International Thespian Society

 Troupe #5742

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Thespian Officers

The International Thespian Society (ITS) is the Educational Theatre Association’s student honorary organization. ITS recognizes the achievements of high school and middle school theatre students. Since 1929, EdTA has inducted more than 2 million Thespians into ITS. That number continues to grow, with more than 36,000 students from around the country being inducted each year.

Having a Thespian troupe at your school raises the profile and stature of your theater program, making both your school and community aware of the activities and success of your students. A school has a Thespian troupe that is led by a troupe director. Students earn an invitation to be inducted into the Thespian Society based on their contribution to the theater program.

Thespian troupes include students in grades 9-12, and Junior Thespian troupes include students in grades 6-8. There are troupes in more than 4,000 high schools and middle schools.

Howard W. Blake School of the Arts Thespians, also known as Troupe #5742, boasts the largest active troupe in Hillsborough County. In the 2015-16 academic year, there were 139 active thespians at Blake!

District Individual Events (IEs)

Troupe 5742 takes part in the District 9 Thespian Festival hosted by Wharton High School. Each school is allowed to take up to 5 acts/participants in each of the following categories:

  • Costume Construction
  • Costume Design
  • Duet Acting
  • Duet Musical Theatre
  • Ensemble Acting
  • Large Group Musical Theatre
  • Make Up Design (not currently a state event)
  • Monologue
  • Pantomime
  • Playwriting
  • Publicity
  • Scene Design
  • Small Group Musical Theatre
  • Solo Musical Theatre
  • Sound Design (not currently a state event)
  • Student Directed Scene

Any student wishing to represent our troupe at the District Festival must first audition at the school level during our IE auditions. Please check with your director to see which categories require instructor approval. Faculty may choose to send less than 5 acts in any event if they feel the level of commitment is below expectations.

The rules and critique sheets for all events can be found on the Florida State Thespians website. It is your responsibility to be familiar with the rules prior to your audition. If you have any questions, however, please check with the sponsor.

Be very careful when selecting your material. All acting pieces must come from a published play and a copy of the play must be provided. All musical pieces must come from a musical written for the stage – no song cycles, composer concerts, or concept musicals.

A student may attend the District Festival as an observer, however, a student must participate in an adjudicated event at the district level – or participate in the the one act – in order to attend the state festival.

The cost to each participant is set at the district level and has been around $65.

District One-Act Festival

The one-act festival is a three day event held at the University of South Florida. High schools from all over the county produce one-act plays and musicals for adjudication. Performances receiving a superior rating are eligible to perform at the Florida State Thespian Festival.

Casting for the one-act is by audition and is open to all Blake students. Students who are not cast – or students who do not wish to audition – but still wish to participate, may apply for crew positions. If you audition or apply for a position in the one act, you are committing to going to the State Festival if we are chosen. We must have the same cast and crew at the State performance.

The cost to each participant is set at the district level and has been around $65.

Florida State Thespian Festival

A student must participate in an adjudicated event at the district level – or participate in the the one act – in order to attend the state festival.

The Florida State Thespian Festival is the largest Thespian Festival in the world with over 8,000 thespians from the state of Florida. The festival takes place over 4 days in Downtown Tampa. Qualified Thespians participate in workshops, performances, social activities and more.

Each school may choose up to 5 performance acts and 5 technical events to send to State (acts must make a superior at he District level) for adjudication. Selection of state representatives for Troupe 5742 is determined by a process set in place by the troupe sponsor with input from students and parents. Events chosen will display the most promise, the strongest commitment and best representation of our work here at Blake.

In addition to our IE representatives, up to five seniors who meet specific criteria may audition for college scholarships.

Those not chosen as representatives are strongly encouraged to attend State as observers. This is your opportunity to learn from and network with other artists outside of your school. Don’t waste the opportunity to take another step further in your career.

The cost to each participant is set at the state level and has been around $135.