The ITO in NYC

By posted 10-02-2016 22:18


Within two minutes of my first time touching down in New York City, I had already texted my mom and told her I’d found my future home. By the time I arrived, the other ITO were all together in the Big Apple, and I was caught in traffic. After a bit of rerouting I met up with Grace, Ryan, Shaila, Mac and Austin, along with the wonderful Ms. Daine Carr and Scott Wilson, at the American Theatre Wing. As I sat, listening to the amazing story of the AWT, I was overjoyed with their dedication to students and the opportunities which they present. Their incredible staff stressed the importance of informing students of all opportunities in theatre beyond performance, a message which stuck with me throughout the weekend. After our meeting, the sights and sounds of times square were enchanting as we walked to our hotel. We completed our first day in New York with the show Waitress and, of course, some New York cheesecake for dessert.

The next morning we were up and ready to go, there was excitement in the air because we knew we were about to plan our year! While walking to the Theatrical Rights Worldwide office space in Manhattan, which was so graciously provided by Jim Hoare, I couldn’t help but stare at the astounding architecture and culture surrounding me. Upon arrival, we were joined by Ms. Kimberly Staples and Doug Berlon to discuss the upcoming year. We presented our leadership workshops and determined which ITO will attend each festival. The ITO are certainly in for a busy and exciting time as we travel to over 40 state conferences and we can’t wait to meet Thespians from across the world! Following our day of work, we celebrated by splitting up and attending The Color Purple and American in Paris, and brought the cheesecake count up to two.

Finally, it was the morning of the Broadway Cares Flea Market. After having followed the event online for years, I was honored to help set up and work alongside the ITO, and some amazing STO volunteers from New York and New Jersey. Additionally, a huge thank you to their adult liaisons Mark Drum and Jason Wylie!  As the day progressed, I had the honor of finding Thespian Alumni at the market. As I walked up to various people and asked if they had participated in theatre in high school, I was amazed by the response. Many excitedly proclaimed that they were Thespians in high school and those who weren’t often remarked that they wished they had been. Of the 70 plus alumni I had the honor of speaking to, every single one still has theatre in their life. It was great to hear their stories of past conferences and experiences! Following an incredible day of raising over $2,800 for BC/EFA, we took on the city, and after a fun night of shopping and exploring the ITO were ready for bed!

The last full day of our trip was filled with excitement. We had the honor of meeting with the Tams-Witmark staff along with some EdTA staff members to discuss the amazing sponsorship of the ITO by Tams this year! That night the EdTA hosted Broadway Back to School at Feinstein’s 54 Below. The night was filled with beautiful performances by Thespians and Broadway stars that blew the audience away. Our fantastic hosts, Hunter Bell and Susan Blackwell, kept the night fun and helped us honor Educational Theatre! We concluded our last night with a final piece of cheesecake and said our goodbyes to the big city.

NYC was a life changing experience filled with arts and education! The ITO can’t wait to visit Thespians across the country this year! Be sure to keep up with our adventures by following  @internationalthespianofficers on Instagram, @ITOOfficial on Snapchat, The International Thespian Officers on Facebook,and  @ITOBrittanyS on Twitter! Additionally, I am always available my email at Thank you again to everyone who made our New York trip so great and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store!