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TYA/USA and Kennedy Center Announce 2020 Festival Lineup

The festival will feature readings of 8 new works for young audiences.

NEW YORK: Theatre for Young Audiences/USA (TYA/USA) will partner with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., for their 2020 national festival and conference. The festival is the largest gathering of educators and artists in the theatre for young audiences field, and will host readings of new works for young audiences.

Metro Theatre Company of St. Louis, Mo., will present “The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus,” pictured above, at the festival.

“We are thrilled to expand the TYA/USA National Festival & Conference in response to the TYA artists, practitioners, and leaders from across the country who seek the rare opportunity to convene and gain the inspiration they need to fully serve the children and families in their communities,” said TYA/USA executive director Jonathan Shmidt Chapman in a statement.

The theme of the May 2020 conference is “State of the Story,” and will explore how new works for family audiences are developed. The festival will be presented in conjunction with the Kennedy Center’s new plays for young audiences development program, New Visions/New Voices 2020. The festival will also feature presentations from PigPen Theatre Co., Mo Willems and Deborah Wicks La Puma, and José Casas, among others.

“We are delighted to partner with TYA/USA on this year’s festival,” said Mario Rossero, Kennedy Center senior vice president of education, in a statement. “This impactful collaboration demonstrates not only the Kennedy Center’s support of new work development, but also our strong commitment to the field of theatre for young audiences.”

New Visions/New Voices 2020 will present readings of 8 new works, including The Boy Who Kissed the Sky by Idris Goodwin, directed by Tim Bond; Farewell Opportunity by Georgette Kelly, directed by Julie Ritchey; Inez was Perf(ect) by the Translation Project and Simone Spiteri, directed by Karin Serres; Only One Day a Year by Michelle Tyrene Johnson, directed by Nedra Dixon; Selena Maria Sings by Miriam Gonzales with music by Daniel French, directed by Melissa Crespo; this is what I chose no I’m not sorry and yes if you’d ask I’d do it again by Daria Miyeko Marinelli, directed by Will Kiley; What Do You Do With An Idea, the Musical adapted by Adam Tobin with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, directed by Nina Meehan.

TYA/USA is the leading national organization for the professional development and international exchange of theatre works for young audiences.

The Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessible, inclusive opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in, learn about, and learn through the arts.

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