The International Thespian Society (ITS) is an honor society for high school and middle school theatre students. It is a division of the Educational Theatre Association. Thespian troupes serve students in grades 9-12; Junior Thespian troupes serve students in grades 6 through 8. Festivals are held annually at the district, state and national levels. Each June the International Thespian Festival is held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Membership currently stands at approximately 100,000 student members across 4,700 schools. To date there have been over 2.3 million Thespians inducted.Chapters are created in order to support the mission of the International Thespian Society. They are led by a chapter director who is supported and assisted by a chapter board. At the high school level there are various offices possible, including, but not limited to, President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Historian. There are also state and international student leaders elected annually by their respective student bodies.
The International Thespian Officers are student members elected to represent the student membership. They suggest policy and service changes to the Educational Theatre Association Board, and take an active role in training, chapter conferences, and the annual International Thespian Festival. There are also State Thespian Officers, elected to manage such events as State Thespian Festivals and local Junior Thespian Festivals.
To be eligible for lifetime Thespian membership, students in grades nine through twelve must attend a school with an active Thespian troupe and complete a sufficient quantity and quality of work in theatre arts. A one-time induction fee is required, and troupes may assess additional participation fees at their discretion. Recognition from an international honor society lends additional stature to student honors and is immensely beneficial for college applications.
For more information please visit the offical website here.
All theatre students ages 11-18 are able to join the International Thespian society (worldwide), however, all active members must have participated in at least two (2) full-length plays/productions for the current calendar school year and have earned a minimum of ten (10) points, i.e., 100 hours of superior work in the Theatre Department for the current calendar school year.
The charter or reinstate fee: $100USD
Annual troupe dues: $100
One time induction fees: $30 per student, 6 minimum per troupe ($180)
Minimum total: $380
Students must already be involved in a theatre programme or as a subject at the school that they are enrolled at. All active members must have participated in at least two (2) full-length plays/productions for the current calendar school year and have earned a minimum of ten (10) points, i.e., 100 hours of superior work in the Theatre Department for the current calendar school year.
Students must therefore have high standards of excellence in the theatre
The amount of time committed to the society is at the discretion of the member. However, the theatre director/sponsor will determine the exact number of hours to be awarded in all theatrical and non-theatrical participation. Hours will be awarded as suggested by the point system of the International Thespian Society.
It is recommended that troupes meet for at least 1-2 hours per month.
Firstly, a student must confirm school eligibility. A school is eligible to activate a Thespian troupe provided they have a traditional, brick-and-mortar public or private school that provides full academic course work in grades 9-12 and has a theatre program of any kind. The next step is to obtain authorisation and collect required information.The troupe director and principal must agree to the Terms of membership for ITS troupes, which is included in the Prep kit for Thespian troupe activation.
New student inductees will need to prove their name, mailing address, email address, birthdate, gender, and graduation year. There is a minimum inductee requirement of at least six inductees are required to charter a new troupe. The application and payment can be completed online.