Eva Moore, artistic director for the festival, helmed the first festival back in 1992. She says at the time they had just two or three international groups, one from Saskatchewan and the rest were from Nova Scotia.
Things have certainly grown from then, and Moore says LITF is one of the top 10 amateur theatre festivals in the world.
This year for instance, she sorted through 40 applications that came in before the deadline. Another 25 came in past the deadline as well.
"People want to come here, because of the Astor Theatre, and because the hospitality is so strong," says Moore, adding LITF is an amazing hidden gem.
There is more to the theatre festival than plays however.
Moore says an important part of the festival is getting feedback from a professional critique.
LITF is one of the few festivals that has the adjudicator give feedback in front of the audiences. After each play, the adjudicator gives a five-minute critique, which has proven very popular with the audience members over the years.
However it is not the only way performers get feedback
"It's always been important for me to provide feedback that's positive," says Moore.
Those who went to the plays can come to the Coffee Critiques, held each morning starting May 17 at 9:30 a.m. The idea is to involve the audience to provide feedback in an informal way.
Though standard for the festival now, it was a novel approach when the idea was brought forward 20 years ago. There was resistance at first, but now the idea behind coffee critiques has rapidly spread to festivals around the world.
"Those sessions have now become so big it is hard to find a place to hold them," she says.
It took a bit of work to find the right location, but they will be held in the pub at Lane's Privateer Inn.
There is no cost to go to the critiques.
Each year the theatre festival hold workshops, ranging from dancing to drama. This year Moore says she wanted something with a broad appeal so she chose theatre sports, put on by the Improvisation Corporation.
According to the group's synopsis, Theatresports is a form of improvisational theatre, which uses the format of a competition for dramatic effect. Opposing teams can perform scenes based on audience suggestions, with ratings by the audience or by a panel of judges. Developed by director Keith Johnstone in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1977, the concept of Theatresports originated in Johnstone's observations of techniques used in professional wrestling to generate audience reaction.
"Every bit of theatre is based on how you react and interact with people on the stage. The kind of training you get with improvisation is invaluable," says Moore.
She adds it is very good practice for actors that are just starting out.
There are two days of sessions, Saturday and Sunday, with two workshops on each day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
After the workshops are over, the participants will be able to take part in an improv competition at the closing party Sunday evening.
A party every night
At the end of each day there is time to unwind with a gathering. The first two nights will be held at Lanes Privateer Inn, Friday and Saturday will be at the Best Western Hotel, and the final closing party will move back to Lanes.
Moore says there will be music or other entertainment in the evenings, but it is also about getting to know the people behind the plays.
"The wonderful thing about bringing all these people together is discovering how much is the same, and also the differences," she says.
Saturday evening is the big gala, where everyone dresses up in their best cloths. The gala is $20 per person, however for the other four evenings there is no cover charge.
Everything wraps up Sunday with the awards presentation at 8:30 p.m. at the Astor Theatre, and the Closing Party at 10 p.m. at Lane's Privateer Inn.