April 2021 Edition
What Pritzker's 'bridge' plan means for movies, theatre, concerts and more
by Michael Phillips, Steve Johnson, Chris Jones, Doug George, Tracy Swartz and Jennifer Day of the Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Christopher Johnson
ITA Board Member-at Large

Illinois recently entered the "Bridge to Phase 5," a set of new state guidelines for the reopening of the State. What do these new guidelines mean for the Illinois theatre community? The Chicago Tribune talks with varied Illinois cultural institutions to discuss the new guidelines and plans for reopening.
How Top University Theatre Programs are Handling the Current Health Crisis
by Logan Culwell-Block of Playbill
Submitted by Steven House
ITA College Theatre Division Representative

We have now passed midterms and are racing to the end of the Spring semester--almost have made it through the 2020-2021 school year. What a school year it has been so far. The summer for most of us was asking a lot of questions about how and if live theatre could occur this year. How do I do blocking while keeping social distancing? How do I get my students to project in a mask? Can I do an outdoor show in October? What does choreography look like? More filming and zoom productions than you can shake a stick at. Here is a look back at what some schools' plans were back in August. But we want to look back at the successes we had this year and present them to our ITA membership. Please send your college covid restrictions classroom or production success stories with a picture to collegetheatre@illinoistheatre.org. Rick Arnold and I will join them together for a future eFollowspot article.
6 Rules of Great Storytelling (As Told by Pixar)
by Brian G. Peters
Submitted by Lucia Luckett-Kelly
ITA Creative Drama Division Representative

As a Storyteller, I enjoy creating unusual characterizations whenever I tell my stories. I feel that this article "6 Rules of Great Storytelling (As Told by Pixar)", depicts the same rules I have used in my storytelling performances.
The Incredible Benefits of Dramatic Play
by Sarah Punkoney of Stay at Home Educator
Macy Marie Hernandez
ITA Theatre for Young Audiences Division Representative

While dramatic play is fun for us adults, did you know that dramatic play shows many benefits for young children? Author Sarah Punkoney discusses the benefits of dramatic play and why it is important to a child's development.
Practicing Disability Justice, Honoring Wholeness Onstage
by Lydia X.Z. Brown from American Theatre: A Publication of Theatre Communications Group
Submitted by Mary Jones
ITA Community Theatre Division Representative

How disabled performing artists are challenging ableism, building access, and imagining new worlds. This article is one in a series produced by American Theatre on disability and theatre encouraging theatre artists fighting for equity in all spaces not to forget about theatre artists with disabilities. "Theatremaking is not a zero-sum game; it is simply better, richer, more rewarding when it is by, for, and about all of us." - Rob Weinert-Kendt (he/him), Editor-in-Chief American Theatre
Tips for Actors: Virtual Auditions and Self-Tapes
by Chase Conlin, Pioneer Drama Service
Submitted by Deena Cassady
ITA Secondary School Theatre Division Representative

Stay at least 6 feet apart. Keep your mask on. Don’t gather. The necessary measures we are continuing to take to keep everyone safe as we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic are not exactly theatre friendly. As theatre artists we are accustomed to constant togetherness and us high school directors know that our thespians (Thespis love em’) don’t always know the definition of personal space. When the pandemic first started I was amazed with how theatre teachers across the globe came together to create virtual ensembles to support one another in sharing their adaptations of in-person lessons to lessons that would thrive in the virtual world. In the article “Tips for Actors: Virtual Auditions and Self-Tapes,” Chase Conlin with Pioneer Drama Services explores how theatre teachers, directors, and students can engage in successful virtual auditions, self-tapes, and callbacks. Not only would this resource help you prepare for your next production, its activities would lend themselves well to an audition unit in your theatre classroom. I often ponder which changes the pandemic brought our craft will stay for the long-haul; I imagine virtual auditions will be something we will utilize for a while.
The ITA is supported partially by a grant from: