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FAQ

 

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 official 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. 

 

Once you have earned a Superior rating at a qualifying event and have registered for the International Thespian Festival and paid the Thespy add-on fee, you may create an account and submit your entry here on Thespys.org. Note that grants to attend ITF are available if cost is a barrier. 

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

  • Make sure your entire body is visible in the frame. The adjudicators will need to be able to see you in order to accurately score your movement choices. 

  • Do not edit your submission by combining multiple takes. Rather, shoot in a single take to replicate an in-person performance as much as possible. Likewise, no text or special effects should be added. Any editing of the performance will result in a disqualification. 

  • If performing a song, make sure you have a solid track to use for your accompaniment: 

  • Depending on whether you’re performing a solo, duet, or group piece, you may use the allotted number of chairs or a table as indicated in the official Program Guide. Be sure your full body (or bodies) are visible when using any furniture. 

  • Dress neatly, as indicated in the guidelines. No costumes or theatrical makeup are allowed. 

  • 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. Make sure there are no vocals on the track (e.g., no background vocals are allowed). Tracks to many songs are relatively easy to find online, or check with the licensing company who holds the performance rights to the show your song is from; sometimes there are official tracks available that are of superior quality. 

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.
  • If performing a solo, choose a specific focal point for your “scene partner.” You do not need to look straight into the camera, but you should have clear focal points, just like when performing on stage. 

  • Make sure you are lit well enough to be clearly visible. 

  • Before filming, conduct a volume test to make sure you can be heard (and that your track can be heard). 

  • Shoot your video horizontally, not vertically. 

  • Try multiple takes and submit the strongest one. 

How do I submit my video?

  • Watch your video both before and after uploading to ensure it's what you want to submit. 

  • You will have two options for submitting your video: 

    • Recommended: Provide a URL to your video on a file sharing platform (Google Drive, Vimeo, YouTube, etc.). 

    • Upload the video file directly into the submission form from your laptop or desktop. Use a common file type (mp4, mov). 

  • Give your video a clear name. Consider using “[First Name] [Last Name] [Troupe Number] – Thespy Submission.” (e.g., Jane Doe 1234 – Thespy Submission) 

  • Make sure the link to your video will allow for open access to all adjudicators. Change the setting to “anyone with the link can view.” Test it by sending it to your teacher, family members, or friends, or copy the link into an incognito browser window. Do not use the “Private” setting. 

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. 

  • It is recommended to combine all the support materials into a single PDF portfolio submission, like looking through an actual binder or portfolio. For photo uploads (i.e., renderings or costume construction photos) use common file types like JPEG, PDF, PNG (avoid HEIC). 

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 explanation accounts 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. And check out the category-specific questions provided in each category’s rules

Can I enter more than one category? 

Yes, at the international level, you may submit entries for any approved Thespy category for which you earned an overall superior score at a qualifying event. You may not submit multiple entries for the same category. Note that some chapters may not be able to accommodate multiple entries per student at their qualifying events. 

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 an overall Superior score to become a Thespy Award winner. If no qualifiers earn a Superior score in any given category, there will be no Thespy Award winner in that category. 

  • If more than one student or group earns the same highest score in one category, all will be considered winners. Example: Suppose the highest whole number score in the Solo Acting category 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 may be 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 but completion of the adjudication training course is mandatory.