The International Schools Theatre Association or ISTA is a registered charity based in the United Kingdom working globally.

ISTA began with one high school festival in 1978 and their practice is informed by over 40 years of experience. ISTA is a global workshop provider for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Theatre. ISTA has a membership in excess of 250 teachers, schools and organisations.

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

ISTA produces over 60 events every year and they want to grow to do even more!

HISTORY of The ISTA PERForming arts academy shanghai

The ISTA Performing Arts Academy Shanghai was created in 2014 by some of ISTA's most highly 

regarded members. The founding member practitioner team thus consisted of Darren Scully (Drama and Artistic Director),  Jez Gregg (Physical Theatre / Dance), Anne Drouet (Music and Executive Director) and Rui Cunha (Theatre Technology).  The team shared two beliefs that helped drive the mission of the Academy itself: that all young people desire to learn and participate in a dynamic, creative environment and that the best discipline comes from a commitment towards common goals and that the Arts encourage each individual to work in a creative, supportive and collaborative way.  The Academy committed to these beliefs through its structures and pedagogy that were planned to reflect them.  

International teaching life has taken the founding quartet away from the Academy base in Shanghai, but we have kept the Academy and its core values 

running under a new model so that the ISTA experience is still available to the international and 

local community of this great city and country we call home.

The ISTA Shanghai and Hong Kong Performing Arts Academies are the only two dedicated ISTA academies in the world.