The Illinois Theatre Association 


Dear Teachers and Students

On behalf of the Illinois High School Theatre Festival Planning Committee and the Illinois Theatre Association, we regret to notify you that due to restrictions regarding the Covid-19 crisis, the 2021 Illinois High School Theatre Festival is being postponed until January 2022. This was a very difficult choice. Keeping the safety and well-being of our ITA members and their students in mind, we made an informed decision after considering the uncertainty surrounding the following concerns:

* If the fall semester will be in person or online at both high schools and universities.
* If schools will have permission to produce live theatre.
* If the Illinois governments will open up for large gatherings of over 4,000 people.

Although we are all disappointed, the IHSTF Planning Committee is working on ways to fill the gap. We truly believe that “In the Theatre, ALL are Welcome,” so we are planning something for everyone! We are excited to announce several Pre-Festival Special Events that will occur this year prior to the 2022 Festival:

* On-line College Auditions for high school students.
* A virtual All-State “Cabaret” Showcase for select seniors who applied to audition for this year’s production.
* Pre-recorded workshops that ITA members can access and use as classroom lessons or for drama club activities.
* A virtual performance of a topical play, cast with your favorite theatre teachers from across the state.
* And MORE!

Detailed information regarding these and other events will be available on this site soon.

Theatre has always been an art form that brings people together and is a vehicle for change.
 Now, more than ever, the ITA is committed to providing transformational and safe experiences for our students, teachers, and members.  We look forward to sharing powerful theatre experiences with you this fall!

Judy Klingner
2022 IHSTF Executive Director


Produced by the Illinois Theatre Association, the Illinois High School Theatre Festival (IHSTF) is the largest and oldest non-competitive high school theatre festival in the nation. 

The three-day Festival takes place every year in early January, and switches locations between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University. Over 4,000 students, teachers, university representatives, exhibitors, and volunteers come together to put on over 25 different high school productions and over 150 workshops.

Other highlights include college/university auditions for high school seniors, professional development for teachers and the All-State Production, featuring student cast, crew, and orchestra members from across the state.

If you would like emails with Festival information be sure to opt-in here to receive email from the Festival Planning Committee.

42nd Annual Illinois High School Theatre Festival
46th Annual Illinois High School Theatre Festival