“Act well your part; there all the honor lies.”
That is the infamous motto of the International Thespian Society. Founded in 1929, ITS started with the aim of achieving student recognition in the arts. The program’s founders were a group of teachers in Fairmont, West Virginia. Named after Thespis, the supposed first actor, the international thespian society was founded. The first troupe was started in Casper, Wyoming and now there are thousands of troupes all over the world!
I was inducted into Thespian Troupe 7184 at my performing arts high school on May 23rd. At the ceremony, we received our acceptance certificate and rose to say the pledge in front of our families.
“I promise to uphold the aims and ideals of the International Thespian Society. I am a student of theatre and excellence is my ideal. I promise to perform my part as well as I can; to accept praise and criticism with grace; to cooperate with my fellow thespians and work for the good of the troupe; and to share my love of theatre.”
The following Friday, I attended the troupe’s annual Thespian Dinner. The Thespian Dinner is an event my Troupe hosts to welcome the new honorees and send a happy farewell to our Seniors. The night began with the potluck dinner which was put together by all the students and their families. After the dinner, the new honor members are called one by one in front of the dining hall in which we say the oath and pledge as a troupe. The awards are presented next and every member is honored with their achievements. The highest rank is International Thespian. In order to achieve this ranking, you must spend over 1800 hours working in theatrics. My chapter’s charter advisor, alongside the other acting teachers, presents each award with charm, recognizing each individual’s gifts and theatre roles, both on and off stage. I am fortunate enough to belong to a school where the arts are a major part of our education, however, acceptance into the program is still not that easy. In order to be inducted, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA as well as 100 hours of excellent work in theatre. ITS wants students who achieve honor and success, as well as have a love for theatre.
Overall I had an outstanding experience and I look forward to the bonds that will be made with my fellow thespians at my school and around the world. The International Thespian Society is something every young performer should join if there is a chapter available in your school. Not only is it an honor but it is also a great opportunity. You can click here to find out more about the International Thespian Society. As William Shakespeare once said, “The object of art is to give life a shape.”