Every summer, thousands of high school Thespians bring their love of all things theatre to the Thespian Festival, a celebration of student achievement in the arts. Organized by the Educational Theatre Association and hosted by the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, the Festival is a one-of-a-kind, weeklong immersion experience in singing, dancing, acting, designing, directing, creating, writing, and memory-making. Festival features workshops presented by theatre professionals, individual and group performances, programs for technical theatre students, and opportunities to audition for college admission and scholarship. So whether you’re a freshman just beginning your theatrical journey, a seasoned senior with an impressive resume and great headshot, or an educator seeking enriching professional development—opportunities and adventures await at the Thespian Festival.
Who can attend the Thespian Festival?
Festival is an educational event for teachers and their students, limited to people twelve years of age and older. Students under the age of 21 may not attend Festival on their own—they must attend with an adult either a teacher or a parent. All chaperones must register for the entire week of Festival. EdTA recommends registering one chaperone for every ten students. Female students must have a female chaperone; male students must have a male chaperone.The troupe director must be housed in one of the residence halls with his or her student delegates. If a troupe director is unable to accompany their student(s), another teacher or parent may fill in.To find chaperones, contact your State Chapter Director. For a fee, theatre directors and students of high schools not affiliated with EdTA are welcome at the Thespian Festival.
The Educational Theatre Associationís National Conference gives educators the opportunity to meet hundreds of theatre professionals during an event filled with workshops, networking lunches, and professional development programming.
The Junior Thespian Festival is a three-day celebration of theatre for middle school students (grades six through eight) and their teachers. This event provides Junior Thespians with opportunities to develop their theatre skills, make new friends, and share the theatre experience with peers and teachers from around the country.