What is an STO?
STO stands for State Thespian Officer. The STOs are the student leaders and student
representatives for Kansas Thespians. It is their job to represent Kansas Thespians, the
member troupes, student thespians, and adult leadership. They are also the student
leadership that helps in the planning, managing, and hosting of the state festival during
their year(s) of service. As the student representative, the STO will also serve as the
communication link between the students and the adult state board; therefore, it is their job
to serve as an advocate for the students.
Who can be an STO?
Any sophomore or junior who is an inducted Thespian and in good standing with their
troupe and their school is eligible to apply. The student must have a desire to be a strong
leader and be prepared to work for the good of Kansas Thespians. They must also attend
the Kansas Thespian Festival in order to be appointed.
What is the difference in Student State Board and Student Thespian Officers?
STOs are the leadership of the Student State Board (SSB). SSB members represent their
school in planning and working for the state festival. STOs are members of the SSB with
additional responsibilities and are the student connection to the Adult State Board (ASB).
How many students become an STO?
Kansas Thespians has a maximum five member STO board. The board consists of a
Chairperson, two or three at-large members, and one vice chair-person. The Vice Chair will
serve for two years (during their Junior and Senior years) and becomes the Chair person for
their second year of service. The Vice-Chair Position and the at-large positions will be
appointed at festival. The Vice Chairman must be a sophomore at the time of appointment,
the three at-large positions are often juniors at the time of appointment. A sophomore
could be placed in an at large position with the understanding that at-large positions are
appointed on a yearly basis only, and if the sophomore wanted to continue as an STO
another year, they would have to reapply.
How do I become an STO?
• Express your interest to your troupe director. You must have their recommendation.
o Troupes can have two students apply for STO.
o STO Candidates must be either a sophomore or junior in the year applying.
o Only one member of a troupe can be appointed to the STO board.
▪ The home troupe of the current Vice-Chair cannot have an STO applicant.
o The placement of the Vice-Chair takes precedence over that of an At-Large Member.
o STO Candidates must be an inducted Thespian before applying.
o STO Candidates should have a GPA of at least 3.0 before applying.
• STO Candidates must be a part of the SSB for the festival in which they are applying.
o The first responsibility of the SSB is the August Festival Kickoff meeting.
▪ This meeting is normally the third week of August.
▪ Kanas Thespians would like for any student attending Kickoff to be sponsored by
their troupe director. If that isn’t possible, a parent is an acceptable alternative.
▪ Each troupe is allowed two students at the kick off meeting.
• A troupe is also allowed alternates. If your troupe doesn’t normally take
sophomores and you would like to apply for STO, you could come to the Kick Off
meeting as an alternate.
▪ If you are unable to attend the August planning meeting and would still like to run
for STO, please contact the STO advisors at email@example.com. This email
should include your name, phone number, reason for missing, and STO committee
you would like to be included in (STO Committees can be found under the STO
application button on kansasthespians.com).
▪ The kick off meeting is a part of the total points need to be elected. To make up the
points students who miss would have to work for almost all of the conference.
• BY DECEMBER 1st – Fill out an application at bit.ly/2kXztrI
• BY DECEMBER 1st – Respond to the application questions and get all necessary
signatures. Then submit all paperwork digitally to firstname.lastname@example.org
o Paper copies will not be accepted. Please understand that part of being an STO is
problem solving. It is expected that you will find a way to submit all paperwork digitally.
• The current STO’s, STO Advisors, and possibly other members of the ASB will read the
applications and conduct phone or video conference interviews with the applicants. This
will happen on or before December 20th
• After interviews, applicants will be narrowed down to a group of 8-12 candidates.
• The Candidates will be announced at the SSB meeting on Thursday night of festival. At
that time, they will be given something to wear that will identify them as an STO
o Applicants who are not moved on to Candidate are still a part of the SSB and the hope is
that they will continue to serve in that capacity.
• STO Candidates will continue to serve as a part of the SSB for the current festival and
take on the following responsibilities:
▪ It is possible that, especially junior, STO candidates will be asked to fill gaps in responsibilities
not filled by other members of the SSB.
• All STO candidates will have to attend the 4th session workshop that is taught by the
International Thespian Officer (ITO) and/or current STO’s.
▪ This workshop will be on leadership or advocacy: both are important for STO’s.
o Normally two workshops are offered: it would be a good idea to attend both if
other responsibilities don’t get in the way.
▪ If there is a conflict with attending this workshop, please discuss this with the STO
o After this session, each candidate will sit with current STO and be interviewed on
camera. Each candidate will be asked the same questions. These interviews will be sent
to current troupe directors to vote on their top 4 candidates.
• The STO’s, ITO, EdTA representative, STO Advisors, Troupe Directors, and ASB all have a
vote for new STO.
• STO Candidates who are elected into the position will be notified on Saturday morning.
• Consider this process a long interview or audition with a practical aspect, rather than as
an election. You are NOT campaigning for the position but are interviewing for the
position throughout the festival.
• The new STOs will be announced during the time for awards and honors at the end of the
Who decides who will become a STO?
STO’s are elected on a point based system. The kick off and working workshops at the
festival are 5% of the total; The current STO and ITO vote is 40%; the EdTA representative
and STO Advisors vote is 30%; Troupe Directors, and ASB vote is 25%. The Candidates
with the highest points will be elected as STO. At least one junior will be elected even if they
are not the top four. The next top junior will fill the last spot.
I am now an STO! What do I have to do?
• Prepare positives and negatives regarding the festival and submit them to the Chapter
Director and STO Advisors. This should be submitted by the first of February.
• Attend the Kansas Theatre Advocacy Day in Topeka. This day is always in March as a part
of Theatre in Our Schools Month. The official date will be announced during the Festival.
• Be available for a phone or video conference at some point during the spring semester.
• Attend the International Thespian Festival in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University in
o If your school/troupe is not attending, you will need to attend with another local school.
Contact the STO Advisors for help with this if needed.
o Part of your registration will be taken care of by Kansas Thespians. Your transportation
to and from the International Festival will be your responsibility.
o It is required to take part in the leadership class and workshops offered throughout the
festival. This does take some of your workshop time at festival - please keep that in
▪ This is also recommended to those who were not selected as STO’s this year but would like to try again
▪ STOs are encouraged to look into running for ITO. However, this is NOT a requirement!
• There will also be required planning meetings held at ITF that you will have to attend as
• Attend the fall state board meeting held normally on the third week of August.
o This is required for STOs.
o Transportation is your responsibility and you must have an adult with you.
▪ Kansas Thespians would prefer that this be your troupe director, but we will also
accept a parent.
• Assist with the planning of the Festival.
• Stay in constant communication with fellow STOs, the SSB, the students and troupes
under you, the ASB, Chapter Directors, and the STO advisors.
o This can be done through email, phone, social media, and text.
o There will also be a separate STO GroupMe that will be used to communicate with the
o There will also be an SSB GroupMe that can be used to facilitate communication
between STO and SSB
• Attend Kansas Thespian Festival the year of service. You will attend this festival for free,
but you are expected to be a leader and work for the majority of the festival.
o STO are allowed to participate in Festival activities and are encouraged to audition and
submit an I.E. If you are doing these this, please communicate this to the other STO
and STO advisors.
o If there are workshops you would like to attend, please communicate this to the other
STO and Advisors.
• If possible, we would like the outgoing STO to also attend the Kansas Thespians Theatre
Advocacy day in Topeka in March after their festival of service.
o We understand they are no longer an STO, but their leadership is invaluable to an
event such as this.
o The same is true of attending ITF the year after their service to be able to assist the
new STO’s if needed.
o Neither one of these are required or payed for in any way by Kansas Thespians.
• STO’s must be able to meet deadlines, make sure the groups under them are meeting
deadlines, and have good time management and communications skills.
• STO’s must be proactive and responsible.
• STO’s will be encouraged to travel to surrounding schools to see shows and support the
Thespian Troupes close to them.
o This is highly encouraged, but not required, as a way to increase support and
comradery amongst Kansas Thespian Troupes
• STO’s must serve as an example of the ideal Thespian.
• The Vice-Chair will repeat as an STO for the following year serving as Chair-Person the
second year. The Vice-Chair must be a freshman or sophomore in the year they are
selected. This position will need to fill out an application for their second year and meet
with the Chapter Director and STO Advisors to be able to continue as Chair-Person.
• If you are an at-large STO member as a sophomore and wish be an STO again the
following year, you must re-run.
All STO’s will be required to sign a contract of participation. If any rules outlined
by the contract are not followed, the STO may be relieved of his or her position.