WHAT IS A THESPIAN?
We have a Thespian troupe at Midtown – Troupe #5074.
The EdTA (Educational Theatre Association), an international professional association for theatre education, invites schools to join their association as Thespian troupes. The name “Thespian” comes from Thespis, a Greek actor that is historically considered to be the first actor. Thespians are therefore following in his footsteps.
Midtown's Thespian troupe was reactivated in 2007. Since then, we have had many milestones, including bringing Incident at San Bajo - the first show ever brought to the Georgia Thespian Conference staged in the round in 2009. Out of the 20+ shows that were presented at the conference, our show was one of two selected by the State to present at the International Thespian Conference.
We also had a student win one of five $2000 performance scholarships and another win $2500 in 2015. Over 200 students competed for those scholarships. In 2019, we brought more students to conference and graduated more Honor and National Honor Thespians than we ever have before. In 2010 and 2019, we had students receive a superior from all judges and be invited to International as well. In 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2020 we had two acts receive superior ratings, and in 2015 we had three.
We mention all of this to make you aware of the opportunities that are available to schools that have Thespian troupes. We could just have a drama club, but through the Thespian society students see the bigger picture. They make contacts, take workshops, talk to colleges, and see other schools’ work. As Thespians, students are able to track their achievements throughout high school through a point system and can earn enough in their high school career to be an Honor Thespian, National Honor Thespian, or International Honor Thespian.
HOW TO BECOME A THESPIAN
Take classes. Each semester of drama you take in which you earn an ”A” gives you 5 points (4 points for a “B”).
Participate in after-school shows. Each role and/or tech job you do gives you points. The larger the role/job, the more points you get. You can earn points by writing scripts, directing, performing in coffeehouse or the talent show and working on the 48-hour film project.
Do theatre in other places. Earn points from productions you participated in outside of Midtown, middle school shows, summer camps, etc. However, you can only earn a maximum of 5 points from shows & activities that are not part of the Midtown Theatre program.
Pay your dues. Once you’ve participated in at least one after-school show at Midtown and earned a minimum of 10 points, you can become a Thespian. Pay Mr. Dreiling your dues ($30 if it’s your first year being a Thespian, $20 every year after that) and fill out the Thespian point form. Thespian points are tallied at the end of each semester. You must be a Thespian to attend the Thespian conference.
There is no cost to audition or participate in shows. Some drama activities (like our holiday party and the end of the year banquet) require you to be a Thespian.
Membership in the only international honor society for high school theatre arts students—a recognized demonstration of achievement and a valuable addition to college and employment applications.
A membership certificate (see “Thespian credentials” below).
A personalized membership card (see “Thespian credentials” below).
A one-year (nine issues) subscription to Dramatics magazine (a $27 value). The first issue will arrive within 6 to 8 weeks for students inducted August through March. Students inducted April through July will receive their first issue in September.
The ability to renew the subscription at a special member rate. Note: All Thespians are sent renewal notices before their subscription expires. This provides them the opportunity to continue receiving the magazine at our lowest member rate, and is a lifelong benefit.
Leadership opportunities at the troupe, chapter, and international levels.
Eligibility for scholarships through EdTA chapters and the home office.
Eligibility to apply for student grants, including the Doug Finney Festival Grants (juniors and seniors), which are need-based grants to help Thespians attend the ITS Festival.
Eligibility to audition at the Thespian Festival for admission to college theatre programs.
Eligibility to submit original plays to the Thespian Playworks program.
Eligibility to audition for chapter Individual Events programs and qualify for the National Individual Events Showcase (NIES) at the Thespian Festival.
Eligibility to receive Thespian graduation and honor items (honor cords, point stars, pins, etc.).
Eligibility to advance to Thespian ranks of Honor, National Honor, or International Honor Thespian.
Eligibility to receive Thespian scholar distinction for academic achievement.
Thespian points are a reflection of a students' involvement in their theatre troupe. 1 point is the equivalent of 10 hours of quality theatre work. To be a Thespian, you must have a minimum of 10 points (100 hours). There are different Thespian ranks you can advance to.
When you earn 10 points (100 hours and One-Star Thespian), you advance to the One-Star Thespian level.
When you earn 60 points (600 hours and Six-Star Thespian) you become an Honor Thespian.
When you earn 120 points (1200 hours and Twelve-Star Thespian) you become a National Honor Thespian.
When you earn 180 points (1800 hours and Eighteen-Star Thespian) you become an International Honor Thespian.
There are different ways you can participate to earn Thespian points.
I.E.’s (Individual Events) – Perform a song, monologue, scene, or present a design in one of 8 tech areas. You must pick an I.E. and have it screened on November 7.
- Muscialworks ---Write your own musical (with another Thespian if preferred). Musicals can be about any subject but must have a running time of 20 minutes or less. Writers may submit work for consideration from October 1 until January 15.
- Film Festivals -- Create a student-produced film that is 3-10 minutes in length. Films that have been selected for the festival will be notified by the second LeadCon on January 2020.
- Playworks – Want to have your play performed? If you’re a playwright, submit your works before the end of October. In 2016, Midtown won Playworks with Clarissa Mullig’s play, “In and Out”
- Scholarships – Over $20,000 in scholarship money is given out each year. ($4500 given to a Midtown so far!) If you are a junior or senior thinking about majoring in theatre in college, check out the website and submit paperwork before the end of October.
- Shows – You can bring a 10-20 minute improv, short play, experimental piece, whatever. Pieces must be screened by the end of October.
- Tech Challenge – A team of 4 people compete in 5 individual tech events and one group event. Team must practice the events and perform a dry run by the end of October. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, we placed 2nd in Tech Challenge!
Troupe Rep/STO – Like the idea of running this thing? If you are a rising 10th or 11th grader and would like to represent your troupe, vote and possibly run for the State Thespian Officers (STO), sign-up and attend the 1st planning session in September in Columbus, GA.
Just want to attend? Thespian conference will cost some change. Total $300 – paid in two installments in September and January, or as one lump sum in September.
Parents can come too! The cost per Chaperone is $100, paid in October.
First deposits of $200 are due in mid-September. Second deposits of $100 are due in mid-January.