Congratulations, Team Oregon!

State PicThe 2016 Oregon Thespians State Festival by the numbers: 59 High Schools, 9 Middle Schools, 1297 Thespians, 272 Junior Thespians, 25 Locations, 120 Showcase Auditions, 92 Design/Tech Entries, 69 Workshops, 18 Guest Artists, 37 One Acts, 3 Main Stage Productions, 2 Awesome Dances, and $4510 raised for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS ($2369 in one minute!).  State Wars.  It’s true.  All of it.

Preliminary dates have been set for 2016-2017 events:  Camp Thespis (August 8-10, 2016); Oregon Leadership Summit (September 24-25, 2016); Improv Festival (October 1, 2016); Regionals (February 4, 2017); and State (April 6-8, 2017).  EdTA’s Annual Conference (in Las Vegas) is September 15-18, 2017.


guidebook-iconThe center of Oregon’s Educational Theatre Galaxy is Salem, this weekend, as STATE WARS begins.  Nearly 1300 Thespians will create three days of theatrical adventure, celebrating excellence throughout the state.  On Friday, over 250 Junior Thespians will join the mix!

To stay on top of it all, DOWNLOAD GUIDEBOOK, the digital Festival Program available on iOS, Android, and the web.  Click here now!

If you would like a printed copy, you can download it here.  Printed copies will not be distributed at the Festival.

Get ready for workshops, one-acts, main stage productions, auditions, exhibitions, and maybe a little dancing to cap off the day.  See you in Salem!


STATE WARS LOGOWe’re just two weeks away from the premiere high school theatre event in Oregon!  Begin planning now for STATE WARS, The 2016 Oregon Thespians State Festival.

The online GUIDEBOOK will be active by March 29.  PDF copies of the schedule, along with workshop and one-act descriptions, will be posted here as well.  If you want printed copies at State, make sure you download and print before heading to Salem.

You can download GUIDEBOOK (for iOS and Android) on March 29.  In the meantime, here’s the basic rundown of the Festival’s events (subject to change):

Thursday, March 31

Registration (by Troupe Directors only) is Noon to 5 pm at Salem Convention Center

Showcase Auditions, Design/Tech Adjudication, and Honor Troupe Presentations will take place as scheduled from 12-5.  Your Troupe can sign up to help spread the word about Oregon Thespians and the final day of Theatre In Our Schools Month on the Capitol Steps!

7 pm – Opening Events at Elsinore Theatre, featuring RADIUM GIRLS presented by Ashland HS Troupe #4630.

10-11:45 pm – Dance: The Dark Side vs The Light Side (a black and white fancy dance)

Friday, April 1

9:30 am – Morning Events at Elsinore Theatre featuring MIDDLETOWN presented by Sunset HS Troupe #5604.

Lunch on Your Own

Workshops, One-Acts, and STEVE (State Thespian Educational Vendor Expo)

1:40-3 pm – Workshop/One-Act Session 1

3-3:30 – Meet STEVE! (Expo open from 1 to 5:30 pm)

3:30-4:50 – Workshop/One-Act Session 2

Dinner on Your Own

7:30 pm – Evening Events at Elsinore Theatre featuring ONCE ON THIS ISLAND presented by Clackamas HS Troupe #2351.

10:00-11:45 pm – Dance: Welcome to The Cantina (alienwear abounds)

Saturday, April 2

9:30 am – Morning Events and Tech Awards at Elsinore Theatre

Workshops, One-Acts, and STEVE (State Thespian Educational Vendor Expo)

10:10-11:30 – Workshop/One-Act Session 3

11 am-1 pm – Tech Challenge (Register at Festival)

11:30-Noon – Meet STEVE! (Expo open from 10 am to 2 pm)

Noon-1:20 – Workshop/One-Act Session 4

Troupe Director Lunch Meeting at Noon

Troupe President Lunch Meeting at 1:30 (1 Rep from each Troupe)

3 pm – Closing Events at Elsinore Theatre featuring the 2016 State Showcase

Final Curtain by 6 pm



MAR3Oregon Thespians’ premiere event is March 31 through April 2 as Thespians gather in Salem for STATE WARS, our 2016 State Festival.

MARCH 3 IS THE DEADLINE for registration, along with several other special opportunities that you won’t want to miss.  Click the links below for more information.

And remember!  The Friday of our State Festival is JUNIOR THESPIAN DAYTalk to your District Middle School colleagues and spread the good news!

The deadline for all of these opportunities is March 3!  Review the information at the above links and take a close look at the ONLINE REGISTRATION SITE for State.

The Thespian Event we’ve waited for all year is just around the corner!


competeIt’s time for Oregon Thespians’ annual REGIONAL ACTING COMPETITIONS!  It’s game-on this Saturday at Wilson, Clackamas, and Central High Schools, in what is among the nation’s largest competitive acting events.

With Thespians, though, remember that CELEBRATION supersedes COMPETITION as we recognize the tremendous amount of work and talent on display this Saturday.  You’re competing against your better self — not each other — and using this opportunity to get feedback from three or four singularly qualified judges.  If you leave Saturday with a sense of accomplishment, and some direction to continue on your path as a growing theatre artist, WE ALL WIN!

In nuts-and-bolts terms, remember that we’ll be recognizing 20% of the entries this weekend, with the top 10% (or 2, whichever is greater) in each event advancing as Showcase Qualifiers to the Showcase auditions at State, and the next 10% in each category (if any) being named Regional Finalists.  That means 80% leave with just the judge comment sheets and evaluation forms.  Value that feedback!  (Even if you may not agree with it.)

Tournament Coordinators will be in touch with Troupe Directors this week.  Registration starts at 8:00 am.  Troupe Presidents are reminded that they have a lunch meeting to determine (among other things) the State Festival Theme for 2016.  Troupe Directors will also meet, beginning during the morning rounds.

Just about everything you need to know about Regionals can be accessed from this page.

Act well your part, everyone!  There all the honor lies!



blue-ribbonONLINE REGISTRATION for the 2016 Regional Acting Competition is now open.  The deadline to register is January 21.  Troupe Directors can click here to register.  Both students and Troupe Directors should note the importance of accurate registrations.  Please do not register any entries you are unable to confirm.

This year’s REGIONALS will be on Saturday, February 6, with the Southern Regional at Central HS in Independence; the Northwest Regional at Wilson HS in Portland; and the Northeast Regional at Clackamas HS in Clackamas.  Schools located south of the 45th parallel are in the Southern Region.  The East/West division for the Northern Region is at I-5.  Note that this year, all Portland Public Schools are asked to register for the Northwest Regional, regardless of location.

Students planning to enter in a Technical Category at State can register with their troupe to have their entry receive “Early Entry Tech Feedback” at their Regional.  This optional opportunity allows students to confirm that their entry satisfies the required elements in their event. Click here for more information.

For complete information on Regionals, click here.  Event guidelines and sample judge forms can be found by clicking here.





Several of our Thespian Events are dependent on the involvement of ADJUDICATORS, who create much needed order out of our chaos by filling out forms, assigning scores and ratings, and ultimately casting our State Showcase.  The most valuable thing our judges provide, though, is FEEDBACK.  When you leave an adjudicated event with some new observation or feedback (whether a commendation or recommendation), you are leaving with something very valuable to anyone who practices our craft.

We need your help in recruiting qualified judges!  Judge Training is January 16 in two locations:  North Training is at Rex Putnam HS in Milwaukie; South Training is at McNary HS in Salem.  Refer qualified individuals to the online registration site by sending them this link.  Or you can enter their name and email address at this link and we’ll take care of the rest.  Click here to learn more about judging.


An Empty Theatre Stage

An Empty Theatre Stage

Fall Production Season is in full swing as Thespians across Oregon are treading the boards with an impressive range of shows!  Remember that we want to showcase three of these as Main Stage Productions at the State Festival.  Consider submitting your show for possible selection as a Main Stage Production at this year’s Festival.  You have until December 15 to turn in your completed application, along with the necessary support materials.  Please remember that the committee needs two weeks notice to arrange for a live respondent to come to your show, but you can submit your show after the fact, as long as you meet the December 15 deadline.  Take a look at the information found here, and give careful thought to whether or not you should submit.  Points to consider include the considerable time and effort bringing a show entails, along with the practical considerations of the Elsinore Theatre’s technical specifications.  Please review this information carefully, and then get in on the act!

See HAMLET with NT LIVE! Special Thespians Showing 10/23

hamletbatchThird Rail Repertory Theatre presents a special Oregon Thespians showing of HAMLET, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  Third Rail’s public viewings of this NT LIVE presentation are selling out one after the other, with the company trying to keep pace by adding screenings of this unique opportunity to experience a bold new production of the world’s most famous play.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS to this special showing at the Marilyn Moyer Theatre on Jesuit High School’s campus, Friday, October 23, at 7 pm.  All seats are $10 for Thespians, $12 for Non-Thespians, and $12 for HS Teachers, general admission (this special presentation is for high school students and educators only).

Teachers!  Purchase 15 Student tickets (Thespian or Non-Thespian) in the same transaction and a Teacher ticket in that transaction will be free!

Learn more about the production here.  You can visit Third Rail’s NT LIVE site for information on other upcoming showings, direct from London!

OTEA Conference to turn on the STEAM, October 9

imaginary-foundation-art-scienceOregon Theatre Educators Association (the teacher-centered program of Oregon’s Educational Theatre Association Chapter) will present a day-long professional development conference at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall on Friday, October 9, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

The theme of this year’s conference is STEAM (vs STEM) Education, infusing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with the Arts.  And vice versa.

STEAM PUNKS OF OREGON will feature guest workshop leaders who will show you how your curriculum can be (probably already is) STEAM powered.  Any and all theatre educators in Oregon are encouraged to attend.  Click here for more information, or to register online.  The registration deadline is Tuesday, October 6.