engagement with current Thespians in-person and via Ohio Thespian social media accounts, and planning/executing/leading events for the Ohio Thespian Conference each year. These student leaders serve a vital role in the continued success of the Ohio Thespian organization.

What is the application process to become a State Thespian Officer?

  1. Candidates must complete and submit the online Ohio State Thespian Officer application. The application requires contact information for the applicant and responses to interview
    questions, all which must be uploaded to the Google Form.
  2. The application must be completed and submitted NO LATER than October 15, 2021. The candidate will receive an email confirmation once the application has been received.
  3. All applicants will be notified of the result of their application no later than two weeks after the application deadline.

If you are selected as a 2021-2022 Ohio STO, you will need to be prepared for the following:

  • Attend the STO Planning meeting at the 2021 Ohio “Fall for Thespians” Conference on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Westerville Central HS. (This may become a virtual meeting if COVID Protocols change.)
  • Actively participate in the Ohio STO group chat via the Remind app.
  • Participate in advocacy and engagement activities via the Ohio Thespian social media accounts.
  • Attend the monthly scheduled STO Board virtual meetings. They will be held on Sunday afternoons once a month.
  • Attend all required Ohio Chapter Board meetings, either in person or via Zoom. Dates: Jan. 9, 2022; Feb. 12, 2022; March 6, 2022.
  • Attend the 2022 Ohio State Thespian Conference – March 25-26 at Westerville Central HS.
  • Perform the following duties at ThesCon: Announcing conference shows, hosting events and workshops, assisting with fundraising and Duck sales in the STO Room.
  • Maintain open communication with the STO Coordinators throughout the year.
  • Sign and agree to the Ohio State Thespians Officer Contract. Please see the example contract on the second page of the linked document to familiarize yourself with the terms you would be agreeing to if selected.


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