The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) comprises theatre artists from all over the world who, despite the diversity of their backgrounds, experiences and artistic investments, share a belief that social change starts with children and young people. Preparing such artists for leadership positions in their respective domains is key to the overall mission. In this paper, I will explore ASSITEJ’s Next Generation residency programs as a key facilitator of individual artistic growth that in turn will have impacts on the field of Theatre for Young Audiences both locally and globally, which in its own turn will have an effect on the children and youth who experience these artistic results. My hope is that this exploration offers a model for other groups and movements seeking to provide “next generation” leadership training as a means to long-term growth and sustainability.
Norifumi Hida, MFA (East 15), PhD (Warwick) is an Assistant Professor at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University in Japan. He conducts research on theatre for young audiences, youth theatre, as well as drama and theatre education. While organising various exhibitions, symposia, and events at the Theatre Museum, he teaches theatre history, theatre theory, drama and theatre education, applied theatre, and EFL (English as a foreign language) and JSL (Japanese as a second language) through drama and theatre at different universities. He also runs seminars for trainee educational officers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. He is on the Editorial Board of ‘ArtsPraxis’ at New York University in the U.S.A; International Advisor of Theatre for Young Audiences Centre at Rose Bruford College in the U.K.; and Board Member of the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network, ASSITEJ.