Ten Xavier and Brophy students recently received top honors from the International Thespian Society.
ITS was created through the Educational Theatre Association and provides resources and support for educational theatre in middle schools and high schools. The group hosts events like festivals geared toward high school students.
Students who are members of ITS receive awards and accolades through a point system.
“Students are awarded points based on their level of involvement with theatre,” theatre teacher Jessica Vining said. Involvement includes working on a show backstage, being part of the crew, or being a cast member. One point equals 10 hours.
Vining explained that students also receive credit when they participate in drama club or see a production, whether it’s a community theatre play or one on Broadway in New York City.
“Each activity or involvement is awarded different points,” Vining said, “and once a student earns 10 points, which is about 100 hours, they’re eligible to be officially inducted into ITS.”
Once a student becomes a member of this dramatic arts honor society, they join the ranks of other well-known, successful performers, like Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
As members work and accumulate more points, they can also receive benefits such as a subscription to Dramatics magazine, which covers news in the theatre industry and is also tailored specifically to the needs of high school students.
This year, seven students were named Honor Bar Recipients after dedicating 1,100-plus hours to the theatre: Tatum Allen, Maria Arvizu-Diaz, Ryan Coury, Nicole Goldman, Grace McGovern, Ali Tichavsky and Sara Watson.
“ITS means a recognition of all the hard work and hours I put into my school’s theatre program. I enjoy receiving that recognition,” Xavier senior Maria Arvizu-Diaz said.
“ITS is more than a collection of individuals but rather is a combination of imaginations,” Brophy senior Ryan Coury said. “I believe that our world is an impressive play born of many diverse perspectives, and ITS facilitates the expansion of this world by giving us students opportunities to contribute our verses. ITS is more than just a name and more than a group of people with similar interests – it’s a family and one whose members can turn to it anytime and anywhere.”
In addition to being Honor Bar Recipients, students who have devoted 1,300 or more hours to the theatre are also Medallion Recipients. This year’s Medallion Recipients are Dante Dallago, Grace Dimond and Eden Tornquist.
“It was very special to come together as a theatre community to receive the awards virtually. It was great to see my friends be recognized for the work we do on stage and off. ITS recognizes the value of theatre not only in our lives but in the greater community and the importance of theatre in high school,” Brophy senior Dante Dallago said.
Along with plaques, Medallion honorees receive another medal, which they can wear at graduation.
“I also give my students a special gift in the form of a book to encourage them in the theatre world,” Vining said. “This is personal in that it’s specific to each student and their interest in singing or acting.”