Illinois Theatre Association
In This Edition...
Statewide Community Theatre Festival
The ITA will be ready to announce plans for a Statewide Community Theatre Festival by the end of this week. Stay tuned for the exciting details!
August 25-26, 2018
ITA's 3rd Annual Gala and Awards Celebration
Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook

July 31-Augut 4, 2018
TOP Flight Workshops
Northern IL University
September 8, 2018 
USITT Midwest Section
Stage Rigging Workshop
Northern IL University
Eureka College Theatre
Ten Minute Play Script Submissions
Illinois High School Students
Submit by
September 4, 2018
Productions on
January 25-26, 2018

Lake Park HS
is looking for a full-time Theatre Operations Specialist.

Evanston Township HS
is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Daytime Auditiorium Technician for the 2018-19 school year and beyond. 
Downers Grove North HS
is searching for a quality Auditorium Manager.

Downers Grove North HS
is looking for a quality Scenic Designer, Builder & Props person for 4 shows in the 2018-2019 season. They might also have a few Costumer slots as well.
Prospect HS
is looking for a Technical Director for the 2018-2019 school year.

Trinity HS
is seeking a full-time Music teacher for the 2018-19 school year.

Gl enbard North HS
is looking for a Technical Director / Auditorium Manager for the 2018-2019 school year.

Niles North & West HS
are seeking candidates for a part-time Theatre (70%) teaching position. 
Carmel Catholic HS
s looking for a part-time Theatre Teacher and a Stagecraft Instructor for the 2018-2019 school year.

Click Here for ALL
Job Details, or to Submit a Job Posting.


Western Illinois University's Department of Theatre and Dance
announces Musical Theatre BFA Auditions for the incoming class of 2019.

Click here for ALL Audition Details, or to Submit an Announcement.
Saint Genesius Productions
Titanic, the Musical
7/19/18 - 7/21/18
Thurs - Sat at 7:00 pm
Sun at 3:00 pm

Visit the    ITA Performance Calendar for all performance details, and to submit YOUR performance. 

Illinois Theatre Association

The ITA is a network of dedicated theatre artists and educators  advocating quality theatre throughout Illinois.  Please join us!

123 Mill Pond Dr.
Glendale Heights, IL  60139
312-265-5922 (office)


The Illinois Theatre 
Association is partially 
supported by a grant from 
the Illinois Arts Council, 
a state agency.  
eFOLLOWSPOT    top    JUNE, 2018

Saturday, 8/25:  Drury Lane Theatre
Oakbrook, IL
Dining & ITA Awards followed by a performance  of
Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
Sunday, 8/26:  Hilton Suites
Oakbrook, IL 
Featuring Erica Daniels, Keynote Presenter
 (Managing Director of Victory Gardens Theater)

One Day Packages Available!

Discounted Hotel Rates AvaIlable
at Hilton Suites (reserve by 8/3)
Click here for details.

By John Curran, ITA College Theatre Rep.

The focus of my articles over the last two years has been on the value of collaboration outside of our own academic worlds.  In the same sense of "bringing together" I also tried to showcase a few theatre programs in the state doing some pretty interesting work.  It's been a very fun exploration and I certainly appreciate the nice comments along the way. 

Recently I've really been considering new places collaboration can take us.  At AU, I'm really enjoying collaborating with our STEM school. This year I taught a session with the 8th graders on "Engineering Art", a problem solving class on how to take a set design from concept to completion with the variables we all know too well (budget, time, talent, and money).  We also spent some time on "Uncle Billy's Crazy Job", a discussion of William Shakespeare and his relevance to today.  As many of you know, in 9th grade most o f these students will be spending a LOT of time with Uncle Billy, so we wanted to give them a little head start.  The absolute joy of the learning process that these students bring to the classroom is a real breath of fresh air and it got me thinking about how the shift from STEM to STEAM is going these days.

For those new to the acronyms, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the focus is on more interactive, hands-on learning in these traditionally lecture based disciplines.  This has mainly concentrated on elementary and middle schools, but we have certainly seen how it can carry through to higher education as well.  STEAM is a relatively recent adaptation of that idea bringing the Arts into the equation.  Honestly, I've been a part of several STEM classes, they seem so much like every art and theatre class I've ever had that we should be getting royalties. Even if Arts have not always been a part of the concept, we've had an influence.

So far I've seen nothing but pluses in my time in the sand box playing with the science folks. We all seem to get something from the experience.  I was working with this idea even back in the early 90's in grad school.  Some theatre tech and design students petitioned to be able to collaborate with engineering .  It met with a lot of resistance, but we were able to make it work for one class.  In a manufacturing process class, the theatre students were  charged with being the research and development unit while working with the enginee ring students on manufacturing toolboxes.  Together we planned the manufacturing process and created the boxes (by the way, with theatre designers involved, they were proba bly the most FABULOUS tool boxes ever).  In the end, it was an awesome experience for everyone.  The theatre students got to play with some VERY cool toys we never get to see.  Plus we contributed to the designs and the way the engineering students developed the process. One personal take away for me was learning the official terms for the way we do what we do in theatre.  Now I sound so legit when I talk to the STEM folks. 

So, if STEAM is an option for your college or university, I encourage you to make the effort. Besides being fun and enriching, it has also opened us up to some new grant opportunities in both areas.  I suspect this is more than just a passing pedagogy fad.  I think it will likely affect the way we approach science (and the arts) for quite some time.  Even if you do not have a STEM movement at your school, take the opportunity to say "hi" to those crazy science folks.  You never know what kind of good things can develop.  P ersonally, I think it has been worth the effort.

For more info on STEM and STEAM, please consider:

By Joan McGrath, ITA Professional Theatre Rep.
The stunning - and superb -- surprise performance of "Seasons of Love" from "Rent" by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School theater students who survived the February 14 massacre was the emotional highlight of the 2018 Tony Awards on June 10th.
The saga of their teacher Melody Herzfeld's lifesaving action in barricading them in a closet during the Parkland, FL shooting rampage is an inspiration.
But I feel the awarding of the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award to Herzfeld is a tribute to K-12 drama teachers everywhere.
You who work with sky high expectations, woefully limited budgets, student insecurities and parental pressures are an extraordinary clan.
You facilitate self-esteem, harness artistic talent, encourage inclusion, bestow hope, teach teamwork, impart communication excellence and create "a circle of trust."
In accepting the award co-presented at the Tony's by the American Theatre Wing, Broadway League and Carnegie Mellon University, Herzfeld stirringly encapsulated what you do every day. 
In her words:  "As theatre educators, we teach kids by giving them space to be critiqued yet not judged, giving them a spot in the light yet not full stage, creating   a circle of trust in which to fail,  telling them long drawn out stories so they can be better listeners, giving students simple responsibilities that are beneath them to encourage character and stressing to them to be selective as they formulate relationships, by welcoming every single side that exists in the world and also (by knowing) how to begin again."
She underlined one of the empowering permissions you educators bestow: "It is a given in theatre class for students to think they can speak freely and honestly."
She elaborated on the lessons you teach:  "We all have a common energy.  We all want the same thing.  We cannot deny it.  To be bold, to hit our mark, to tell our truth, to make a difference and to be loyally respected.  We teach this every day, in every art class.  
"Imagine if arts were classes that were considered core classes in education.  Imagine!"
Herzfeld concluded, "We all have known that the future of the world was about collaborative creativity. And here we are, the future, changed for good."
Thank YOU for helping our children reach the future equipped to embrace it.

By Beth Ann Barber, ITA Secondary School Theatre Rep.
As a secondary education teacher, I know that theatre classes are great for so many aspects of a person's life. I have been lucky enough to work with teenagers for 35 years in theatre, and senior citizens for fifteen of those years. I know that theatre is great for keeping the brain sharp. As I face retirement from formal education, I plan to continue to work in theatre. I will work with senior citizens and special needs students in theatre to continue to share the benefits and gifts theatre brings to all involved.

It has been an honor to work on the Board of the ITA, and I plan to continue to be an active member in this wonderful organization.      
To see more brain benefits of theatre click here for the article by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education entitled "The Benefits of Theatre Education."

By Stacy Deemar, ITA Member
Have you ever redacted "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, turned Simba into a turtle in  The Lion King , or made the setting for A laddinin a subway car?  Did you get authorization in your theatrical license to make changes to the copyrighted materials?  What? You did not retain a theatrical license?! 
The process in selecting and retaining the production rights for a play or musical can feel like going through a corn maze.  But regardless of how tedious and costly it can be to adhere to theatrical licensing protocols, creative artists' intellectual property is protected by copyright laws and therefore must be honored.
To ensure that organizations such as schools and professional theatres do not violate copyright law, parties interested in performing copyrighted materials must acquire the rights to a show.    A performance license is required any time a show is presented in front of an audience, regardless if there is admission.  School shows, classroom presentations, benefits, public and private shows, festivals, competitions, and even excerpts of titles of more than ten minutes in some instances, require a license. 
Once a show has been selected, the interested party must apply for a theatrical license.   Theatre licensing agencies including Music Theatre International (MTI), Samuel French, The Musical Company, Tams-Witmark and Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) are authorized by copyright owners to license their theatrical titles.  These licensing agencies provide "dramatic rights", to perform a theatrical work.  Thus, permission to perform copyrighted material is in the form of a license. 
The cost of the license can vary from title to title due to the contracts authors have with the licensing agency as well as the availability of the title.  In some theatrical agencies, there is a significant cost difference between professional and amateur performances including kids and junior versions as well as full-length scripts.  Licensing costs can fluctuate based on the size of the venue, the number of performances, and the ticket prices.  Some licensing agencies may provide a flat fee cost for some types of organizations.
Most theatrical licensing agencies have websites with the their collections of titles, frequently asked questions, and production materials.  Some even have an on-line application process while other agencies have procedures that require speaking to a licensing representative.
Theatrical licensing agencies recommend that interested parties apply for a license in advance of the first rehearsal.  Negotiating terms in the contract, paying for the license, and receiving the materials could take several weeks or months.  A licensing application can be accepted up to one year in advance of the show at some agencies while others can expedite the application process in just a few weeks.  
Once a license is obtained, the licensing agency will send resources that may include: director's script, actor scripts, choreographic guides, performance accompaniment CD and recordings, conductor's score, chorus-vocal scores, rehearsal aids, lesson plans, stage manager script, study guides, suggestions for sets, costumes and lighting design, sound effects CD, etc. to the director.  Additionally, electronic resources may be accessible on-line for a specific duration of time that may include:  Production Pro - Digital Rehearsal/Notebook, OrchExtra®, RehearScore®Plus, Scenic Projection Show Packages, and more.
Each theatrical license is unique and most, if not all, provide resources for rental use only. These properties cannot be copied, duplicated or purchased and must be returned to the company based on the terms in the licensing agreement.
Copyright grants authors the exclusive privilege to control reproduction, distribution, performance or displays of their creative work.  Thus, all licensed materials cannot be altered, changed and/or have omissions made to the script, including the text, title and stage directions, without written permission from the licensing agency.  To make any type of changes to the licensed material, a written request must be made to the licensing agency representative with the modifications and the reasons for the variations.  Only when the author/owner of the copyrighted materials agrees in writing to the modifications can they be executed.
There are penalties for violating copyright laws.  Federal copyright laws establish statutory fines for each act of copyright infringement ranging from $750 and $30,000 for minor infringements to a maximum of $150,000 for willful infringement.
In many performance license agreements, there are provisions about recording and reproducing the show in audio, video and computer sequencing.  The license prohibits the licensee to broadcast, televise, and/or electronically post the performance on the Internet or retain a copy for archival purposes.  Furthermore, the licensing agreement may require that the following warning to be placed in the program:  "The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited."  
The next time you want to redact "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, turn Simba into a turtle in  The Lion King , or make the setting for  Aladdin  in a subway car, inquire with the theatrical licensing agency.  And when you reach a dead end in the theatrical licensing corn maze, you might find poetic license in performing a Shakespearean play, exempt from theatrical licensing, to be the perfect solution.
By Chris Petrson
Submitted by James Crow,                                                                       ITA Community Theatre Rep.

Those nagging questions that plague struggling community theatre groups:

Where ar we going?
How will we get there?
Will it last? Is it all worth it?
Click here  for the answers in Chris Petrson's article "6 Reasons Your Community Theatre is Failing" at Onstage Blog.
Submitted by Susan Antman, ITA TYA Rep.
One of the best parts of being involved with ITA is that we get to
connect with so many other theatre practitioners - of all stripes
-- from communities across the state. So it's natural to share
best practices, as well as our stories as teachers, actors, tech
folks, and volunteers. I always am looking for inspiration, and
one of my favorite resources is   Education Closet, the amazing
web site founded by Susan Riley. I'm particularly interested in
Arts Integration and that's her focus as well. If you are looking
for light inspiring reading, check her out:
Happy Sunday Susan,
One of my family's favorite summer shows is America's
Got Talent. There's just something fun about watching 
all of the ways people share their gifts. L ast week, Michael Ketterer (a father of 6 and a nurse) s ang his heart out and won over the judges. But he said something before his audition that I thought was even better than his voice:
"When you're surviving, you can't dream"
What a powerful statement. And for us teachers, this can be especially true in the midst of a busy school year.  How many of us are just surviving? Now that you have a little more time and space away from the classroom, I hope you'll take this week to 
dream again.  

Dream about all of the things you want to do and be.  
And make them BIG. Because the world needs your all 
of your gifts - whether it's on a stage or in a classroom.

New this Week

Do you have a plan for using social media for your classroom? Amanda Koonlaba shares specific ways to build a social media strategy.
Learning Strategy
Lydia González walks you through  providing PD through the Amazing Race . This is a great strategy for both providing PD and introducing new concepts in your classroom.
Cool Tool
We've shared Flipgrid before (I'm a huge fan), but had t o tell you the good news: now it's 
Our early bird rate for the upcoming  Summer Arts I ntegration and STEAM Online Conference is ending in just about a week. If you haven't registered yet, learn more and jump in at this discounted rate.

I'm looking forward to seeing you step into your dreams and supporting you on the journey ahead.
Have a great week!
Susan Riley
Arts Integration Specialist