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About the IHSTF
Prior to 1976, there had been theatre leaders in the state who felt there was a need for an alternative to a statewide student theatrical event of a competitive nature.  Several of these theatre educators formed local theatre festivals in their general geographic areas. Jerry Proffit of Niles East High School and Cary Libkin of Riverside-Brookfield High School were two of these leaders. They developed a regional, localized theatre festival for their high school students and, because of their success, provided the spark for the creation of the state-wide Illinois High School Theatre Festival.

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Illinois High School Theatre Festival Objectives
I. To enrich the education of high school students:

  • By helping them realize through this experience that theatre is one way of
    fulfilling each individual's innate need and desire to create
  • By bringing diverse young persons together in an environment of creative and imaginative stimuli where theatre can be witnessed, experienced, ingested, talked about, and lived
  • By providing experiences in which each student can recognize and share common ambitions, goals, and interests with other students from diverse communities and programs
  • By allowing students to witness different types and styles of theatre processes and performance
  • By providing opportunities for students to showcase their creative efforts
II. To serve teachers, directors, and theatre sponsors:

  • By demonstrating specific educational theatre materials and techniques
  • By providing exposure to various program sizes and alternative approaches for theatre programs
  • By providing a showcase for accomplishments of student groups
  • By developing a forum and network for the exchange and sharing of
    ideas to build and expand theatre programs   



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