The International Thespian Society's Educational Theatre Association is helping high school theatre students across the country find ways to continue performances and advocacy work online during the COVID-19 crisis.
On April 17 at 7:30 PM PT, students from more than 20 high schools across Oregon will star in Friday Night Spotlights, a live streaming event showcasing performances from living rooms, basements, kitchens, and bedrooms around the state. The show will be hosted by Portland-based actor Isaac Lamb, and is facilitated by Oregon Thespians (the Oregon chapter of ITS), which will stream the event on its homepage here.
Much of the work was scheduled to be originally performed at the Oregon Thespians' annual State Festival, April 2-4 in Salem.
EdTA will also facilitate a Zoom meeting of the Advocacy Leadership Network April 18, where representatives from 26 chapters will convene with a goal of helping teachers and students articulate the value and purpose of theatre programs. The discussion is in anticipation of state legislatures and district school boards considering budget cuts and revised educational priorities in the 2020-2021 school year.
Highlights include two keynotes, Randy Cohen of Americans for the Arts and Kansas State Representative Jeff Pittman, and a presentation by the International Thespian Officers, featuring this year’s Thespian Democracyworks essay contest winner reading her essay, Lena Dougherty.
As previously reported, the 2020 International Thespian Festival (ITF), which was set to take place at Indiana University this summer, will also go online in light of the coronavirus pandemic. With campus activities canceled, the EdTA is launching the first-ever Virtual ITF.