NEW YORK CITY: TYA/USA, the national organization for Theatre for Young Audiences, has announced that its 2020 conference will be held virtually. The gathering, which was originally scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., will be held online May 14-16. Registration will go live April 30 and is being offered free for all registered participants.
“As our industry, and our world, face so much uncertainty for the future, it is vital for the TYA community to come together to navigate this crisis and envision a path forward,” says Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, executive director of TYA/USA, in a statement. “We know that it is and will continue to be essential for us to serve children and families nationwide. Together, we will figure out the ways we can creatively fulfill our mission while we experience the impact of the pandemic. Now is the moment for us all to unite with the loudest voice possible. In an effort to serve the largest audience possible, the event will be offered to everyone regardless of their ability to pay through our Access For All initiative.”
The keynote speakers for the Virtual Festival & Conference will include Chelsea Clinton, author of She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, now a new musical developed and originally produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre; Dr. Yalda T. Uhls of the Center for Scholars & Storytellers; Amelia Brown, founder of Emergency Arts; Brett Egan, president of the Devos Institute; Alex Coulombe, creative director of Agile Lens; Alan Brown and Dennie Palmer Wolf, principals at WolfBrown.
As part of the festival, TYA companies will be stream performances on the new global theatrical streaming platform Broadway. The offerings will include work from Slingsby Theatre Company (Australia), Metro Theater Company (St. Louis), Dallas Children’s Theatre, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company (New York City), Theatre Heroes (Austin), Bay Area Children’s Theatre (Oakland, Calif.), and Spellbound Theatre (New York City).
Founded in 1965, TYA/USA is the only theatre organization in the United States which has the development of professional theatre for young audiences and international exchange as its primary mandates.