TEMPE, ARIZ.: Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA), in collaboration with Childsplay, will present the 2023 TYA/USA National Festival & Conference: Amplify, May 9-12 at three venues in Arizona: Childsplay Campus in Tempe, Tempe Center for the Arts, and the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. The event will be the largest convening of leaders, educators, artists, and organizations in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Register and find out more about the conference here.
“The 2023 National Festival and Conference’s theme is Amplify,” said TYA/USA executive director Sara Morgulis in a statement, “as we seek to highlight TYA as a powerful catalyst to support and inspire multiple generations: our young audiences, families, and surrounding communities. We will showcase innovation in the immersive Write Now Workshops, examine new models of presenting and touring, and highlight groundbreaking arts in education practice, as we collectively envision a more sustainable and equitable future for our industry.”
Program highlights will include a keynote speech by Lincoln Center poet-in-residence Mahogany Browne (Vinyl Moon; Chlorine Sky; Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice and more), four live performances featuring stories of young people and their resilience by Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Glass Half Full Theatre, Manual Cinema, and Childsplay, as well as a Song Slam cabaret featuring songs from a variety of new musicals for young audiences, music directed by composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. The conference will host 18 breakout sessions led by TYA leaders from across the nation, such as “Insights to Advancing Access: Disability Justice in TYA,” “TYA Advocacy in the Time of Book Banning,” “Power Sharing: Colaboración & Creating Comunidad in the Devising Process,” and “If You Build It: Creating New Platforms for a New Canon in TYA,” along with three new immersive theatre workshops hosted and showcased by Childsplay’s Write Now new work development program.
There will also be a Pre-Conference Training Program co-hosted by Childsplay and Arizona State University‘s Theatre for Youth and Community MFA Program. The free program will provide networking opportunities for students and emerging career professionals on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 9, featuring a master class led by Josh Streeter, assistant professor of Theatre Education at Emerson College, and a panel of TYA leaders including director of education & engagement at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Johamy Morales, and TYA/USA executive director Sara Morgulis.
“Childsplay is proud to host the 2023 TYA USA National Conference at our Campus for Imagination and Wonder and at Tempe Center for the Arts,” said Childsplay artistic director Dwayne Hartford in a statement. “We are honored to partner with TYA/USA in this venture. After three years of virtual conferences, we are excited to welcome TYA professionals, students, and educators from across the country to Arizona this May…Our field must figure out how to operate in a more inclusive and equitable way while adjusting to new financial challenges. We as a field must be willing to explore new ways of bringing theatre to young people. TYA/USA and Childsplay are both committed to this journey. We look forward to greeting our national colleagues in-person for what is sure to be a dynamic and engaging three days.”
Sponsors for the 2023 TYA/USA National Festival & Conference currently include National Endowment for the Arts, Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, Dramatic Publishing, and Tempe Center for the Arts.
Theatre for Young Audiences/USA (TYA/USA) is s a national service organization whose mission is to promote the power of professional theatre for young audiences through excellence, collaboration, and innovation across cultural and international boundaries. The organization provides advocacy and resources in order to strengthen and diversify the field of theatre for young audiences.
Founded in 1977, Childsplay is a professional theatre company for young audiences. Childsplay aims to respect children’s intelligence and creativity by allowing young people to experience challenging, thought-provoking theatre. As of, Childsplay had a budget of approximately $1.8 million.
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