Seven high school productions have been invited to perform in full on the Main Stage at the 2023 International Thespian Festival, set to run June 19–23 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The invitation is considered one of the top honors for students in the International Thespian Society, with more than 30 productions vying for the opportunity.
This year's main stage productions will be The Color Purple from Troupe 731 at Alexandria Senior High School in Alexandria, Louisiana, directed by Tyler Price; Damn Yankees from Troupe 8503 at Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas, directed by Adam Delka; Roald Dahl's Matilda: The Musical from Troupe 5981 at Champaign Central High School in Champaign, Illinois, directed by LaDonna Wilson; The Mystery of Edwin Drood from Troupe 1794 at Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana, directed by Brooklyn Chalfant; Mean Girls: High School Version from Troupe 6896 at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas, directed by Heather Biddle; Antigone in Munich from Troupe 2075 at Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, directed by Kristi Jacobs-Stanley; and Ken Ludwig's Lend Me a Tenor from Troupe 1470 at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Iowa, directed by Tom Stephens.
"ITF’s main stage is a celebration of outstanding student work," says EdTA Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Katona in a statement. "We’re thrilled to showcase these seven schools and proud of the students and teachers for their accomplishments."
Also performing will be Maynard Jackson High School (Troupe 8590)'s Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, a part of the Educational Theatre Foundation's Pathway program that aims to promote racial equality through school theatre.
Students attending the festival will be able to attend hundreds of interactive workshops, a college fair, and auditions for more than 60 colleges. The festivities will also include performances of up to 17 one-act productions nominated by more than 40 chapters of the Educational Theatre Association, parent organization to ITF. The week will culminate in the International Thespian Excellence Awards, or the Thespys, recognizing the highest level of achievement in school theatre. The opening ceremony will be emceed by Broadway Mean Girls and Hamilton alum Ashley De La Rosa.