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  • 1.  induction ceremonies

    Posted 04-14-2017 18:47
    This is my first year running my high school thespian troupe.  It appears that the last three-four directors did not hold induction ceremonies; as of now I have 2 members....  So I need to bring in a lot of students who I have reviewed and believe have earned the minimum points required to earn induction; I'm very proud of this! My questions are:1. does the induction fee mentioned on this site provide anything (certificate, pin, etc.) in addition to the membership and the magazine? ; and 2., do troupes charge their members an additional fee, besides club dues, to pay for these induction costs? If I have thirty to catch up with,I'm looking at $750.00... where do troupes get the money to pay for this?

    James Washington
    New Port Richey FL

  • 2.  RE: induction ceremonies

    Posted 04-15-2017 07:16
    You will be provided a certificate and pin from ITS. The cost is $28 for the one time induction fee. I usually have enough in my drama club account to pay for part of it and try not to have my students have to pay more than $10 (we are a very high percentage of free/reduced lunch). I also have a fundraiser and each student can raise however much or little they want and the profits from what they sold go into their own "drama account" so they can use it to help them pay for field trips, t-shirts, and thespian induction fees. My group is rather small though and if you don't have the funds to pay for part of it you can always ask students to pay their own fees. My experience is that students often won't become inducted because they don't have the money or don't want to pay $28 in order to be called a "thespian".

    Rachel Cunningham
    Elwood IN

  • 3.  RE: induction ceremonies

    Posted 04-15-2017 08:39
    Part of the money we raise all year not only goes to pay for the shows we put on, some of it goes to pay for inductions. None of my students pay anything to become a thespian, however this is not a new program. Also, each student has to pay a $400 pay-to-participate fee to be involved in theatre at this school, so I really cannot charge any more to become a Thespian.  Starting out this is an issue for you, especially if you have just barely broken even on production costs. Any money we earned from shows went into our school board account, and that is what I use (with a PO) to pay for new inductees. I feel the students worked hard to help earn the money, they should benefit from that work with free (or in your case, reduced) membership fee. I average around 30 new inductees each year, so I understand the large costs for induction. It will be something you will want to budget for in the future. 

    An idea: I started a booster club when I first took over, to help create other fundraising events to bring in extra cash. We were once able to have students earn money doing fundraisers, that went into their own accounts to pay for teeshirts, conferences, field trips to plays, etc. The school will no longer permit that, so we have had to change the way we work.  The boosters are now a 5013C non-profit group, who provide money for a myriad of things.  Any fundraising money earned is split among all the students (whether they worked or not) so boosters have paid for hotel fee for students attending State Conference, as well as scholarships for college to qualified seniors. Getting a group like this started will help you find other ways to bring in much needed money, especially for inductions.

    Our annual Induction Ceremony and Awards Banquet is potluck, held in our school cafetorium, therefore it is free to attend. We always have a large crowd (200 people). The Thespian Council decorates the room so it looks lovely. When I hear that other groups' banquets cost money, I feel lucky we can offer this for free.

    Valerie Farschman, Drama Director
    MLS Theatre Company, Troupe 1422
    Marion L Steele High School
    Amherst, Ohio

  • 4.  RE: induction ceremonies

    Posted 04-17-2017 09:05
    Good question. Every inductee at the middle or high school level receives a gold and enamel induction pin, a plastic personalized membership card, a personalized, foil embossed 8 1/2 x 11 membership certificate and a "Proud parent of a theatre arts honor student" bumper sticker. In addition, high school students receive a one-year print subscription to Dramatics magazine, and digital access until July of the year after high school graduation. 

    Eligibility for participation, awards, scholarships, and additional honors and honor items are also benefits of induction.


    David LaFleche
    Director of Membership
    Educational Theatre Association
    Cincinnati OH

  • 5.  RE: induction ceremonies

    Posted 04-17-2017 09:53
    I have a fairly established troupe (Currently have 40 inducted thespians with 20 more about to be tapped for induction). I ask my students to pay the induction fee, but I have NO problem covering the cost if they are unable to. I like the kids to know that they can always come to me if they're having money issues and we'll gladly work something out. 

    Does your school do obligations? You can request that the kids pay a certain amount and if they can't, just put it in as an obligation until they can? Or you could make it a troupe obligation and they're not eligible to be cast until it's paid off? That way, they get to get inducted, but you're not paying an arm and a leg to do so.

    Heather Cribbs
    Theatre Director
    New Smyrna Beach High School
    New Smyrna Beach, FL

  • 6.  RE: induction ceremonies

    Posted 04-17-2017 10:48
    My students have a $5 annual fee to participate in the club (state mandated unfortunately) and they are responsible for their one time induction fee. If there is a student who can not afford it I have a sponsors who donate money annually and I use some of the monies to cover the cost. I've found that most of the students who want to earn their inducted thespian title and graduation honors usually can find the money over the course of the year. The cost is reviewed at the first ITS meeting of the year and, if they do not have the money by the required date (and it's not truly out of their budge -if I see them coming in with Starbucks cups, for example-), they can always wait until the following year and induct at that point. 

    One thing I did when I was setting up the second theatre club at my campus (improv has it's own account, shows, etc) was go to my administration and ask for a one time help to get the club established. If I remember correctly (it's been nearly a decade) my principal covered the cost of the improv troupe joining the NCT league in our state for the first year. We were able to earn enough money (quite a bit more than required actually) to be self-sufficient form that point onward.  You could point out the fact that ITS is an honor society and that the students have the potential to earn both graduation honors and scholarships when they are inducted members. Equate it to NHS since that's an organization that your admin should already be familiar with.

    If you need any additional support to your admin I'm happy to send them a breakdown of the scholarships, awards and numbers of inductees I've had in the last 5 years (I don't really want to go back any farther than that... too time consuming). Just shoot me the appropriate email address. Good luck!  :^)

    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ