National TYA Awards
The National TYA Awards honor excellence in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Selected by a committee of peers from nominations made by TYA/USA members, awards are given annually in the following categories:
The Harold Oaks Award for Sustained Excellence in TYA
This award honors the achievements of individual leaders and companies that have made a significant and lasting impact on the field of TYA.
The TYA Artistic Innovation Award
This award honors an individual or company that has demonstrated innovation – experimentation in content or in form – in recent artistic work in TYA. This award honors vanguards of our field, pushing the genre forward in their work.
The TYA Community Impact Award
This award honors an individual or company that has demonstrated community impact through a project or initiative related to TYA. Awardees utilize the power of TYA to significantly enrich a surrounding community in creative and meaningful ways.
- Caitlyn McCain (TYA Community Impact Award)
- Brave Little Company (TYA Artistic Innovation Award)
- Julia Flood (Harold Oaks Award for Sustained Excellence in TYA)
Awardees were recognized at an Awards Brunch on May 12, 2023
during the TYA/USA National Festival & Conference in Tempe, AZ.
The Harold Oaks Award for Sustained Excellence in TYA: Stan Foote & Rosemary Newcott
TYA Artistic Innovation Award: Chicago Children’s Theatre
TYA Community Impact Award: Courtney J. Boddie
The Harold Oaks Award for Sustained Excellence in TYA: Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas & Kim Peter Kovac
TYA Artistic Innovation Award: Drew Petersen
TYA Community Impact Award: Cry Havoc Theater Company
Organization: Stages Theatre Company
Individual: Janet Stanford, Imagination Stage
Organization: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
Individual: Megan Alrutz, UT Austin
Special Award: Linda Hartzell (Seattle Children’s Theatre) and David Saar (Childsplay) in celebration of their contributions to the field as they retire from their Artistic Directorships of their respective companies.
Organization: Adventure Theatre MTC
Individual: Gayle Sergel, Dramatic Publishing
Organization: Metro Theatre Company, St. Louis
Individual: Scot Copeland, Nashville Children’s Theatre
Organization: People’s Light & Theatre Company
Individual: Joette Pelster, The Coterie
About Harold Oaks
Harold Oaks was President of ASSITEJ International (1999-2002); President of ASSITEJ/USA (1988-1995); President, The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (1987-88); and has been an officer of the National Association of Schools of Theatre; The American Theatre Association and The Children’s Theatre Association of America.
Dr. Oaks is an emeritus Professor of Theatre at Brigham Young University where he was Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts & Communications and Coordinator of the Drama/Theatre for Young People program. He chaired the BYU Department of Theatre & Film for twelve years. He has also taught and directed at colleges and universities in Minnesota, Maryland, Nebraska and Colorado.
He has directed more than forty-five plays, including performances at festivals in the US, Norway, Austria, and the former Yugoslavia. He has written over one hundred articles, reviews and publications and edited Outstanding Plays for Young Audiences International Bibliography, Volumes 2-6. He was also founding editor of ASSITEJ International Hot Line with circulation to seventy-two international centers, five times a year.
He continues to serve young people throughout the world creating puppet shows that teach about substance abuse and hygiene. They have been translated into over seventeen languages and used in over twenty-five countries.