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The Thespian Excellence Awards or “THESPYs” (formally known as IEs or Individual Events) are intended to be a non-competitive, educational offering for students. Students have the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from professional judges on their prepared theatrical material and technical designs.  The goal for participating students is to find their strengths and weaknesses and to grow as theatre artists.  Participating in the THESPYs is optional and open to all ITS Thespian delegates affiliated with a school attending the Festival.


Due to Covid-19, the 2020 Michigan Thespian Festival will be all virtual.  THESPYs will be submitted as a video no later than 11:59pm on Friday, November 13, 2020.  Adjudicators will be assigned and will view and fill out the rubrics.  Students will receive their scores during the closing digital ceremony on December 6, 2020 and the digital rubrics will be shared after the festival is complete.


To ensure high quality and solid preparation, we encourage directors to hold troupe auditions before submitting their digital THESPYs.  Please make sure the content of all events is suitable for all high school audiences and is a good fit for your student(s).


Event Categories:

Performance                                       Technical                                             Michigan Only 

Duet Musical Theatre.                         Costume Design                                 Playwriting

Group Musical Theatre                       Costume Construction                        Solo Dance

Monologue                                          Theatre Marketing                              Group Dance

Duet Acting                                         Short Film

Group Acting                                      Scenic Design

Solo Musical Theatre                          Lighting Design

                                                           Sound Design

                                                           Make-Up Design 

                                                           Stage Management

While all categories can be submitted, META understands that community and district restrictions due to Covid-19 may vary.  If your school can only accommodate solo events (i.e. solo musical theatre, monologues and all technical events), that is fine (see the BLUE BOLDED bullet points below for limitations on the total number of submissions).  If duets/small groups are possible, these are also allowed.  If participants need to be masked during the performance that is fine and will not affect their evaluation scores.  Please be sure that the masks are either black or clear.

  • Students are allowed to compete in a maximum of (2) events.  

  • Due to this year’s special circumstances, schools are limited to the number of performance and technical events that can be submitted but are not held to a certain number of each THESPYs category.

  • Schools with 1-45 student registrants may submit up to 30 performance THESPYs and up to 20 technical Thespys. 

  • Schools with 46+ registrants can submit up to 40 performance THESPYs and up to 30 technical THESPYs.