Providing advocacy & resources for the field of theatre for young audiences.



2018 Spark Sessions:

International Exchange in Performing Arts for Young Audiences

A Pre-Conference to the 40th Anniversary IPAY Showcase

Tuesday, January 23, 2018    9am-7pm     /   Philadelphia, PA

(IPAY Showcase to follow January 24-27, 2018)

Join IPAY and TYA/USA for a day of dialogue, debate and international exchange on performing arts for young audiences. Focusing on the intersection of the presenting and producing worlds from an artistic and cultural perspective, this pre-conference to the 40th Anniversary IPAY Showcase will offer participants a deep dive into a variety of relevant issues facing the field. Through a mix of keynote and panel presentation, discussion and hands-on workshop, participants will engage with colleagues from around the world. The inaugural year of this new pre-conference opportunity will explore the meaning of home, and spotlight the work of American and Australian-based artists and companies.  


TYA/USA and IPAY join forces for the first time present this pre-conference opportunity. This collaboration brings together two strong like-minded organizations dedicated to serving and supporting a diverse field with the belief in the importance of great art for young people. This unique partnership will unite a large cross-section of the field and deepen national and international conversations.  

Registration opens Thursday, September 21. 

To register, go to the link at the IPAY website here: 



Registration will be conducted through the IPAY website. TYA/USA discount codes will be emailed to members. To obtain TYA/USA member discount codes, email info@tyausa.org.

$50 for TYA/USA* or IPAY Members (Promo code needed for member rate)
$75 for Non-Members 
$25 for Students/Emerging Artists (Working in the Professional Field for fewer than 5 years)
(*TYA/USA Members will also receive a $100 discount on the IPAY Showcase Full Registration. Discount will not be offered in addition to IPAY Member Rate for those individuals or organizations who are members of both TYA/USA and IPAY.)


TYA/USA Members get a $100 discount on IPAY registration this year.
International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Showcase offers the opportunity to see a diverse sampling of the best live performing arts in theatre, dance, music, puppetry, and circus for young audiences from around the world. 

To learn more about this year’s showcasing artists, visit IPAY HERE..

The annual Showcase (which includes performances, exhibits, networking opportunities, and professional development programming) attracts major companies, artists, and programmers from around the globe who serve young audiences. Throughout the four-day event, these professionals share resources and view performances of national and international performing artists who have been selected through a rigorous jury process conducted by an international selection committee. The Showcase is designed to encourage dialogue about the creation and presentation of that work among artists and presenters whose lives are devoted to the impact of this work.

Speakers to be announced soon. Stay tuned for more details!






Territory Welcome

  •  Keynote Panel: The Traveling Artist and the Meaning of Home

Many artists in our community travel the world, performing the same show for a wide range of young people from different cultures. What is it like to experience a range of cultures through your artistry? Three artists offer their insights on creating work for young audiences and the experience of touring internationally.

11:30am – 1pm
  • Two Worlds, One Home: Presenting and Producing

What are the big differences between the presenting world and the producing world in performance for young audiences? Why do they operate in completely different circles? Many presenting and producing venues share the same home cities and audiences, but operate on totally distinct wavelengths, from curation to organizational management. Learn more about what makes these worlds different, and investigate ways the two communities can exchange and collaborate in the future.

  • Crash Course in International TYA Landscape

“I’m new to the world of performing arts for young people…where do I even start?” This session is designed for emerging artists, students, and artists new to the world of performing arts for youth. Learn more about the international landscape of performance created specifically for young people, and ways that you might contribute to this dynamic field.

  • Known Titles vs. New Content: The Art and the Business of TYA

There is constant discussion in the US amongst producing and presenting venues about the tension between offering audiences recognizable titles and providing brand new content on our stages. Investigate these issues from a number of perspectives from both the presenting and producing communities.


  • Immersive and 360 Design

How are artists and venues experimenting with ways for theater to become more immersive, interactive and multi-sensory? Hear from innovative leaders from across the globe, and exchange with colleagues about best practices for creating and presenting 360 degree theatrical experiences.

  • Masterclass Workshop

Participate in a hands on workshop that explores the devising process in creating new performances for young audiences.

  • Audience Engagement Strategies in Performing Arts for Young Audiences

What strategies are venues employing to engage young people in their spaces before, during and after performances? Hear from innovative leaders from across the globe, and exchange with colleagues about best practices for creating dynamic audience engagement for both school and family audiences.

  • Creating and Producing Theatre for the Very Young

Explore the international landscape of companies creating Theatre for the Very Young. Hear from leaders in the genre, and exchange ideas around best practice in presenting and creating theatre for our youngest audiences.

  • Masterclass Workshop

Participate in a hands on workshop that will allow participants to explore the craft of puppetry, and investigate how to utilize the form to bring stories to the stage.  


Reflection and Social Mixer