WHAT IS A THESPIAN

The Greenwood Christian Academy Thespian Troupe was chartered in the spring of 2008. GCA Thespian Troupe is actively involved in our school, community and our state Thespian organization. The goals of our troupe include supporting Indiana HS theatre, conducting community service projects, attending our three state Thespian events ( Improv Festival, Regional Acting Competition and State Conference) and fostering a cohesive Thespian troupe while participating in troupe events, mixers and projects.

We have a very active Thespian Troupe. We induct an average of 5-10 students each spring.

Being inducted into our Thespian Troupe is an honor and something that theatre students work hard to accomplish. The benefits of being a part of the International Thespian Society are immeasurable. As a Thespian, you uphold the Thespian motto, “Act well your part; there all the honor lies.” You’ll find that this motto and the theatrical, leadership, communication, and organizational skills that you develop as a Thespian will serve you well for the rest of your life.

What Does It Mean To Be a Thespian?

The International Thespian Society is the student honorary division of the Educational Theatre Association recognizing excellence in high school theatre. Schools join the International Thespian Society by chartering a Thespian troupe, which serves as the honor society for their theatre student artists and technicians. The school administration appoints one adult adviser to lead the troupe, the official troupe director (Bill Hardwick). The troupe director recognizes and rewards student achievement by inducting eligible students into the International Thespian Society.

Students in grades 9–12 who attend schools with active high school Thespian troupes can earn lifetime membership in the honor society. Troupe directors track student achievement and determine induction eligibility using a point system based on the quality and quantity of each student’s work in theatre and related arts. Thespians receive a wide range of benefits and opportunities throughout their high school careers and become Thespian alumni after graduation.

As a Thespian, you uphold the Thespian motto, “Act well your part; there all the honor lies.” You’ll find that this motto and the theatrical, leadership, communication, and organizational skills that you develop as a Thespian will serve you well for the rest of your life.

How Do I Become a Thespian?

Students in grades 9–12 who attend schools with active high school Thespian troupes can earn lifetime membership in the honor society. Troupe directors track student achievement and determine induction eligibility using a point system based on the quality and quantity of each student’s work in theatre and related arts.

During your tenure at GCA, you are eligible to earn points for your work in the theatre department. At GCA, students are eligible for induction when they have earned at least 10 Thespian points.

Thespian points are tallied throughout the year during our Thespian meetings. Students should keep accurate track of all participation. In May each year, the Troupe Director will assess the point records, meet with the student board and invite those who are eligible to the induction ceremony held in June.

The official point system for the International Thespian Society is on our website.

Thespian Honors

All Thespians are theatre arts honor students, and induction as a Thespian is the first of many honors that troupes may bestow on a student. However, the International Thespian Society recognizes three achievement ranks beyond induction. Troupe directors should continue tracking Thespian points after induction and use these points to recognize ongoing Thespian achievements.
Thespian stars are presented to acknowledge each additional 10 points (or 100 hours) earned. Star ratings should be designated on the student’s membership certificate under “Thespian Stars Earned.” We also encourage the troupe to indicate star ratings (1 through 4 stars) and honor ranks after the student names on playbills, membership rolls, and in other printed materials.
Below are brief descriptions of Thespian honor ranks and the point totals associated with each. See “Thespian and graduation honors program” below for details.

  1. Honor Thespian. 60 total points earned or the equivalent of 5 stars. For outstanding contributions to the ideals of the Society and meritorious work in the field of theatre.
  2. National Honor Thespian. 120 total points earned or the equivalent of 11 stars. For exceptional commitment to the ideals of the Society and distinguished work in the field of theatre.
  3. International Honor Thespian. 180 or more total points earned or the equivalent of 17 or more stars. For extraordinary dedication to the ideals of the Society and exemplary work in the field of theatre.

Benefits and Honors associated with Thespian induction

  • Membership in the only international honor society for high school theatre arts students—a recognized demonstration of achievement and a valuable addition to college and employment applications.
  • A membership certificate.
  • A personalized membership card.
  • A one-year (nine issues) subscription to Dramatics magazine.
  • Leadership opportunities at the troupe, chapter, and international levels.
  • Eligibility for scholarships through EdTA chapters and the home office.
  • Eligibility to apply for student grants, including the Doug Finney Festival Grants (juniors and seniors), which are need-based grants to help Thespians attend the ITS Festival.
  • Eligibility to audition at the Thespian Festival for admission to college theatre programs.
  • Eligibility to submit original plays to the Thespian Playworks program.
  • Eligibility to audition for chapter Individual Events programs and qualify for the National Individual Events Showcase (NIES) at the Thespian Festival.
  • Eligibility to receive Thespian graduation and honor items (honor cords, point stars, pins, etc.).
  • Eligibility to advance to Thespian ranks of Honor, National Honor, or International Honor Thespian.
  • Eligibility to receive Thespian scholar distinction for academic achievement.