MTI at #ThesFest19: A Week at the International Thespian Festival

MTI at #ThesFest19: A Week at the International Thespian Festival

Last week, MTI landed in Lincoln, Nebraska to attend the 2019 International Thespian Festival. As a sponsor, it was an honor to see passionate students, performers, teachers, and teaching artists gather together and support each other. If you missed out, let's walk you through the wild week that was #ThesFest19.

Read below and check out some standout moments from our week at ITF. You can watch even more of the fun on our highlighted Instagram story. And don't forget to follow the fun @mtishows on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.  

On Tuesday, Kansas Thespians showed what they were born to do when they performed Bring It On on the main stage at the Lied Center. Comprised of actors from Thespian Troupes all across Kansas, they told the story of Campbell, Danielle, the students of Jackson High School, and the ruthless Truman cheer squad. Doing tosses, flips, and other killer moves, Kansas Thespians brought the audience to their feet!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BRAVO @ksthespians! They left it all on the floor! #BringItOn #ThesFest19 #mtishows

A post shared by Music Theatre International (@mtishows) on

Wednesday night, Bradford High School Troupe 4982 (Kenosha, WI) gave the premiere high school performance of The Scottsboro Boys. This powerful, masterful production about nine young black men falsely accused of rape in 1931 left us all in awe. Bringing everything full circle, Susan Stroman, the director and choreographer of the original Broadway production, was in the audience!

The following day, the cast and creative team of The Scottsboro Boys, along with Stroman, held an illuminating talk back that sparked essential conversations about inclusion and justice in theater. At the end, Susan Stroman was inducted into the International Thespian Society!

Photo: Susan Doremus

On Saturday, we closed out ITF with TWO showstopping productions of MTI shows! Up first, was Arab High School Troupe 7023 (Arab, AL) bringing a mystical roller disco to life in Xanadu. This Troupe transported us to 1980's California, a time of big hair and big dreams for Sonny and Kyra, a mythical muse in disguise.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Xanadu at #ThesFest19 was MAGIC. Bravo @amt_shows!!! #mtishows #Xanadu #strangemagic #thespians

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Last but definitely not least was Jemicy School Troupe 8269's (Owings Mills, MD) Peter and the Starcatcher. This delightful production was an impressive feat of collaborative storytelling. Telling the story of how Peter Pan and Neverland came to be, Jemicy School set sail on an awfully big adventure - and the audience was along for the ride all the way.

In addition to these fantastic shows, MTI held workshops on the complexities of copyright, the ins-and-outs of licensing, and "hidden gems" - some great shows to consider for the next hit on your stage. We were also lucky to have a peek at a Mean Girls choreography workshop!

This year's ITF marked the last year at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. While we're sad to say goodbye to the campus that's been home to this festival for 25 years, we can't wait to see what's in store next year at Indiana University Bloomington. See you there, Thespians!

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