Starting a Troupe

Would you like to start a Junior Thespian Troupe?  JOIN US!!  It is a quick and easy process in which any middle school theater group can take part.  Visit the ITS website for information.  

Speaking of this year’s State Thespian Festival, it is quickly approaching!  The Alabama Thespian Board has been working very hard to create more opportunities specifically for our middle school actors.  This year, Junior Thespians will have their own adjudication for IE’s which will not only allow them to perform in front of their peers, but will also give them a chance to work with adjudicators that were handpicked for middle school students.  We hope this will help more schools attend. If you have additional questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Chapter Director.  We are growing fast!  There is no better day than TODAY to join the Alabama Junior Thespian community!

Additional troupe benefits and services

Administrator awareness letter. Each fall, the National Office sends a congratulatory letter to the principals of ITS affiliated schools that highlights the hard work of their theatre honor students and troupe director. Along with the letter, each principal receives a list of all Junior Thespians that were active at the end of the previous school year and their scholar distinctions. To provide the best possible list, troupe directors must update the scholar distinction field on each Junior Thespian’s online profile at the end of each school year and before July 31. They can do so using the Student member and contacts list link on their troupe homepage.

Thespian and Junior Thespian spirit gear merchandise. Junior Thespians can show their theatre spirit with a variety of items available for purchase to members and the general public through the online EdTA Store. Spirit gear includes magnets, buttons, key rings, stickers, and more. ITS apparel and other items and services are available at special member rates through officially licensed vendors.

Rush service for dues and merchandise processing. The vast majority of inductions and orders are submitted between April 15 and June 15. We call this time period rush season. EdTA recommends that troupe directors plan for their inductions well in advance. Normal processing during rush season is two weeks. Troupe directors may purchase priority rush service at any time of year to receive their induction or merchandise materials within five business days after receipt of the forms and payment by the National Office. Details and fees are listed wherever the rush service option is available.

Royalty reductions for productions. The ITS royalty reduction program helps troupe directors to apply for discounted rates on royalties for upcoming productions through cooperating play publishers. The service is not available for musicals. Additional guidelines and restrictions apply. See the royalty adjustments page for more information.

EdTA/ITS awards and recognition. EdTA offers numerous national awards that recognize quality theatre programs, students, educators, and administrators for outstanding achievement in educational theatre. Awards information is sent to troupe directors each fall. See

TOTS-EAT community service initiative. TOTS-EAT is the International Thespian Society’s annual, nationwide, community service initiative to collect food for the hungry. This is the perfect project for students who want to help the less fortunate in their community. Participating troupes may earn ITS community service awards. See

Affiliate professional memberships. Adults affiliated with an ITS member school are eligible to join their school’s troupe director as a member of EdTA for the special rate of $60 ($35 off the standard professional dues of $95). See Any number of local troupe co-directors, assistant directors, faculty, administrators, advisers, and active troupe alums may take advantage of this opportunity. Affiliate professional members enjoy the same basic benefits as troupe directors, but only the troupe director has official troupe leadership authority. See The role of the troupe director above.

Advocacy information and resources. EdTA is a major player in arts education advocacy, leveraging the power of our more than 100,000 members to influence public opinion and decision makers that theatre education is essential and builds vital, twenty-first century academic, career, and life skills. To that end, EdTA has created an advocacy webpage that provides a suite of advocacy tools and resources divided into local, state, and national categories. These are particularly helpful for schools at risk of losing funding and support. The web page includes a resource section that lists key organizations, reports, and research that can bolster advocacy efforts, including the 2012 Survey of Theatre Education in U.S. High Schools and the Core Theatre Standards. See

EdTA has also created Student Advocacy Works (SAW), a grassroots student-led theatre education advocacy initiative. Its mission is to communicate the value of theatre education to school, district, state, and national decision makers and others committed to quality education through Festival, chapter conferences, troupes, and social media. Students affiliated with ITS troupes may even earn points for advocacy work.