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Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA)
Transcript of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA)
Dramatic Elements & Dialogue
What is the universal truth about the world that you are trying to communicate to your young audience members?
"Nobody should write unless there is something crying to be said. There is absolutely no reason to write—no reason to waste your own time as a writer, no reason to waste an audience's time—unless you're trying to change the world."
(CC): Active, pivotal.
CC's strong inner desire
Obstacles to CC's need/want.
does not achieve
KEY: How does
Dramatic Elements (4)
Genres of TYA
Milestones Exercise for Generating Ideas
Dialogue as a Story Tool
Stick to ONE.
In TYA, the protagonist is often at the top of the age range of target audience
Female, male, transgender,
Parents + Siblings + Spouses + Children
), Friends (
Romantic + 'Best'
), Social Class, Occupation, Education, Religion, Community Status, Hobbies, Interests
Intelligence, Personality, Self Awareness, Sexuality, Spirituality, Morality
Know all; reveal only what is necessary
Societal attitudes towards her green skin color
Intelligent, insecure, temperamental, principled
(Baum; Maguire; Holzman and Schwartz)
Idina Menzel as Elphaba in
. Photo: (C) Joan Marcus
Need / Want
A strong inner desire
Begin with abstract Needs / Wants
I need to
I need to
I need to
be loved and accepted
— AND SO I TAKE ACTION.
Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up
by J.M. Barrie
"Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed you might be flying about with me saying funny things to the stars."
I need to be loved.
What obstacles are in the way?
WHO is in the way?
Frustrate and thwart your Central Character
Focus on CC's flaws/weaknesses, so that the
CC must change
to attain its
are excellent devices for establishing CC's
Think back to External Influences of CC.
need can be symbolized by a CONCRETE want.
This is especially true in TYA.
Abstract vs. Concrete
Wiley and Mother
(Child and Parent)
Wiley and the Hairy Man
by Suzan Zeder
Wiley wants to find the legendary Hairy Man that took away his father, but Mother wants to protect him from danger.
DePaul University production, 1994.
Does the Central Character get what s/he Needs/Wants?
Yes or No?
How has Central Character
at the end?
It depends on what you want to say in your play.
The answer will depend on your
POSITIVE (Comedy) = YES, because of change.
NEGATIVE (Tragedy) = NO, because of no change, or not enough change, or change too late.
Romeo & Juliet
Get what they want, but at what cost?
Jeun Mi-Do & Kang Pil. Photo (c) Korean National Theatre
Theatre for Young Audiences
Stories made for audiences of children and young adults, usually written, directed, and performed by older theater artists.
Stories written, devised, and/or performed
children and young adults
children and young adults.
Young Adult Theatre
The Wrestling Season
by Laurie Brooks
Bullying - Rumours - Sexuality
Coterie Theatre, 2012.
Children's Theatre (≈6-12 years)
Honolulu Theatre for Youth / Seattle Children's Theatre
Nothing Is The Same
by Y York
Friendship - Prejudice - War
NEW FIELDS IN TYA
Theatre for Children with Special Needs
Crossover - All Ages - "Family Theatre"
Theatre for the Very Young
(≈6 mos. - 5 years)
Oily Cart (UK)
VIDEO of Trusty Sidekick,
Lincoln Center Education (NYC)
Up and Away
The Playwright's Best Tool
Salt & Pepper
by Jose Cruz Gonzalez
OLD MAN talks to his grandson, SALT, about postcards from Salt's mother that have been hidden away.
Why are you hidin' them?
'Cause it's all I got left of your ma. I don't know what they say. You see, her life wasn't easy. She was just a girl when she had Andy. Then you come along. I wasn't the most understanding daddy. My little Hannah tried to set her life straight, but she never could. One day she just packed off and left. Maybe she tried to sing, maybe she didn't.
All them stories about my ma, are they lies?
I made them up so you would be proud of her. So you wouldn't be ashamed. She was always singin' and laughin' with you boys. Your ma did have the prettiest voice you ever heard. I ain't lyin' about that.
The Wrestling Season
by Laurie Brooks
MELANIE GARCIA, 17-years-old, talks to Matt about rumours of her sexual promiscuity, rumours that earned her the nickname "Cherry" Garcia.
How could you take all the lies about you?
How could I take it? I liked it. I wanted them to talk about me, all right? Nobody talked about me before. No one even knew I existed. Now guys brag about me to their friends. A lot of guys want to go out with me now. Would you have asked me out if my nickname wasn't "Cherry" Garcia? Would you? Would you?
I thought so.
JENNIFER (J) and KAREN (K) become friends, age 12.
They meet their first boyfriends, age 14.
Major fight with third girl, age 15.
K finds boyfriend, RAMI (R), and J meets TOMMY (T). Good period of double dating, senior year.
K breaks up with R, J continues strong with T, summer after graduation.
J and K head off to different colleges.
J breaks up with T halfway through first year.
K and T start dating the following summer.
J confronts K.
If premise is about friendship or loyalty,
start the play when friendship is tested.
Jose Cruz Gonzalez
Artists at Oily Cart UK
and Trusty Sidekick USA
Great Practice for Writing Dialogue
A sixteen year-old new driver wants to borrow someone’s one and only car for the evening. Write a line of dialogue (1-3 sentences) that demonstrate that the teen …
Has a logical mind, talking to a parent/guardian.
Wants to absorb some of her/his older sibling’s social clout at school.
Connects with a grandparent more than with her/his parents.
Maria Dizzia, Yale Repertory Theatre Photo: (c) Joan Marcus)
by Naomi Iizuka
PHOTO: (c) Children's Theatre Company
Zana Dare as Peter Pan, 1907
Sensory Experience with Story
1-2 characters; 3 at most.
Character 1 has wants/needs.
Character 2 opposes 1.
Character 1 dialogue reflects action and tactics.
Pathways into a story
Explores contemporary stories and issues using elements of hip-hop culture
Rapping / MCing
B-boying / break-dancing
by Rickerby Hines
"The Milestone Exercise"
Created by Buzz McLaughlin
Writing on paper is best for this.
Your full name; no initials
Any nicknames in parentheses
below your formal names
Your birthday including year
NOTE: You will NOT be asked to publicly share any of this writing exercise. It is for you.
Name and Date
Who is that person?
do not write
) about the day that person came into the world.
Who was there?
What were the circumstances around that person's birth?
Think "External Influences."
Think of every important event in your life. List them.
Words, phrases, images OK.
Order does not matter.
Do not self-edit; if it pops in your head, write it down.
Aim for 30+ events.
On a separate paper ...
Write the EIGHT (8) most significant events from your brainstorm.
Choose only those have profoundly affected your life.
Eight events exactly
On a third piece of paper ...
Write your full name
Nicknames under names
Date of birth
Eight (8) significant events in chronological order.
emotional truth is the key to writing an honest play.
Professional TYA Theaters
Seattle Children's Theatre (WA)
Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN)
Childsplay (Tempe, AZ)
Nashville Children's Theatre (TN)
Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD)
Family Theater, Kennedy Center
Steppenwolf for Young Adults (Chicago, IL)
Professional TYA Theatres (United States)
Seattle Children's Theatre
Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis)
Milagro Theatre (
Kennedy Center Family Theater (Washington DC)
Imagination Stage (Bethesda)
Dallas Children's Theatre
The Coterie (Kansas City)
, Pittsburgh Playhouse
Ramón Bub Esquivel
by Ramón Esquivel
Someday, I'm going to visit you. In person ... I want to be an astronaut. The first woman on the moon. Maybe in a spaceship Papa and I wanna build. But if that doesn't work out, I'll just go in a NASA spaceship.
I can't wait.
It's hard to be an astronaut. But I can work hard. (
) I've only told Papa and Mama this. And now you.
Thank you, Soledad ... For sharing your dream with the moon.