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Why join us? ISTA membership information



“Life isn’t measured in the breaths we take, but in moments that take our breath away.”

Our mission ISTA believes that the future of our world depends on confident, internationally minded, collaborative and culturally literate young people who are empowered to engage with and change the world responsibly. We believe that this is achieved through the ISTA experience.

Educators play a key role in the fulfilment of our mission. We therefore offer educators worldwide the opportunity to come together to develop themselves, their pedagogy and their skills, equipping and empowering them to bring about this change through theatre. ISTA brings together young people, artists and teachers from different countries in different settings to experience, create and learn about theatre. We passionately value diversity and collaboration, celebration and play, friendship and collegiality.

“Putting students and teachers and professionals together who are all passionate about theatre… it’s no wonder the magic happens”

ABOUT US “I have spent over 17 years serving the international community in India and Germany and our schools have always been active with ISTA.

The opportunity to create and learn with like-minded international students who share a love of theatre and performance is a one of a kind experience. The unique engagement of teachers from our school along with the expert ISTA faculty; collaborating, networking and learning together, not only benefits those at ISTA events but brings back the learning and inspiration for our students and teachers at home. I am a huge fan of ISTA and will always support maintaining strong ties with this association.� Dr Paul. M Fochtman, Head of School, Frankfurt International School, Germany


We are a registered charity based in the United Kingdom working globally.


We began with one high school festival in 1978 and our practice is informed by over 35 years of experience.


We are the global workshop provider for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Theatre.


We have a membership in excess of 250 teachers, schools and organisations worldwide.


We work with 150 freelance artists hired for their excellence in theatre practice, classroom management and international mindedness.


We produce over 50 events a year.

HOW DO WE KNOW? We know that you are passionate about your school and we share your passion.

By becoming a member of ISTA your teachers will become better teachers. Not just by receiving affirmation of practice but also by being part of a global network of educators with access to fantastic PD opportunities in every part of the world and a wealth of online resources to enhance daily classroom practice.

Because we have been around for over 35 years and our constantly growing number of members tells us so.

By becoming a member of ISTA your students will become better students.

And by becoming a member of ISTA your school will become a better school.

With access to life changing festivals and events and the ability to work with top professionals in areas they could not access in the classroom.

Put simply we know that becoming a member of ISTA makes your school a better school.

FOR YOUR Your students are at the heart of everything we do here at ISTA. We produce over 50 events a year for young people aged 7-19. Young people participate in our events through three modes of engagement: cultural, artistic and social.

Festivals engender joy, communion, growth and a sense of achievement. It is an opportunity for young people to raise their aspirations, meet new challenges and be in their element with others who share their passion and interests. By experiencing different places, working in collaboration with new people and being exposed to different perspectives young people create new worlds through theatre and the imagination that empower them to transform themselves, their lives and the world we live in.

STUDENTS “At the centre of the ISTA experience lies a dynamic and inspiring pedagogy that transcends the theatrical and goes right to the heart of what teaching and learning is all about. It promotes critical thinking, prompts creative and original responses to a given stimuli and encourages reflective practice, all the while developing communication skills and building self-confidence.” Nick Marcou, IB Coordinator, Marymount International School London, United Kingdom

“You arrive with certain expectations, and you leave – not only satisfied but changed.”

FOR YOUR TEACHERS‌ Through our extensive international network of theatre teachers, ISTA supports you in your personal and professional development; it raises the profile of theatre and the arts in your school; and it provides your students with unique and transformative experiences. Our professional development (PD) programme is ongoing and cyclical – allowing you to engage with us according to your needs, time and budget.

Our PD model is based on:


providing opportunities for refreshment, growth and inspiration.



providing experiences that will directly impact classroom practice and the subsequent development of programmes.

opening the door to an international network of teachers encouraging sharing and fellowship.

FOR YOUR SCHOOL… “FDR is excited to be a member of ISTA. The growth of our students in collaborating and creating is seen every time they return from an event. This transfers into their vision for our school and community as they work on other projects and committees. FDR students appreciate the opportunity to strengthen world links with other students with shared interests. The personal attention that each student receives at an ISTA event has helped us develop confident, curious and creative students. We appreciate them working with professionals in the field who can offer guidance and advice.” Dr. Kerry Jacobson, superintendent or Chris Akin, secondary principal. American School of Lima, Peru

ISTA helps place your school community and your department in the heart of a thriving international arts community. By becoming a member of ISTA you will be directly addressing a wide range of standards explicit in accrediting and authorising bodies such as the IB, NESAC, CIS, MSA etc. From philosophy to curriculum, promoting responsible action in your student body to activities that encourage participation in a wider global community.

A number of member schools have recently cited that during their accreditation process it was noted - and applauded - that the school is an ISTA member school.

“Schools are creative communities and so at ISL, we are delighted to encourage our theatre teachers to be part of ISTA. As an organisation it promotes professional collaboration between teachers in an area of learning which encourages students to build character and confidence, take risks, participate actively as part of a team and to have fun.� Nicki Crush, Upper School Principal, International School of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

IB WORKSH TEACHERS “The workshop leader was BRILLIANT! Knowledgeable, engaging, funny, well informed. The workshop moved at an excellent pace and there was a great balance of theory and practice.” Teacher at the Melbourne TaPS 2013

HOPS FOR Since 2006 ISTA has been the global provider for DP Theatre training. We provide opportunities for IB Theatre teachers to receive training at Cat 1, Cat 2 and Cat 3 levels. All our DP workshops are produced in cooperation with the IB and all workshop leaders are IB approved. We have opportunities for Cat 1, Cat 2 and Cat 3 training in each region, each year. Our Cat 3 workshops include: > Creating collaborative theatre > World theatre traditions and practices > IA – International assessment > Cultural settings Our IB workshops are called TaPS (formerly the Theatre arts Programme Symposium).

IB WORKSH STUDENTS We hold student TaPS events in each region in October of every year. IB Theatre students gather from different schools and work together with international artists for three days. Our aim is to provide students with a seminal theatre and learning experience that will act as a launch pad for their own further explorations of theatre, within the context of the IB Theatre programme.

This intensive learning opportunity offers; > an ensemble experience that engages students with the philosophy of the programme, its core components and the required assessment tasks; > the tools and strategies required to manage their own discoveries and learning in theatre; > a context to meet and work in collaboration with other students drawn from international schools worldwide; > a diverse range of high quality theatre performances pertinent to the IB course.

HOPS FOR “TaPS was so inspiring and now I’m totally prepared for my IB experience.” Anna Cook, student at the London TaPS October 2014

So what do you get for your m



Our annual programme of primary, middle and high school festivals.

Our Artist in residence programme – enabling you to tailor make residencies in your school to meet the needs of your teachers and students.



Our international network of educators and artists providing ongoing support and connection.

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Our online resource centre with a wealth of useful and practical teacher resources from master classes and teacher workshops at festivals.

Our tri-annual publication Scene which is full of cutting edge articles and projects from the field of international theatre/ arts education. Scene is available to all members in both hard and electronic copy.

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immersive three-day festivals focusing on the process of collaboration through theatre.

Student TaPS

immersive three-day events for students of IB DP Theatre.

IB workshops for teachers of DP Theatre.

Artist in Residence programme bespoke residencies from one day to a week (or longer) where an artist comes into your school to work with students or teachers on an aspect of theatre chosen by you.

Consultancy programme bespoke INSET for a particular faculty or the whole school faculty.

RY OF FFER‌ Online resource centre

PD opportunities for theatre teachers through Fest Track, workshops at festivals and student TaPS as well as our one-day and three-day Studio events.

Access to our international network Tri-annual of theatre publication teachers of Scene containing hundreds of resources written by teachers for teachers.

posted through your door and accessed online - three times a year bursting at the seams with exciting and useful articles.

providing friendship, collegiality and support.



“ISTA fans the flames and is a lifeline for us on the ground and you remind us all as to why we are doing what we are doing.” Padraig Downey, HS Drama teacher, Dubai American Academy, United Arab Emirates +44(0) 1326 560398

Why join us?  

Why join us? ISTA membership information

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