Welcome to Illinois Thespians!

Welcome to the Illinois State Thespians Home Page! The International Thespian Society was established in 1929 by a group of college and high school teachers in Fairmont, West Virginia. They named their organization for Thespis, the Greek who, according to legend, was the first actor. Their guiding principle was a dedication to excellence in theatre arts in secondary schools. In the years since, the Society has grown into an international organization with more than a million members. But its goals have not changed. The Thespian Society still strives to make schools a place for good theatre and to honor those students who do it well.

Upcoming Events:


We're looking for student leaders!

Know a student who would be a great leader at the state level? Ask them to consider applying to be an STO!
Applications DUE BY APRIL 3, 2020.


  • Advocacy of the arts at the local, state, and national level.

  • Acting as representatives of the International Thespian Society and for all Illinois Thespians.

  • Promising to uphold the honors, traditions, aims and ideals of the International Thespian Society.

  • Planning, coordinating, and running a leadership conference for Illinois Thespian Troupe leaders, officers, and/or board members.

  • Collaborating with other STO’s to achieve excellence in all established goals.

  • Promising to perform your role as an STO as well as you can, to accept praise and criticism with grace, while working for the good of the Illinois State Thespians, and to share your love of theatre with others.

Illinois Thespian Board of Directors:

 Jim Smith
Chapter Director

Victor Pilolla
 Financial Director

 Anna McSweeney
Communications Director

Kelleen Nitsch
Student Leadership Director

James Crow

Carmel DeStefano
Individual Events Director

Joselyn Ludtke
Playworks Director

Karen Pionke
Jr. Con Director 


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