August 2021 Edition
• A Letter from the ITA Treasurer

• Broadway Audiences Will Need Proof of Vaccination and Masks

• A Procrastinating Professor's End of Summer Stream of Consciousness

• Theatre's Changing Landscape

• Looking for Laughs? Try Schaumburg's Laugh Out Loud and Chicago's Goodman Theatre

• Five Questions All Community Theatre Directors Should Ask Themselves

• Stress Management Tools for the 2021/2022 School Year
A Letter from the ITA Treasurer

My name is Dennis Anastasopoulos, and I have been the treasurer of the Illinois Theatre Association for the past two years. My first involvement with the ITA was when I attended the Illinois High School Theatre Festival, first as a student and then as a sponsor, culminating in being asked to direct the All-State Production of Rent in 2016. I am starting my 17th year as a mathematics teacher, Head Drama Coach and Technical Director at Reavis High School. In addition to directing the school musical, I am the Technical Director for the IHSA One-Act Contest Play and the Co-Director of the IHSA Group Interpretation.

The Illinois Theatre Association is currently in a better-than-expected financial position in spite of COVID-19. We have been fortunate to be the recipient of grants from the Illinois Arts Council as well as two PPP forgivable loans, which have helped to keep us afloat during these difficult times.

We have been cautious with spending, pre-emptively postponing many live events. Even under these circumstances, we expanded our programming this year, offering online events for all ITA Divisions. Because these events were virtual, we saved some expenses.

The Illinois High School Theatre Festival Planning Committee reduced the Festival’s budget to accommodate a smaller event due to COVID-19. In addition to cutting costs for all areas of the event, they eliminated the traditional Opening Ceremonies and instead are creating an Opening Celebration which will include the Exhibit Hall, a cabaret performance by teachers, a scavenger hunt, and more.   

How can you help the ITA? Please remember to renew your membership. And when you buy items on Amazon, be sure to order through smile.amazon.com. At no cost to you, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase directly to the Illinois Theatre Association.

If you have any questions regarding the financial status of the ITA, feel free to reach out to me at treasurer@illinoistheatre.org.
Broadway Audiences Will Need Proof of Vaccination and Masks
by Michael Paulson of the New York Times
Submitted by Christopher Johnson
ITA Board Member-at Large

Broadway's theater owners and operators recently announced that they will be requiring that patrons be vaccinated in order to attend performances. The rule is currently set to apply until at least October of this year.

As theater operators and professionals know, Illinois is currently in Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, which eliminated all capacity restrictions, mask requirements, and social distancing requirements. However, the guidelines released by the state, and even the City of Chicago, specifically allow businesses and venues to enforce restrictions that are not specifically required by the relevant local or state government.

This article specifically discusses theaters based in New York, but as we start to see theaters reopen here in Illinois, we may start to see similar requirements at large and small professional theaters alike.
A Procrastinating Professor's End of Summer Stream of Consciousness
by Steven House of The Illinois Theatre Association
Submitted by Steven House
ITA College Theatre Division Representative

A Professor's look at all the things they have to do before school starts while building a color model.
Theatre's Changing Landscape
by Matthew Wexler, Creative Dramatics Magazine
Submitted by Lucia Luckett-Kelly
ITA Creative Drama Division Representative

The Creative Dramatics Magazine expresses the possibility of how teachers in the Performing Arts could become resilient and prepare to use technology as a teaching tool during the Pandemic. The article explains three different innovative ways an instructor can use to teach their students. Mr. Wexler states, "Through the innovative use of technology, theatre is being redefined at a breakneck pace that may one day be called the pandemic renaissance." The Dramatics magazine looked at three perspectives that exemplify how possibility is transforming reality.
Looking for Laughs? Try Schaumburg's Laugh Out Loud and Chicago's Goodman Theatre
by Barbara Vitello of The Daily Herald

Craving to see more theater? Join these theaters for their upcoming performances!
Five Questions All Community Theatre Directors Should Ask Themselves
by Michelle Jace of Onstage Blog
Submitted by Mary Jones
ITA Community Theatre Division Representative

Community theatre is magical. A bunch of folks with the same passion coming together to share their talents for no pay is a true labor of love. It brings culture into areas that otherwise may not have the means to experience live performance. These five questions can help keep you honest and on track for many aspects of your upcoming production.
Stress Management Tools for the 2021/2022 School Year
by Sara Lindberg, Healthline
Submitted by Deena Cassady
ITA Secondary School Theatre Division Representative

Teacher burnout is a real thing. Teacher burnout from teaching through a global pandemic is an ONGOING thing. The pandemic isn’t over yet and the unknowns going into the 2021/2022 school year can certainly put a halt to the relaxation that comes with summer break for most teachers. Sara Lindberg’s article, “Stress Management Tools for the 2021-2022 School Year", outlines a few self-care, stress management, and school year planning tools that will help you stay ahead of the stress and burnout and help you manage it all when it inevitably sneaks in. Pour a cup of coffee, read the article, bookmark the links, and remember that self-care is not selfish.
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