Dolly Parton, Jason Robert Brown, More Join Guest Star Lineup at Virtual 2020 International Thespian Festival

Education News   Dolly Parton, Jason Robert Brown, More Join Guest Star Lineup at Virtual 2020 International Thespian Festival
The first-ever online edition of the week-long celebration of high school theatre kicks off in June.
Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton, Stephen Schwartz, Jason Robert Brown, and more have joined the roster of Broadway favorites making guest appearances at the Virtual International Thespian Festival, being held remotely June 22–26.

Schwartz will perform, participate in a dialogue with students, and announce the winner of the Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year award, along with Andrew Lippa and Lynn Ahrens. Parton will have a special message for students at the festival, including cast and crew of the Denver School of the Arts production of 9 to 5, which had been scheduled to perform at the in-person festival.

The festival will also feature classes and workshops led by industry professionals, including Jerry Mitchell teaching some of his original Hairspray choreography, and actor-playwright John Cariani spearheading a playwriting class.

Tony-winning director Kenny Leon will give the festival's opening keynote, and Jason Robert Brown will perform cut songs from 13. Julie James will host a special virtual-ITF edition of Broadway Names with Julie James, her theatre interview series on Sirius XM.

The previously-announced Tina Fey will participate in a Q&A with students.

Also making appearances are The Book of Mormon alum Rory O'Malley, Aladdin and Something Rotten! star Michael James Scott, Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt, Dear Evan Hansen songwriter Justin Paul, and the original cast of [title of show]: Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Susan Blackwell.

Held since 1941, ITF is going digital in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new format will feature streaming editions of most events planned for the in-person version of the festival. Those interested in attending the event can get a notification when it's time to register by visiting the event website.

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