Eight schools have been honored with an invitation to perform on the main stage at the nation’s leading high school theatre festival, which is produced by the Educational Theatre Association. The invitations are based on productions that were adjudicated last fall; three more schools will be invited this spring. (Complete list of schools and shows to-date follows.)

The International Thespian Festival, (ITF) produced by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA),celebrates student achievement in the performing arts. The 55th event, which this year takes place June 25-30 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, brings together more than 4,000 high school drama students and their teachers for a weeklong immersion in workshops;  interaction with colleges, industry leaders, and Broadway professionals; and opportunities to be inspired by the best high school theatre in the nation.

The highly coveted invitation signals achievement of superior work in theatre according to EdTA’s Director of Educational Programs Nancy Brown. “It is a real honor,” she explains, “because we send screening teams out all across the U.S. and Canada during the school year and only 11 schools will be selected to present their shows on the main stage.  These Thespian troupes have earned a slot among those honored few.”

Additional schools will be honored with invitations to perform on other stages, such as the Chapter Select Showcase during the week.

“A main stage performance at ITF also can be a real boost for the play itself,” adds EdTA’s Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald. For example, Almost Maine took off after it was performed on the mainstage at ITF. In fact, according to EdTA’s annual Play Survey, for the last two years it has been the most-produced high school show in America.

One Man, Two Guvnors 
Director: Jeremy Riggs 

Blue Valley North High School, Troupe 4151 

Overland Park, Kansas


Disney’s Newsies 
Director: Robbie Steiner 

Floyd Central High School, Troupe 1794 

Floyds Knobs, Indiana 


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 
Director: Shawn Hann 

Denver School of the Arts, Troupe 5869 

Denver, Colorado 


The Visit 
Troupe Director: Tony Matthes; Show Director: John Reidlinger 

Edina High School, Troupe 1539 

Edina, Minnesota

Trap 
Director: David Hastings 

Olathe South High School, Troupe 5006 

Olathe, Kansas 


Bright Star 
Director: Tara Whitman 

West Orange High School, Troupe 1983 

Winter Garden, Florida 


Urinetown 
Director: Greg Shaw 

Pittsburg High School, Troupe 3149 

Pittsburg, Kansas 


Silent Sky 
Director: Kristi Jacobs-Stanley 

Mt. Carmel Academy, Troupe 2075 

New Orleans, Louisiana

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