Student Individual Events: Thespys

Teachers, Troupe Directors, and Adjudicators – Feel free to use the Colorado Thespys forms in your classrooms, as they align with the Colorado and National Core Arts Standards. To view the official rubrics for Thespys please check, this is an excellent tool to use in your daily instruction as well as supporting teacher effectiveness or click here.

Get more information on submitting a Student Tech or Film Thespy.

Table of Contents


National and Colorado Thespy Guidelines

Colorado Thespys and the National Thespys are an educational program that offers conference delegates the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material and technical designs. The goal for participating students is to receive feedback from industry professionals on their skills, strengths, and weaknesses to grow as theatre artists and individuals. The events culminate in the selection of a performance showcase cast of outstanding entries. Outstanding films will be shown during the opening ceremonies. The Thespy showcase will be cast with representatives of the highest quality performances, and not all categories may be represented. All participants in the Colorado Thespys must be registered attendees for the conference.

The eligibility requirements and rules regarding Thespys at the national level are described in this document, Colorado follows the same rules, but does allow students to participate in two Thespys, and does not require blacks to be worn. The Colorado Thespys are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis, at our in-person conference we are limited by space, time restraints, and adjudicators. Troupe Directors are encouraged to register early for these events. Please note the Technical events are presented in an electronic format. Technical events rules are included in the Colorado Thespy Guidelines below. All IE’s submissions that require a video file must be uploaded as a .mov or .mp4 file and then submitted in the registration system by the November 18th deadline. After the video is uploaded it may say “sorry your video does not exist” once it is processed and approved on our end, it will be visible. This may take a couple of days.

Colorado Thespy Guidelines       National Thespy Guidelines 21-22  Approved Publishers List

Improv Showcase

Schools can register their entire improv performance group, or any part of their improv performance group – up to 25 members. Groups will present and work as an ensemble to demonstrate a unique and specific style of improv performance. It has been the mission of Colorado Thespians to showcase improvisation as a form of theatre, as opposed to merely being humorous. Colorado Thespians believes that students who enter the Improv Showcase are ready to stretch their skills into a more authentic form of self-expression.

Each School may register one performance group, with a maximum of 25 troupe members allowed for this event. There will only be 40 performance spots available.  On the day of the event, each group will be given a 15 minute performance slot at the conference.   In this time frame your group will be required to introduce your troupe, solicit and receive suggestions, and engage the audience with your performance.

We highly encourage teams who enter the Improv Showcase to work with a sponsor or a director to allow their own authenticity to be strengthened through their performance. The more comfortable the performers are with going into a place of truth during their performance within their ensemble, the more the audience will be engaged in the showcase. Each troupe’s performance will receive feedback following the conference, in order to better hone your craft. The charge for this event is $25 per participant.

The rubric for the Improv Showcase can be found on the within the troupe directors login in the registration system and on

One Act Rules and Chapter Select Showcase

Colorado follows the National Guidelines for One Acts, and selects a One Act to recommend for performance at the National Thespian Conference. At the National level the Chapter Select Showcase each show is allowed forty-five minutes performance time, ten minutes to set, and five minutes to strike.

To qualify, shows must be adjudicated at a chapter conference by an evaluation team selected by the chapter director or governing board. The evaluation team may recommend one top-quality show (and an alternate in case the first school is unable to attend) for the Chapter Select Showcase from each chapter. These recommendations must be submitted to the home office by the chapter director.

Recommended schools will receive the Chapter Select Showcase regulations as listed below and available at, and an acceptance sheet. The acceptance sheet must be submitted to the home office; upon receipt of the acceptance sheet, a performance slot will be tentatively assigned provided openings are still available. The performance assignment will be confirmed once the entire Festival registration and proof of royalty payment/permission forms are received at the home office.

The Chapter Select Showcase is a chance to see what’s going on (theatrically speaking) in the rest of the state and at the national level—three short plays, one-acts, or cuttings will be presented each afternoon in the Howell Theatre. Chapter Select Showcase shows are screened and selected at chapter conferences. Each selection may run up to 45 minutes and will be given 10 minutes to set, 5 minutes to strike.


  • All chapters that hold conferences will be given the opportunity to be represented in the Chapter Select Showcase.
  • The chapter director must submit the school selected on the Chapter Select Recommendation Form. If the first choice cannot accept the invitation, an alternate selection may be recommended.
  • There are 15 performance slots available in the Chapter Select Showcase in the Howell Theatre. Slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis until the schedule is full.
  • If your troupe would like a chance to perform in the Chapter Select Showcase, contact your chapter director.
  • If invited to present, a troupe must be registered for the entire Festival week.


At the national level a follow-spot is available, but may be used only if requested in advance. General area lighting is available (stage right, stage left, up center, center, and down center stage) as well as blue and amber washes, which is also consistent with what can be accomplished at the Colorado Convention Center. Special lighting effects are not available. The stage space at the convention center is 12′ x 24′.  The theatre will provide a CD player, amplification, and speakers at the national level, but Colorado will not. Groups may use their own “boom box” or MP3 player (through the theatre sound system or convention center room sound system). The usage of microphones is not permitted in this venue.


A prop is any item that will fit through a single door and can be carried by a single person. Set pieces are anything bigger. Hand props are those items to be carried onstage by the actors in one hand. Set pieces and flats are not allowed. Conference room style chairs are available at the Colorado Convention Center. If your school is invited to present in the Chapter Select Showcase, you will be sent the detailed guidelines along with a list of stock set pieces that will be available from the theatre.