November, 2021 Edition
Here's What to Expect When Chicago Theaters Reopen
by Acacia Hernandez of WTTW Chicago
Submitted by Nathan King
ITA Director of Communication

To open or not to open: That's been the question for Chicago’s performing arts community over the last year and a half.

The League of Chicago Theatres, the umbrella group representing some of Chicago's most well-known groups, recently announced a growing coalition of more than 70 Chicago-area performing arts venues will require proof of vaccination and masks for entry to their facilities. Some venues will allow entry with negative COVID-19 test results.
It's Here! IHSTF
by Richard Arnold, ITA College Theatre Division Representative

Finally... The Illinois High School Theatre Festival is coming! It has been two years since there was one live and in person. I missed it, did you? From what folks have been saying to me, I am guessing yes. IHSTF is a key ingredient to many college’s and universities’ recruiting process. Where else will you find 3000 to 5000 students interested in theatre all in one place for a weekend? Typically, there are 200 or so juniors and seniors auditioning, and another 50 plus interviewing and presenting their portfolios - all looking for the college or university that is ‘just right’ for them. 
Finding a Topic for Devising Theatre
by Elisabeth Westphal
ITA Theatre for Young Audiences/Creative Drama Division Representative

Have you ever wondered how to generate a topic for youth to devise a piece of theatre? The Rose Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska uses a “Teen IDEA” Meeting format.
Hewes Design Awards 2021
by Andrew Gans, Playbill.com
Submitted by Alka Sharma
ITA Community Theatre Division Representative

Every year Hewes Design Awards honor excellence in theatrical design, awarding scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design and notable effects that suspend disbelief and bring shows to life. This article by Andrew Gans unfolds the names of winners this year along with service organizations who helped the community staying afloat during the pandemic.
Touch the Wound, But Don't Live There
by Sarah Mantell, American Theatre Magazine
Submitted by Nathaniel Haywood
ITA Secondary School Theatre Division Representative

The "emotional Olympics." When you review the most produced plays in high school, there is a fair share of comedies and lighthearted musicals...but there is also a fair share of emotionally taxing, intense work as well. 12 Angry Jurors. She Kills Monsters. Radium Girls. Even Romeo & Juliet. We are accustomed to working with out students to create serious, emotionally taxing theatre - and we should be. Those kinds of scripts and production experiences can be edifying and rewarding, not only helping students to see and connect with people outside of themselves but also learning more about themselves as well. These emotional Olympics are beneficial to our students, but in her article Sarah Mandell posits that we often overlook a crucial piece of the process.

In today's theatre, intimacy choreography and direction is seen as having equal importance and necessity as fight choreography and direction because actors and students deserve to feel safe and protected. These steps and measures are a great leap forward in all areas of theatre and in particular can be helpful in the secondary arena. As the following article expounds, it is high time that providing students with the support to feel mentally and emotionally safe and protected when engaging in these "emotional Olympics" become standard as well.
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