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You’ll find answers to common questions about the Thespys here and in the program guide. Don’t see your question? Contact us.

How do I present and submit my Thespy entry?

The International Thespian Excellence Awards are adjudicated digitally. That means you will submit a video of your performance or presentation, along with any other required materials. Please refer to the Thespys™ Program Guide for a comprehensive list of rules, and see below for tips on optimizing your filmed entry to get the best feedback and scores.

What guidelines should I follow when making my performance video submission?

  • Consider your frame (how much of your body you want to be seen). At a minimum, make sure to show inches above your head to your belly button.
  • If performing a song, make sure you have a solid track to use for your accompaniment:
    • Pay an accompanist to record a track for you and send you an .mp3 file. Try reaching out to your local university's music or theatre department as a start.
    • Find a karaoke track online. Make sure there are no vocals on the track.
  • Consider where you're placing your "scene partner." You do not need to look straight into the camera.
  • You may use one straight back chair and one small table in your video; additional set pieces are not allowed.

What else should I consider for filming?

  • Find an effective filming location:
    • Area should be quiet so we can hear both you and your track (if applicable).
    • Film in front of a non-distracting background. If possible, choose a solid-color wall or consider hanging a sheet behind you. The color should contrast with your clothing.
    • Dress neatly, in all black clothing as written in the guidelines. No costumes.
    • Make sure you are lit enough to be clearly visible.
  • Reminders:
    • Before filming, conduct a full-volume test to make sure you can be heard (and that your track can be heard).
    • Ensure your blocking is effective and visible when filmed. Consider whether to decrease your movement or to adjust your camera angle.
    • Shoot your video horizontally, not vertically.
    • Try multiple takes and submit your strongest.

How do I submit my video?

  • Watch your video both before and after uploading to ensure it's what you want to share.
  • You will have two options for submitting your video:
    • Upload the video file directly into the submission form from your laptop or desktop.
    • Provide a URL to your video on YouTube:
      • The guide to using YouTube video editor is ​​​found here.
      • Give your video a clear name. Consider something like First Name Last Name Troupe Number – Thespy Submission.
      • Make sure the video is listed as private but check that the link will allow for open access to all adjudicators.

How do I present my technical portfolio or "binder"?

You will be asked to share your portfolio as you would for an in-person presentation. Please upload the material asked for in the submission form in accordance with the program guidelines. 

  • Each of your samples should be clear and quality -- good production or process photos, or easily readable documents.
  • Uploads should be well-photographed or clearly readable. Though you will be able to expand in your video presentation, the sample should be able to speak for itself to a certain extent.

What guidelines should I follow when making my performance video submission?

Think about your video like an in-person interview: What would you prepare or say if you were showcasing your work in front of a panel of judges?

  • This is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the job/role and an opportunity for you to explain your work/process.
  • Remember, your responses to these questions account for a significant portion of your final score. Write a script for yourself to make sure you don't miss any elements that would affect your score.

How are the Thespy Award Winners selected?

Students submit virtual performances or presentations in their categories and are scored by a panel of adjudicators. The students or groups achieving the highest scores in each category will be honored as Thespy Award Winners. More specifically:

  • Winners are selected on their overall scores, which represent the average of all adjudicated scores. Average scores of .5 or higher are rounded up to the nearest whole number—so a 16.5 would become a 17.
  • Students must achieve a Superior score to become a Thespy Award Winner. If no qualifiers earn a Superior score in a given category, there will be no Thespy Award Winner in that category.
  • If more than one student or group earns a perfect score or the highest score in one category, all will win a Thespy Award. Example: Suppose the highest whole number score in the Monologue category this year is 19/20. If that score were achieved by one student, there would be one Thespy winner. If four students achieved that score, there would be four Thespy winners.
  • Currently, there is no cap or quota on the number of award winners.

I’m a teacher, chaperone, or theatre professional and I’m interested in adjudicating the Thespys. How do I get involved?

Please complete the Adjudicator Application and the free adjudication training course on Theatre Educator Pro.


Note that troupe directors and chaperones are required to volunteer as adjudicators at the international level if more than four of their students are participating in the Thespy program. Prior adjudication experience is not required.