Theatre for Young Audiences

Curious about work by or for young people? Content here is all about TYA: writing from practitioners, video of performances, and more.

The Latest

Terror, Strength, Pain, Brilliance, and Children in Four Little Girls
Essay

Terror, Strength, Pain, Brilliance, and Children in Four Little Girls

by Alex Ates
21 February 2019
Learning from and Listening to Latinx Youth at the 2019 LTC TYA Sin Fronteras Festival and Convening
Essay

Learning from and Listening to Latinx Youth at the 2019 LTC TYA Sin Fronteras Festival and Convening

by Marci R. McMahon
19 February 2019
The Necessity of Including Youth in the Development of Theatre for Young Audiences
Essay

The Necessity of Including Youth in the Development of Theatre for Young Audiences

by Jennifer Kokai
5 February 2019
Howlround Theatre Commons
From the World Theatre Map
Normalizing Theatre Performances En Nuestras Escuelas
Essay

Normalizing Theatre Performances En Nuestras Escuelas

6 September 2016

Theatre artist and teacher Oscar Franco shares his experience normalizing theatregoing as a viable recreational activity for families of color in Texas. 

Where Do Broken Hearts and Intellectual Copyright Go? The Ponderings of a Dumped Artistic Director
Essay

Where Do Broken Hearts and Intellectual Copyright Go? The Ponderings of a Dumped Artistic Director

5 June 2016

After Ernie Nolan was terminated from a theatre company where he was artistic director, he considers the rights of artists and administrators who work in states where employers can fire at will.

Mass Education or Mass Inclusion? Issues of Quantity and Quality in Children’s Theatre Programs
Essay

Mass Education or Mass Inclusion? Issues of Quantity and Quality in Children’s Theatre Programs

27 April 2016

Brent Eickhoff discusses the challenges of programming large theatre productions with youth, advocating clear, realistic goals for teaching artists, students, and parents. 

Tomás and the Library Lady
Essay

Tomás and the Library Lady

Framing an Expert’s Review

22 March 2016

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce interviews her ten-year-old daughter Genevieve to get her thoughts on a recent theatre for young audiences show in Austin, Texas.

From Page to Stage
Essay

From Page to Stage

Teaching Slam Poetry in the High School Classroom

7 March 2016

Jasminne Méndez writes about being a teaching artist with the Alley Theatre and introducing student to spoken word poetry.

Latina/o Plays for Young Performers
Essay

Latina/o Plays for Young Performers

A Resource for Teachers

8 February 2016

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce shares a list of published Latina/o plays in the hopes that more of them will be produced in schools with Latina/o students.

“Imma let you finish, but…”
Essay

“Imma let you finish, but…”

Interrupting Children’s Theatre

9 January 2016

Teresa Simone wraps up her Why I Hate Children’s Theatre series by explaining why she seeks to interrupt children’s theatre in her work.

From Soup to Nuts
Essay

From Soup to Nuts

Choosing a TYA Play Development Season

5 January 2016

Producer Teresa Fisher details the season selection process for New Plays for Young Audiences at Provincetown Playhouse.

Against Children’s Theatre
Essay

Against Children’s Theatre

9 December 2015

Teresa Simone’s Why I Hate Children’s Theatre series continues with this discussion of the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Taking Children Seriously at Fun House Theatre and Film
Essay

Taking Children Seriously at Fun House Theatre and Film

23 October 2015

What if the only thing “childish” about a children’s theatre was the age of the performers? Fun House in Dallas-Ft. Worth is a youth acting program that avoids the “juniorization” of work.

The Borders of Theatre for Youth
Essay

The Borders of Theatre for Youth

6 October 2015

In the fifth installment of her Why I Hate Children’s Theatre series, Teresa Simone addresses the borders of TFY and work pushing those borders in Arizona.

Striving for a Season of Premieres at The Children’s Theatre Company
Essay

Striving for a Season of Premieres at The Children’s Theatre Company

18 September 2015

Peter Brosius sheds light on how the 50th Anniversary season at The Children’s Theatre Company came together.

Thoughts Inspired by ATC Youth Ensemble's Greensboro
Essay

Thoughts Inspired by ATC Youth Ensemble's Greensboro

A Requiem

11 September 2015

Neal Reynolds on American Theatre Company’s Youth Ensemble production of Greensboro: A Requiem by Emily Mann in Chicago, Illinois.

Things You Can’t Say in Children’s Theatre
Essay

Things You Can’t Say in Children’s Theatre

8 September 2015

Teresa Simone continues her Why I Hate Children’s Theatre series with this post exploring the work of Zarco Guerrero.

Respecting Hip Hop in Rising Youth Theatre’s production of antonia
Essay

Respecting Hip Hop in Rising Youth Theatre’s production of antonia

a latina hip-hop Antigone

7 September 2015

Playwright José Casas discusses Rising Youth Theatre’s process for incorporating hip-hop in its upcoming project for theatre for young audiences.

Ceci n’est-pas le théâtre pour l'enfance
Essay

Ceci n’est-pas le théâtre pour l'enfance

Performing the Borders of TFY

17 August 2015

Teresa Simone discusses examples of children’s performance that aren’t considered “theatre” in the third installment of her Why I Hate Children's Theatre series.

Respect for Children
Essay

Respect for Children

There Are No Children

4 August 2015

In the second installment of Teresa Simone’s Why I Hate Children’s Theatre series, the author discusses the problems with binary constructions of "child" and "adult."

Why I Hate Children’s Theatre
Essay

Why I Hate Children’s Theatre

a Modest Proposal for Theatre for Youth

21 July 2015

In the first installment of Teresa Simone’s Why I Hate Children’s Theatre series, the author discusses the problematic distinction between theatre for children and theatre for a general audience.

Valley Alliance of Latina/o Theatre Artists and Educators
Essay

Valley Alliance of Latina/o Theatre Artists and Educators

Connecting and Developing Latina/o Stories in the Rio Grande Valley in Tejas

5 July 2015

In the third installment of our series on Latina/o theatre in Texas, Marci R. McMahon discusses the work being done in educational institutions in the Rio Grande Valley.

Young Latina Protagonists
Essay

Young Latina Protagonists

New TYA Plays put Mexican American Girls Center Stage

11 June 2015

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce on Cenicienta by Rupert Reyes and Caroline Reck, and Alvaro Saar Rios’ LUCHADORA!

Ahead of the Curve
Essay

Ahead of the Curve

Albany Park Theater Project and Third Rail Project's Learning Curve

5 May 2015

In her latest installation, Morgan Greene rediscovers high school through Albany Park Theater Project’s immersive experience Learning Curve.

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind—Hearing the Voices of the Future
Essay

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind—Hearing the Voices of the Future

25 April 2015

Norwegian composer Marte Røyeng has created a musical exploring sustainability with children, hoping to help them think about big issues.

A Conversation with Finegan Kruckemeyer
Essay

A Conversation with Finegan Kruckemeyer

26 December 2014

Corey Ruzicano talks to playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer about making theater for young audiences, how a kid should be a kid, and what he thinks of when he writes from his community in Tasmania.

The cast of Take it From Me—Violence Just Don’t Understand.
It Takes a (Tofu Chitlin’) Circuit
Essay

It Takes a (Tofu Chitlin’) Circuit

Defining Community in Youth Theater

8 November 2014

Sydney Chatman is the creator and director of The Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit, a community and youth ensemble training collective based in Chicago’s South Side. Before creating TCC, Chatman worked on productions from Chicago to Broadway, while also teaching at the University of Chicago Charter School. When students she once taught as kindergarteners came to her as teens and said, “Can you train and teach me?” she said, “Yes.”

Uncovering Staged Readings and Discovering the Art of Collaboration
Essay

Uncovering Staged Readings and Discovering the Art of Collaboration

1 November 2014

Yet after reading about staged readings and their role in play development, I hit a roadblock. I couldn’t come up with a definition that addressed every possible scenario. More vexingly, I couldn’t figure out how to negotiate concrete meanings for words like “minimal” and “basic” that are often used when discussing staged reading elements. Despite the many points of agreement found when looking at various discussions, there are too many differences in definition to develop a clear picture of what exactly a staged reading is or how it should look.