06.24.15 @

More than 3,700 delegates from across the country and beyond will gather at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as the Thespian Festival returns for another year in Lincoln. Delegates will take up residence on the UNL campus from June 22-27 for a week of non-stop theatre with workshops, performances, college interviews and auditions, and much more.

“We are honored to welcome the Thespian Festival back to the Lied Center,” said Bill Stephan, Executive Director of the Lied Center. “For over two decades, the most talented young people in the world have been coming to the Lincoln to perform, learn and perfect their crafts. Every year we have nationally touring artists tell us that they remember the coming to Lincoln as high school students for the Festival. We wish all of the Thespians the best of luck this week and hope to see many of them back at the Lied in the years to come when they are working on Broadway national tours!”

Opening the Festival this year is The Music of Menken: Audrey, Ariel, Aladdin…and Alan! An Evening with Alan Menken, a tribute to one of the most celebrated composers of stage and screen. The Music of Menken will feature Broadway professionals working with a National Thespian Company made up of 20 student actors and 11 student technicians from 20 states and Dubai. Due to scheduling conflicts with his upcoming film Beauty and the Beast, Menken joins the project through a special video interview he did from his home for the show. Academy and Tony Award Winner Kevin Kline also lends his voice to the project and serves as the evenings host and narrator.

After the opening show, the Festival will host 11 schools on the main stages, in both the Lied Center for Performing Arts and Kimball Recital Hall. The schools are pre-screened and selected and come from ten states. From The Little Mermaid, Xanadu, Hello! My Baby, White Christmas, and more, the main stage provides audiences with professional-quality theatre.

Festival delegates who are tech oriented and enjoy the behind-the-scenes aspect of a production will have the opportunity to see techies at their best at the Tech Challenge. Tech Challenge is a daylong competition held at Festival that allows Thespians to demonstrate their accuracy, speed, and efficiency as well as creativity, ingenuity, and teamwork in executing technical theatre skills.

The Thespian Festival’s Freestyle Theatre is a venue that is open to anyone and anything, where performers can share their talents without worrying about categories or constraints. Stand-up comedians, magicians, dance routines, and cabaret can be found among the offerings presented in UNL’s Johnny Carson Theatre. And, the high-caliber productions continue in the Johnny Carson as well as in the Howell Theatre, sites of the one-acts of the Chapter Select Showcase.
Other events at Festival include Thespian Playworks and Musicalworks, programs promoting student writing that give the students a chance to see their work come to life onstage, along with student scholarship auditions, college auditions, hundreds of workshops, and Festival’s Got Talent, a student talent show. 

For more information about the Thespian Festival, or to view the Festival program, please visit https://www.schooltheatre.org/thespianfestival2015. For more information on purchasing show tickets or passes, please call the Thespian Festival office at 402.472.5142.