New Theatre Parent Information

Welcome new HSPVA Theatre Parents!

Scan through this page to get up to speed on the Theatre Department terminology, activities, and events at HSPVA, including the Artist Academy, Mainstage Shows, Tech Week Food, Showcases, Halloween at HSPVA, Happenings, College Night, and much more…

Theatre Department Website

The HSPVA Theatre Department website is Your student can download forms and important Theatre Department information from this site, including the Theatre Department Handbook, which every student is required to read and follow. Tickets for theatre department shows and season tickets can be purchased from this site.

Theatre Department Calendar

This website includes a calendar of Theatre Department and Theatre Guild activities. You can also download the official HSPVA Theatre Department Calendar from (usually available by mid-August). All major Theatre Department activities are also listed on the HSPVA main calendar which is part of the school’s website:

Theatre Guild

An organization of Theatre Department parents who volunteer their time to assist the department with concessions, Tech Week food, events, and fund-raising. The Theatre Guild typically raises more than $30,000-40,000 per year to support the HSPVA Theatre Department. The Guild meets one evening each month and begins the year with a meet-and-greet party for all department parents and faculty. More…

Artist Academy

The HSPVA Artist Academy is a day-long event for Freshman and other new students to get acquainted with HSPVA in mid-August.  School supplies and required supplemental texts will be on sale (paperbacks for English class, study guides, etc. – cash and check only). All proceeds from school supplies go directly to benefit HSPVA.

Theatre Guild Meet and Great

The HSPVA Theatre Guild hosts a “Meet and Greet” party each year to kick off the school year. This informal get-together at the home of a Theatre Guild member provides an opportunity for parents to get introduced, chat with faculty members, and get informed about upcoming activities, events, and performances.

The Black Box

The small theatre at HSPVA. Most Theatre Department productions are performed in the Black Box including the mainstage shows, Red & Grey Studio Series, Level 1, 2 & 3 Showcases, and Senior Recitals.

The Denney

The large theatre at HSPVA. The All-School Musical and Black History Production are usually the only theatre productions in the Denney.

Theatre Tickets

Tickets to HSPVA Theatre Department productions, the All-School Musical, and the Black History Production can be purchased through the HSPVA Theatre Department website.

Mainstage Productions

The HSPVA Theatre Department produces two major productions per year, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester, including a play and a musical. Only Level 3 and 4 theatre students are cast in mainstage productions.

Red and Gray Studio Series

Cutting-edge, innovative, student-conceived productions in one act, held in the fall and spring. Level 3 and 4 students “pitch” their concepts for productions to the faculty at the start of each semester and two or three are selected for production and are performed in repertory over several evenings. The Red and Grey Series sometimes includes a student-written play. Only Level 3 and 4 theatre students are cast in Studio Series productions.

Level 1 and 2 Showcases

Level 1 and 2 students (Freshman and Sophomores) perform in several one-act productions in April or May, usually two-three plays and one musical. The casting process includes auditions and callbacks. Each student is assigned a role, either on stage or a technical production task.

All-School Musical

All students from HSPVA may audition for the All-School Musical, which is usually cast in May and performed in October, with rehearsals starting before school begins in the fall. The All-School Musical is sponsored by a committee of parents from the students involved in the show.

Black History Production

A musical staged during African-American History month (February) celebrating the achievements of African-Americans in American Culture. All HSPVA students may audition. The Black History Production is sponsored by the HSPVA Parents of Black History.

Tech Week and Tech Week Food

The week before a production when final rehearsals are held in the evening (cue to cue rehearsal, dress rehearsal, run-throughs). The Theatre Guild parents supply supper each evening for up to 40 students.

Theatre Gala

The HSPVA Theatre Gala is the biggest fund-raiser for the Theatre Department. The Gala is a large-room, themed dinner event with a cabaret show featuring theatre students and live and silent auctions. This is a wonderful evening of fun and frolic for theatre department parents, friends, faculty, and students.

Thespian Banquet

HSPVA Theatre Students who accrue 10 points based on after-school volunteer service for the Theatre Department (approximately 10 hours per point, see the Theatre Department Handbook for more information) are eligible for induction into International Thespian Society Troupe 1761. Hours are tracked by the Thespian Union Steward. The Induction Ceremony and Banquet is sponsored by the Theatre Guild and is held at the end of the school year. Thespian officers are elected at the end of each school year.

Theatre Department College Night

At Theatre College Night in the fall, the Theatre Faculty and our amazing counselor Mr. Springfield explain all the in’s and out’s of the college admission process for theatre students: BA vs. BFA, the audition process, how to prepare for college, the best schools for theatre, and more. There is usually a follow-up meeting in the Spring to discuss the final decision process, college finances, etc.

Spaghetti Supper

One of the oldest traditions at HSPVA, a fund-raiser for the Music Department held in September. All HSPVA families are encouraged to attend. Musical department ensembles perform throughout the school at the event.


Dressing up in creative costumes for Halloween is a strong tradition at HSPVA. There is an all-school costume contest and the Theatre Department holds a showcase for students to exhibit their costumes. Many students dress in pairs or groups with a theme.


Another HSPVA tradition, approximately once per month an afternoon talent show is held that is open to all students through auditions. Performances are only limited by student’s imagination.

Black History Koffee House

A fund-raiser for the Black History Production including cabaret-style performances and coffee-house style refreshments.

College Auditions

Auditions are a key part of admissions for college theatre programs. The top programs are extremely selective for admission, with several hundred students auditioning for 10-20 slots. HSPVA Level 3 students train extensively for college auditions including mock audition sessions as their Showcase. HSPVA college audition activities in the senior year include the Nebraska trip to the International Thespian Festival, the Greater Houston Area Auditions, and National Unified Auditions in Chicago (“Unifieds”).

Greater Houston Area Auditions

The Greater Houston Area Auditions is a one-day event at HSPVA sponsored by the Theatre Guild where 75-100 seniors from the Houston area audition for admission and scholarships for 40-50 college theatre programs. More..

Nebraska Trip

HSPVA rising Seniors attend the International Thespian Festival at the University of Nebraska in June to audition for college admissions and scholarships. More…


Each year in February 50+ college programs hold auditions in Chicago called “National Unified Auditions” (also held in NYC, Las Vegas, and LA). More…

Young Arts

A national program that recognizes 150 emerging artists in visual, literary and performing arts selected from more than 7,000 applicants. Finalists attend a week-long event in Miami and are eligible to be selected as Presidential Scholars in the Arts. More…

Theatre Terms

If you feel lost with all the theatre buzz words flying around at HSPVA, click here to get started on making your way through the fog of general theatre terms, and click here to get up to speed on technical theatre terminology.

How to Spell and Say “Theatre”

Always spell “theatre” with an “re” at the end, not “theater.” Avoid pronouncing it “thee-ate-her.” The cognoscenti say, “thee-ah-ter.”