When I first started considering Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) as a career option, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined it would be bringing me here, to a coastal city in southern Norway. The warm welcome by the ASSITEJ Norway team, almost as soon as I got off the plane at Kristiansand Airport, reminded me why I believe the TYA community is going to change the world. As someone who is at the beginning of their career path in this field, I have always found colleagues to be no less than a community who truly dedicate themselves to empowering the younger generations through Art. Individual practitioners from all over the world have demonstrated just how passionate they are about helping to innovate and transform the theatre landscape into something which becomes accessible and inclusive for all children.
So, here I find myself in Kristiansand working with Dialogue – The Community Performance Network to document the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering 2019. Simply being a part of this international team provides an opportunity for me to explore, engage with, and enjoy amazing networking opportunities with the rest of the global TYA community. Being able to engage in discussions with experts in the field, document performances from around the globe, and record the events of the Gathering for posterity is priceless. Being able to do so alongside a team of other young professionals is something I truly treasure.
I am looking forward to the exciting performances, the inspiring talks, and the incredible people I am going to meet during this week. The theme of the Gathering, “Confronting the Present” asks the question, “What is the status of the performing arts for young audiences around the world today?” I for one just can’t wait to find out.