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Thespy Awards for Junior Thespians


You may be wondering how the Thespy Awards program might benefit your Junior Thespians, since high schoolers comprise the bulk of Thespy participants. Junior Thespians CAN participate in this program! Just like their high school counterparts, Junior Thespians must receive an overall Superior rating in a qualifying event to be invited to participate in the final round of adjudication at ITF. This page will help you forge a path so that your middle school students can be successful in the Thespy Awards program at the International Thespian Festival (ITF).


Common Questions and Thoughts:


My students are just starting their Thespian journey and are learning the basics.

Great! The Thespy rubrics can serve as amazing standards-based tools to help you focus on specific aspects of a performance or technical category. You can find those rubrics, as well as the skills measured, in the official 2024 Thespys Guide. In the instance of Thespy adjudication, the adjudicators, fellow Thespy participants, and anyone else present in the adjudication room constitutes an audience, and therefore, permission must be granted to perform the selections.


My students have a unit that focuses on monologues. Could I use this for the Thespys?

Yes! This is a great way to teach students to become “audition ready.” Keep in mind that the Solo Acting category requires two contrasting monologues from a published play that don’t exceed three minutes in total performance time.


My chapter doesn’t have an opportunity for middle school students to qualify for the final round of Thespy adjudications at ITF. What should I do?

Sometimes, chapters don’t have opportunities for Junior Thespians to qualify to move on to ITF. If this is the case, your students can participate in our Alternate Qualifier! This virtual adjudication takes place in November and December. More information can be found here. And check out some helpful tools on submitting virtually.


I can’t find appropriate monologues for my middle school students.

Sometimes we feel like younger performers might not be able to handle certain material. It is important to remember that students must use material from published plays to qualify for the Thespys. This is a great opportunity to lean on EdTA huge network of theatre teachers in our Community Forum! Take a moment to sign in and see what other teachers are doing, and ask for recommendations. This Community can be a valuable resource for you.


I would like to take my Junior Thespians to ITF so they can see what it’s like. Can my students sit in on the Thespy Awards adjudication?

At ITF, the Thespy Awards adjudication rooms are closed. Reach out to your chapter director and inquire about policies at chapter qualifying events. Many chapter events open the process to be viewed by anyone.


Have another question or concern? Feel free to email Thespys@schooltheatre.org for support with your Junior Thespians.