ISTA present...

2 day virtual in-house festival

November 19 - May 31, 2022

Booking Closed

Please note that virtual festival experiences are available from 19th November 2020 – 31st May 2022.

Once you have booked with us you will be contacted by your event coordinator who will work with you to secure dates. Please see below for more information about how this new program will work.

Virtual festival promo video from ISTA on Vimeo.

Artistic information

Three months in the making, our virtual festivals maximise the opportunities afforded by online/socially distanced learning; remain true to our ISTA mission and values and provide the guaranteed ISTA magic much needed by all this year.

Even within one school community students tend to stick to small, fixed friendship groups and rarely, in the regular classroom setting, do deep bonds develop. Through the in-house festival experience young people can make new connections and nurture relationships that foster a deeper understanding of ‘other’ and stimulate empathy.

ISTA festivals use the expressive and communicative qualities of the arts to weave people bonds, creating a community web that leads to a celebration of creative endeavours.

The festival experience is of particular relevance this year when young people, now more than before, need resilience, trust, empathy and laughter.

In-house festivals will provide a life changing ‘disruption’ to the regular world of classroom online learning, support for teachers and young people will leave invigorated, excited, energised and having had a whole heap of fun.

An outline of the 2 days

Day 1 – all ensembles are 90 minutes.
Ensemble 1 – Establishing the ensemble.
Ensemble 2 – Creating an online space and exploring the global challenge.
Workshop (60 minutes) – A skill based session drawing on links to the global challenge.
Ensemble 3 – Shaping work through sharing and feedback.
Social activity – Welcome to my world #1.

Day 2 – all ensembles are 90 minutes.
Ensemble 4 – Outside the actor; exploring space and tech.
Ensemble 5 – Sharing and feedback; synthesising ideas.
Ensemble 6 – Developing the final piece.
Ensemble 7 – Preparation for and final sharing; close, connect and celebrate.
Social activity – Welcome to my world #2.

Global challenge
Our global challenge this year is Borders, boundaries and barriers and for our virtual festivals we will be asking schools to select one approach (frame) from the following list:
Community – how barriers, borders and boundaries have been moved, dissolved, created in our local and national communities.
Culture – what is meant by our own culture and how we embrace these, cross into other cultures and welcome others into our own culture.
Environmental – how the movement of barriers and borders have influenced the way we live and the impact this has had on our environment.
Issues – the freedom to move freely in your society, the nature of migration, why people cross borders and the impact of this displacement/isolation or separation on lifestyle and mental health.
Literary – the notion of a theatre being a place where writing allows words to be heard across borders and boundaries. Also, how we cross that divide between the real and the imaginary world.

Important information

Event dates
Schools may choose their own dates at any time between 19th November 2020 and 31st May 2021.
The one day festival can take place during the school week if students can be released from timetable, or on a weekend day.

2 day in-house festivals can be designed for 20, 40 or 60 students.

Age ranges
2 day in-house festivals can be designed for PS, MS or HS students.

ISTA will set the schedule for the day in terms of number and length of sessions, however, the start and end times can be determined by each school.

Not just for theatre students!
You can organise this type of in-house festival for your theatre students (MS, HS etc) or you can extend beyond theatre kids. In-house festivals work really well with whole year groups and as part of Without Walls weeks. Let us know your ideas and we’ll help you plan.

Event coordinator
Once you have made your booking, we will allocate you an event coordinator.

School circumstances and Covid-19
Festivals have been designed in order for them to work for all schools whether you are:
1. Still teaching online.
2. Operating on a blended model.
3. Back in school in a social distanced classroom.
4. Back in school as normal.

Find a partner school
Scroll through the ISTA Neighbourhoods resource for a full listing of our member schools.


Unlike a customary festival we will not be charging individual student registration fees. Instead, there will be one fee for your group/experience.

ISTA member schools

To register up to 20 students the cost is GBP £1,800 (GBP £90 per student).

To register up to 40 students the cost is GBP £3,600 (GBP £90 per student).

To register up to 60 students the cost is GBP £5,400 (GBP £90 per student).

Non member schools

To register up to 20 students the cost is GBP £1,980 (GBP £99 per student).

To register up to 40 students the cost is GBP £3,960 (GBP £99 per student).

To register up to 60 students the cost is GBP £5,940 (GBP £99 per student).

If you want to have more than 60 students taking part, please let us know and we’ll discuss options with you.

Upon receipt of your booking form you will be invoiced for the total amount and this will be due within 14 days.

Whether schools chose to cover this cost or whether you decide to divide the total cost by the number of students participating is up to you.


For a 2 day festival students will eat lunch at home (if working from home) or can bring in lunch from home if working in a socially distanced classroom. Alternatively, each school can make provision for lunch to be provided by the school. This will be up to individual schools to organise.


We realise this is a new offer from ISTA and that you may well have questions before you consider booking. If this is the case please don’t hesitate to email one of the team and we’ll get back to you immediately and are happy to organise a Skype/Zoom.


Starts on Thursday 19 November at 09:00
Finishes on Tuesday 31 May at 17:00


• Dubai American Academy
• Khartoum International School