Ohio Thespians in the Classroom
Ohio Thespians supports teachers by providing a suite of professional resources. As a troupe director, teachers enjoy professional development opportunities, membership in a passionate community of creative peers from around the state, the chance to earn national recognition for you and your students, as well as coverage under the EdTA insurance policy.
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How do I establish or reestablish a troupe at my school?
Establishing or reestablishing a troupe is easy.
The school administration must appoint one adult to serve as the official troupe director. That person will submit the troupe activation form. Here’s a checklist to help you charter a new troupe or reinstate a lapsed troupe to active status.
1. Confirm school eligibility.
Your school is eligible to activate a Thespian troupe provided you have a traditional, brick-and-mortar public or private school that includes grades 9-12, provides full academic course work, and has a theatre program of any kind. Contact our membership team if you have questions about your school’s charter eligibility.
2. Download and complete the application form
The same activation form is used to charter a new troupe or reinstate a lapsed troupe. Principal and troupe director signatures are required. You can find the form by visiting the International Thespian Society registration page
3. Enter contact information for new student inductees.
All troupes must have a total of six or more active student members within 12 months of troupe activation (charter or reinstatement).
To get started, please visit the International Thespian Society registration page.
How can I bring a show to conference?
Throughout state conference weekend, troupes stage performances selected from high schools across Ohio, creating a one of a kind opportunity for students and teachers alike. To be considered for a performance, troupe directors must request an official screening.
It is the mission of the Educational Theatre Association: Ohio Chapter to broaden the theatrical horizons of our students. In pursuit of this objective, we will prioritize the selection of shows that have not appeared at state conference in the past four years. While we will consider shows that have been performed in recent years, we strongly encourage you to consult the performance archive prior to requesting a screening.
2019 State Conference
- Carrie: The Musical — (All-Ohio)
- A Comedy of Errors — Bowling Green High School
- The Elephant Man — Kettering Fairmont High School
- Trap — The Miami Valley School
- Girls Like That — Yellow Springs High School
- First Date, Broadway’s Musical Comedy — Westerville South Theatre
- Boeing Boeing — Riverside High School
- You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown — Westerville North High School
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime — Dublin Coffman High School
- The Fox in the Fairway — Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC
- Pippin — Shaker Heights High School
- Over the River and Through the Woods — Centerville High School
- Don’t Drink the Water — Edison High School
2018 State Conference
- Letters to Sala (All-Ohio)
- All in the Timing — Thomas Worthington High School
- Curious Savage — Centerville High School
- Peter and the Starcatcher — Franklin High School
- The Imaginary Invalid — Lake Ridge Academy
- next to normal — Logan High School
- Songs for a New World — Sylvania Northview High School
- The Little Mermaid — Northmont High School
- The Good Times are Killing Me — Olentangy Orange High School
- A Midsummers Night’s Dream — St. Xavier High School
2017 State Conference
- Once on This Island (All-Ohio)
- Almost Maine
- Anna Bella Eema: A Ghost Story for Three Bodies with Three Voices
- Little Women the Broadway Musical
- 30 Neo- Futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: 30 Plays in 60 Minutes
- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
2016 State Conference
- She Kills Monsters (All-Ohio)
- The Boys Next Door
- Leaving Iowa
- Much Ado About Nothing
- Peter and the Star Catcher
- Pirate Girl
- Twelve Angry Jurors
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
2015 State Conference
- Spring Awakening (All-Ohio)
- Boeing, Boeing
- The Crucible
- The Diary of Anne Frank
- Dr. U
- The Foreigner
- I Never Saw Another Butterfly
- It’s Not the End of the World
- Legally Blonde
- Our Town
- The Wedding Singer
2014 State Conference
- Good and Plenty (All-Ohio)
- All My Sons
- Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged
- The Great Gatsby
- Marvin’s Room
- Over the Tavern
- The Women of Whitechapel
- You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
2013 State Conference
- Rent (All-Ohio)
- Anatomy of Grey
- Is He Dead?
- James and the Giant Peach
- Our Town
- The Outsiders
- The Sound of music
- [title of show]
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
- Who Will Carry the Word?
Can my school host a conference?
Each year, over 1,700 attend the Ohio Thespian State Conference. For thespians across Ohio, this weekend is the highlight of the academic year. It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a host school, as well as an enormous undertaking requiring a significant commitment throughout the school year. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do it alone, the Educational Theatre Association Ohio Chapter (OhEdTA) and our network of volunteers are here to help you make the conference a success.
Before applying for your school to take center stage, we strongly encourage you to attend our EdTA Leadership Seminar held each year just prior to closing ceremonies. Hosts from past years, as well as members of the executive board will be on hand to share information and answer questions.
We organize the state conference two years in advance, meaning if you submit your application during the 2020 application cycle, you are applying to host in March 2022. If selected as host for 2022, and you have not hosted a conference in the previous 5 years, you will serve as Deputy Host during the proceeding year. This will provide you an up close look at the process.
Please review our calendar and overview of conference requirements for assuming hosting duties prior to applying.
To ensure the conference remains a vibrant celebration of theatre, there are significant facility requirements of host schools. Before applying, confirm your school’s ability to meet these minimum requirements. Please note it is acceptable to split conference between two locations provided both locations are within immediate walking distance, as in the case of separate high school and junior high buildings.
- Airport access for ITO, presenters and EdTA representatives
- Workshop rooms (18 regular classrooms, plus large rooms for dance workshops, stage combat workshops, movement workshops) each with computer access/ whiteboard available
- IE rooms (need to be away from workshops) – need 6 regular rooms plus a large room for group musical. Need a large area like the media center for tech IEs.
- A large space for IE Central
- College audition rooms with pianos (one for warm-up room; one for auditions) – two rooms
- Scholarship audition rooms with pianos (one for warm-up room; one for auditions)
- Room where board can work that has computer access (for Guidebook) and a copier that we can use
- Performance spaces (need technical specs for all spaces)
- What tech is available for each space and what needs to be rented?
- For rentals, a complete list of local stage, lighting, and sound rental companies.
- Where can schools load in for each performance space (outside doors)?
- There needs to be two featured full-length performance spaces; one space for 45-minute to one hour cuttings (seating about 200 people), and one space for marathon performances (about 100 seats).
- A performance space is needed for IE Showcase on Sunday morning.
- Space for the dance; large open space for Tech Challenge (both held on Saturday night)
- Multiple pianos for college auditions, scholarship auditions, and workshops
- Registration location
- Area for buses to arrive at conference and park
- Adult hospitality location
- Large STO room in high traffic area, needs tables and to be locked each evening.
- A space that will hold 1,800 people for opening and closing ceremonies.
- Space for ticketing.
- Space for Information Table in the main entrance of conference with a table, two chairs, and an area to post things
- Spaces for vendors with electricity (high traffic area),- each vendor needs a table and two chairs.
- Spaces for college reps with electricity (high traffic area) – each college needs a table and two chairs.
- Space for troupe displays (troupes bring their own tables)
- Large room for Silent Auction that can be locked – need many tables and places to hang banners.
- Space for Hall of Fame Dinner – should accommodate about 100 people for dinner with tables, linens, etc.
- List of available hotels with group rates and contact information (choose one as Conference hotel that has at least 50 rooms available as I will reserve 30 of them for the board and workshop / home office people)
- Name of school’s transportation contact person for shuttle bus rentals
- Name/ contact information of security/ resource officer
- Clinic space and name of nurse available for conference (we generally pay a nurse $500 for the weekend)
- Access to scene shop so Tech Director can build the set along with the All-Ohio tech crew.
- Room to store the All-Ohio set.
- All-Ohio rehearses all day the Thursday (day before) conference and performs a parent preview that evening. They rehearse all day on the Friday of conference before their performances.
- You will need to find families who will house the All-Ohio kids for the weekends (host families just supply room to sleep, All-Ohio feeds them).
The current budgetary allotment for conference is as follows:
- Transportation — $3,000 for hotel shuttle busses
- Facilities — $18,000 for all auxiliary spaces for performances, gym, band room, choir room; chair/table rentals; lighting, sound, staging, and custodial staff).
- Food — $25,000 Host makes food arrangements with your school’s food service – must make provisions for gluten-free, vegetarian, and food allergies.
- Lunch and dinner on Saturday
- Coffee/Tea all weekend for the adult hospitality room
- Hall of Fame Dinner
- Generally the host school’s theatre boosters sell food for the weekend – pizza, snacks, drinks, (especially water) to cover dinner on Friday night (boosters in the last five years have sold pizza and soda for troupes when they arrive and when they leave at the end of the night).
You will be required to provide written quotes for food and transportation with your application.
Host will make arrangements with local hotels for the conference. The conference uses 250 or more rooms. Hotels should supply breakfast and give a lower room rate and have availability for quad rooms. The board will need the list of rooms at the August retreat. The list needs to include:
- Name and address of hotel
- Contact person information
- Rooms available (size; how many)
- Cost per room
- Deadline for registration
In August, the board will convene for our first planning session at the site of that year’s conference. For this weekend-long planning session the following is required:
- Hotel rooms reserved for 34 people at the conference hotel.
- Somewhere to have a nice dinner on Saturday night (Ohio EdTA will pay, but you need to make reservations)
- Lunch on Saturday (Ohio EdTA will pay, but you need to arrange)
- A large meeting space for the weekend (Friday, 6:00 – 10:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Sunday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM)
- WiFi password for the weekend.
- Access to all rooms for a Saturday tour
- Rooms available for each planning team to use before the tour
- Regular board meeting at Dublin Scioto HS (host must attend).
- Regular board meeting at Dublin Scioto HS (host must attend).
- Space for All-Ohio Show auditions in early December.
- All-Ohio Show rehearsal weekends are Martin Luther King weekend (Friday night, Saturday all day and evening, Sunday all day and evening, and Monday all day)
- All-Ohio Show rehearsal President’s Day weekend (same schedule as the January weekend)
Scheduling weekend takes place at the host site the second weekend in February (one week after the early-bird deadline).
- The board will meet Friday evening.
- STOs will put their ducks together (and will need a place to store 4,500 ducks).
- Ohio EdTA will reserve hotel rooms at the conference hotel.
- Saturday the board will meet all day to schedule workshops, performances, college auditions, scholarships.
- We usually meet with the school resource officer and theatre booster president at this meeting.
- Need a place to bring the board for dinner Saturday night.
- Sunday is a regular board meeting at the host school from 11 – 3 PM.
- All-Ohio Show rehearsal weekend in March (Friday evening, Saturday all day and evening, Sunday all day)
On Friday, preparations will begin at noon. 50 parent and student helpers are needed for conference weekend. The host school is responsible for setting up all the main and auxiliary performance spaces.
The following will be needed:
Space to put registration bags together.
Access to the hospitality room so that it can be set up during the afternoon.
Access to the silent auction room so that it can be set up during the day.
STO room will need to be set up during the day.
Conference officially begins at 4:00 PM.
Parent volunteers will be needed to make airport runs for presenters and EdTA representatives.
Parent volunteers will be needed to shuttle presenters from hotel to conference site and back again.
You will need a full custodial staff for the weekend. Ohio EdTA pays custodial fees for the weekend (usually billed as overtime hours), but we do not pay facility rental fees.
Your school’s tech director will be needed to run your auditorium and you will need tech people for each performance space. The board will pay the tech director $1,000 for the weekend.
Ohio EdTA will pay for any tech rentals for auxiliary spaces – pipe, drape, lighting, sound.
You need to create directional signs for the halls.
WiFi needs to be available to everyone for conference weekend.
A list of businesses and services for the Information Table, with addresses and telephone numbers, available in the area to include:
Restaurants (all kinds)
Walmart, Target type stores
Theatrical supply stores
Nearest hospital emergency room(s)
Churches and times of services (especially Roman Catholic and Mormon)
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.
Can I nominate someone else for an award?
You! To recognize principals and superintendents who support theatre within their schools, EdTA: Ohio Chapter has created an Administrator’s Award plaque which will be presented during state conference awards ceremony on Sunday. If you are an active thespian troupe registered for conference and are blessed with a supportive administrator, nominate him or her by composing a letter of nomination and submitting it to Justin Drummond by February 7, 2020.
What is the Hall of Fame and how is someone inducted?
The Ohio Thespians Hall of Fame was established to honor those individuals who have given outstanding service to EdTA: Ohio Chapter and Ohio Thespians.
- Any current Ohio EdTA adult member may submit a letter of nomination.
- Letters of nomination should be sent to Justin Drummond no later than Friday, February 7, 2020.
- Letters should contain the following information: (a) the full name and title (if appropriate) the nominee, (b) the current school, business, community, or organizational affiliation of the nominee, (c) any previous such affiliations that contribute to the nominee’s qualifications, (d) a list of the specific contributions the nominee has made to the work of the organization, (e) a statement by the person submitting the letter that he/she has researched and verified the accuracy of the information contained in the letter.
- The nominee must have served Ohio EdTA in a significant manner over a period of several years.
- The nominee may be a college/university professor or instructor, a conference host, an All-Ohio Show Director or Tech Director, a workshop or in-service presenter, a former Thespian Troupe director, a businessman, a parent, or a member of the community at large.
- The contributions of the nominee may have focused on one or more areas that either advanced theatre education for students and teachers or advanced the organization’s ability to serve its members.
- In any one year, the number of those elected to the Hall of Fame may vary from none to four. (0 to 4)
- The nominees will be presented to the Board for final selection. After approval by the Board, Chapter Director will notify the honorees and invite them to be present for an induction presentation during the State Conference.
What type of financial support is available?
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.
Big Yellow School Bus Grant
Offered by the Ohio Arts Council, the Big Yellow School Bus grant supports school visits to arts and cultural activities and can help you get your troupe to conference.
New Troupe Charter Grant
Administered by the Educational Theatre Association, the New Troupe Charter Grants program awards grants to qualifying schools to fund the charter of an International Thespian Society troupe and induction for up to ten students.