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Announcing the 2017 Ann Shaw Fellow

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Sarah Jane Hardy

Chicago, IL, December 5, 2016–Theatre of Young Audiences/USA (TYA/USA), has awarded its annual Ann Shaw Fellowship to Sarah Jane Hardy, Artistic Director of Northwest Children’s Theater & School in Portland, Oregon.

She will be traveling to Bali, Indonesia, to study with and observe I Made Sidia, a world renowned Balinese Puppet master. I Made is currently the foremost exponent of contemporary Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry) in Bali as well as Wayang Kontemporer which adds electric lighting, music, video projections, and mobile puppeteers. She will take this inspiration and practical knowledge back home for the work her company is developing locally in Portland. She looks to connect I Made with the TYA field as he is eager to learn more and hopes to make a reciprocal trip to Portland to work with the designers and students of Northwest Children’s Theater through a series of Master Classes open to the public.

About Sarah Jane Hardy: Northwest Children’s Theater’s Artistic Director, Sarah Jane Hardy was born in Liverpool, England, trained at the Hylton Bromley School of Dance & Drama in Merseyside, England and earned Advanced Certification in Ballet, Tap, and Modern from the International Dance Teachers Association. Hardy’s early career included work as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher throughout Europe before moving to the United States as an international student earning an MFA in Directing from Utah State University. She became Artistic Director at Northwest Children’s Theater in 2006 and has since commissioned and produced 15 original adaptations including Alice in Wonderland – A Jazz Odyssey, an anime inspired Snow White and a version of The Jungle Book in collaboration with The Anjali School of Dance incorporating Indian dance styles from classical to Bollywood. Her directing and choreography credits for NWCT include Go Dog Go!, Seussical, El Zorrito, Elephant and Piggy, We’re in a Play!, and Mary Poppins. She has led NWCT’s Main Stage through many record-breaking and award-winning seasons, including the recent 22nd season which swept the regional Drammy and PAMTA awards with seven and nine wins, respectively.

About the Ann Shaw Fellowship: The ASSITEJ/USA Observership fund was founded in 1996 to support career development opportunities for theatre artists and administrators committed to theatre for young audiences. This program was renamed in 2003 as the Ann Shaw Fellowship, in recognition of Ann Shaw’s visionary leadership and tireless efforts to support individual career development of TYA professionals.

Since its inception, the Ann Shaw Fellowship has provided funds to assist over forty individuals with travel to theatres and festivals throughout the United States and abroad, for viewing outstanding work, pursuing mentorship opportunities and innovative collaborations and exploring challenging questions related to the field of theatre for young audiences.

About Ann Shaw: Ann Shaw (1930-2016) dedicated her life to teaching and enriching the lives of children by introducing them to theatre. She distinguished herself as a writer, speaker, researcher, consultant, program developer, and college and university professor. Her particular interest was in creative or improvisational drama; she consulted with the Institute for Development Studies in Harlem where she trained teachers to use creative drama to help children with special needs and she spent her life as a champion for them. She graduated from Colorado Women’s College where she studied acting and directing. She went on to complete her Master’s degree in Theatre at Northwestern University and her Ph.D. at Columbia University where her dissertation was considered groundbreaking in creative drama. In 1965, Ann traveled to Paris as a US delegate to the first International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) meeting to promote worldwide children’s theater. She served as TYA/USA’s (then, ASSITEJ/USA) fourth President from 1979-1986.

Awards History: Ms. Hardy joins the ranks of two decade’s worth of Fellows, including these recent recipients: Cortney McEniry & Lily Junker (2016), Sara Morgulis (2015), Jenny Anne Koppera (2014), Bethany Lynn Corey (2013), and José Cruz González and Angela Tillges (2012). For more information and a complete list of Fellows, visit tyausa.org/programs/ann-shaw/.

TYA/USA is a national service organization providing advocacy and resources in order to strengthen and diversify the field of theatre for young audiences.

If you would like more information about the Ann Shaw Fellowship and TYA/USA, please contact Theatre for Young Audiences/USA Executive Director Michael A. Van Kerckhove at 773-325-7981 or via email. Thank you.

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