Virtual International Thespian Festival to Center Black Artists and Diversity, Adds Six and Hamilton Stars to Lineup

Education News   Virtual International Thespian Festival to Center Black Artists and Diversity, Adds Six and Hamilton Stars to Lineup
 
The first-ever online edition of the week-long celebration of high school theatre kicks off June 22.
Brittney Mack and Austin Scott
Brittney Mack and Austin Scott Joseph Marzullo/WENN, Joseph Marzullo/Media Punch

The 2020 International Thespian Festival is joining the worldwide conversation on Black Lives Matter and anti-racism by centering Black artists and issues of diversity within theatre.

Scheduled for June 22–26, the online event celebrating high school theatre will feature Michael James Scott (Aladdin, Something Rotten!) hosting the festival kickoff, a keynote address from Tony-winning director Kenny Leon on racial equity, a student leadership program led by Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), and a student question and answer led by Brittney Mack (SIX).

Also joining the 2020 festival line-up is a panel discussion led by the Center for Law and Social Policy Director for Racial Equity Dr. Jamie Riley and featuring stage manager Cody Renard Richard and performers Danielle Mone Truitt (Deputy) and Austin Scott (Hamilton, Girl From the North Country); nine workshops taught by artists of color and/or on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion; an LGBTQ+ panel; a Q&A and video performance with Ryan J. Haddad (The Politician); and a panel discussion on female empowerment with Dolly Parton and female student cast members of a high school production of 9 to 5.

This programming joins a previously announced slate of performances, workshops, and master classes with such special guests as Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Tina Fey, and Laura Benanti.

Newly held online in response to the current health crisis, 2020 Virtual International Thespian Festival programming will be the most accessible in the festival's history. All are invited to attend, and all programming will be available to watch on demand for 90 days with an all-access pass. Registration is currently open.

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