The International Thespian Society bestows this title on any high school student who has earned at least 10 points (or approximately 100 hours) in his or her high school drama activities and has paid membership dues to International Headquarters. There are hundreds of high school students throughout the state and thousands throughout the world who have their names inscribed on a certificate and carry a membership card testifying to the fact that they are a Thespian. But how many of these students could be classified as REAL THESPIANS?
What do I mean as a REAL THESPIAN? To me, the qualifications for a REAL THESPIAN go beyond carrying a membership card. A REAL THESPIAN is one who is interested in Drama because it provides and exciting learning, sharing, and self-fulfilling activity and one who is motivated not by seeing how many points can be earned, but rather by the joy of being involved with others in one of the most dynamic of the creative arts.
A REAL THESPIAN is not concerned with just getting a leading role in a play, but considers every part, even a walk on with no lines, as a challenge to develop a vital characterization which adds to the total effect of the production. A REAL THESPIAN is not afraid of clothes spattered with paint, hands dripping with gooey dutchman paste, hair filled with sawdust, a tongue parched from licking envelopes, nor an occasional bruised thumb resulting from a poorly aimed hammer. In other words, a REAL THESPIAN is not afraid of work---another important ingredient of any successful production.
A REAL THESPIAN's interest in theatre also goes beyond the limits of mere personal gratification---beyond the limits of one's own high school program. A REAL THESPIAN wants to be involved in all types of theatre and knows that the best way to gain a true appreciation of theatre is to be exposed to as many theatrical experiences as possible. And a REAL THESPIAN knows that theatre is a constant ongoing process, and that the best way to learn theatre is to be involved. Certainly some of the best ways to be involved and to learn is through the area workshops, state conferences, and the Thespian Festival each year.
So what are you? A REAL THESPIAN? Or just a name on a certificate? If you put yourself in the first category, then prove it by being a vital, active member of your own local troupe and make sure that you get your sponsor to take you to the festivals, where you'll have the opportunity to share and learn in a variety of theatre experiences with other REAL THESPIANS.
-Robert Geuder of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
"relating to drama and the theatre"
CODE OF ETHICS
Part of the great tradition of the theatre is the code of ethics, which belongs to every worker on the legitimate stage. This code, while tacit, has been observed throughout the centuries and will continue long after us. It is neither superstition, nor dogma, nor a statute enforced by law. It is an attitude towards craftsmanship, a respect for associates, and a dedication toward the audience. This code outlines a self-discipline which, far from robbing one of individuality, increases self esteem and dignity through cooperation and common purpose. The result is perfection which encompasses all that is meant by "Good Theatre."
The show must go on! I will never miss a performance.
I shall play every performance to the best of my ability, regardless of how small my role or larges my personal problems.
I will respect my audience regardless of size or station.
I shall never miss an entrance or cause a curtain to be late by my failure to be ready.
I shall forego all social activities which interfere with rehearsals and will always be on time.
I shall never leave the theatre building or stage area until I have completed my performance.
I shall remember that my aim is to create illusion, therefore, I will not destroy that illusion by appearing in costume and make-up off stage or outside the theatre.
I will not allow the comments of friends, relatives, or critics to change any phase of my work without proper authorization. I will not alter lines, business, lights, properties, settings, costumes, or any phase of the production without consultation with and permission from the director.
I shall accept the director's advice in the spirit in which it is given, for he sees the production as a whole and my role as a portion thereof.
I shall never blame my co-workers for my own failure.
I shall look upon the production as a collective effort demanding my utmost cooperation, hence I will forego the gratification of ego for the demands of the play.
I will be patient and avoid temperamental outbursts, for they create tension and serve no useful purpose.
I shall respect the play and the playwright remembering that "A work of art is not a work of art until it is finished."
I will never engage in caustic criticism of another artist's work from jealousy or an urge to increase my own prestige.
I shall inspire the public to respect me and my craft through graciousness in accepting both praise and constructive criticism.
I will use stage properties and costumes with care, knowing they are tools of my craft and a vital part of the production.
I will observe backstage courtesy and shall comport myself in strict compliance with rules of the theatre in which I work.
I shall never lose my enthusiasm for the theatre because of disappointment or failure for they are the lessons by which I learn.
I shall direct my efforts in such a manner that when I leave the theatre, it will stand as a greater institution for my having labored there.
Listed point values are the maximum available. Up to 5 points may be awarded for activity beyond high school activities. (The 5 points includes any activity at the junior high.)
The Assistant Director(s), in conjunction with Mr. Myatt, will determine the actual number of points awarded.
The International Thespian Society is the only organization to honor secondary school students for outstanding work in theatre. The resolution with which the Society tackles this role is evident in its focus on the students; their achievements, involvement, and access to quality theatre arts instruction are basic concerns of ITS.
Membership gives students incentives to participate in theatre activities. It can also be an important factor in gaining admission to a quality drama program at the university level. For those who aren't planning a career in theatre, the Society's offerings can increase enjoyment of the art now and later, when the students become the adult theatre audience.
Thespian membership is granted for the performance of meritorious work in theatre arts which meets the Society's general guidelines. Specifically, students become members by earning points for their work. Sponsors should notify their theatre arts students, production participants, or drama club members that records of their activities will be maintained and that Thespian membership will be conferred when qualifications have been met.
The troupe secretary is ordinarily responsible for maintaining these records, which should be available for students' perusal. When the requisite number of points has been earned, an initiate may choose to join the society as an annual or lifetime member. A Thespian moving to another affiliated school is entitled to transfer her/his membership by having the new sponsor verify the membership with international headquarters. A new membership card and certificate may be secured by submitting the replacement credentials form, which is available from the home office in Cincinnati, Ohio.
10 points Pin and Induction Certificate
20 points First Star
30 points Second Star and Letter
40 points Third Star
50 points Fourth Star
60 points Fifth Star
70 points Honor Thespian Bar, Patch, and Certificate
80 points National Honor Bar, Patch, and Certificate
90 points International Honor Bar, Patch, and Certificate
100 points Sponsor Discretion
One Act Full Length
Major Role 4 8
Minor Role 3 5
Walk-on 1 2
Chorus 1 3
Dancer 1 3
Understudy 1 2
Stage manager 4 8
Stage crew 2 4
Light Tech 3 6
Light Crew 2 3
Set Designer 4 5
Set Crew 3 5
Costumer 3 6
Costume Crew 2 5
Props Manager 3 5
Props Crew 2 3
Sound Head 3 5
Sound Crew 2 3
Makeup Manager 3 5
Rehearsal Prompter 2 4
Pianist 3 6
Musician 2 3
Vice President 4
One Act Full Length
Business Manager 4 6
Business Crew 2 4
Publicity Manager 3 5
Publicity Crew 2 3
Ticket Manager 2 4
Ticket Crew 1 3
House Manager 2 4
House Crew 1 2
Ushers 1 2
Programs 1 3
Program Crew 1 2
Director 4 8
Assistant Director 3 6
Vocal Director 3 6
Assistant Vocal Director 2 5
Band/Orchestra Director 3 6
Assistant Band/ 2 5
Choreographer 4 7
Assistant Choreographer 3 5
Original Play 5
Original Radio Script 4
Original TV Script 4 6
Oral Interp. 2
Duet Acting 2
Participating in theatre festival or 3
Attending a performance or festival 1