Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley, Laura Benanti, Peppermint, Jenn Colella, and Megan Hilty have all joined the roster of Broadway favorites making special appearances at the first-ever Virtual International Thespian Festival, scheduled for June 22–26. They join a previously announced slate that includes Tina Fey, Dolly Parton, Jason Robert Brown, Andrew Lippa, Lynn Ahrens, Jerry Mitchell, John Cariani, Kenny Leon, Rory O’Malley, Michael James Scott, and Tom Kitt.
The event, which moved online in response to the current health crisis, will feature streaming editions of most of the events planned for the in-person version of the festival, including college and scholarship auditions, the International Thespian Excellence Awards Showcase (a.k.a. the Thespys), performances, workshops, and master classes.
Among the newly announced events are a dialogue with Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul moderated by their James and the Giant Peach book writer Timothy Allen McDonald, a keynote address from The Lion King’s Alton Fitzgerald White, and a performance from Head Over Heels and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Peppermint.
Rudetsky and Wesley will host the Thespys honoring the year’s best in high school theatre as part of their June 26 evening episode of Stars in the House, while Hilty will host the previously announced student Q&A with Stephen Schwartz. Colella and Benanti will join students for certain all-hands programs.
Registration for the 2020 Virtual International Thespian Festival is now open.