The 2021 TYA/USA Virtual Festival & Conference is adapting and changing to respond to the needs of our national TYA community. Spread out over the course of the year, TYA/USA will offer four themed conference opportunities that bring the field together virtually as we move from recovery to reopening.
RECHARGE • RECALIBRATE • RESTART • REIMAGINE
Join us May 3-12 for RECHARGE TYA, a series of keynote presentations, workshops, and participatory artistic provocations focusing on self-care, healing, reconnecting, sparking inspiration, and reflecting on the lessons learned in a year like no other. Get inspired by a festival of performances that demonstrate the range of innovation, ingenuity, and resilience of our TYA field over the past year. Participate in a day of interactive open space and networking as we experiment with a new video conferencing platform, SpatialChat.
This 5-day event spread over two weeks will offer attendees the opportunity to reflect on the lessons of the pandemic year, to celebrate our colleagues and the innovations discovered in the social constraints of COVID, and to gain inspiration as we move closer to full recovery.
The 2021 Virtual Festival & Conference programming will continue throughout the year with themed series:
- RECHARGE TYA / May 3-12 2021: Reflecting on the Past Year, Focusing on Self-Care, Recharging our Batteries, and Carrying the Lessons We’ve Learned into the Recovery
- RECALIBRATE TYA / June 2021: Holding Ourselves and Our Field Accountable in Building an Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Future
- RESTART TYA / August-October 2021: Convening to Share Resources, Ideas, and Solutions to the Complex Challenges of Moving from Recovery to Reopening
- REIMAGINE TYA / November 2021: Examining the Creation of New Work in the New Normal
Pricing & Registration Info
We’re offering four themed events over the year as part of the 2021 Virtual Festival & Conference. You can register for our RECHARGE TYA event (running May 3-12, 2021), or opt to register for the full year of programming now. For more information on upcoming programming, see the session descriptions in the SCHEDULE tab.
When deciding on your pricing level, please consider that your registration fee is essential in supporting TYA/USA to provide programming for the entire TYA field all year. We need your support to ensure the stability and future of TYA/USA.
TYA/USA wishes to make programming available to as many individuals in the TYA field as possible. Registration is open to TYA/USA members and non-members. If you are not a member of TYA/USA, we encourage you to become one as part of your registration, as your support ensures our ability to continue to provide the national TYA community with vital resources.
If you choose to register at the Sponsor level, your registration directly supports our ACCESS FOR ALL option, offering the opportunity to participate to individuals who are unable to financially contribute at this time.
Registration for RECHARGE TYA – May 3-12, 2021
Organizational Registration – Large (10+ Participants) $200
Organizational Registration – Small (up to 10 Participants) $100
Individual – Access Sponsor Level $100
Individual – Registration Level 1 $75
Individual – Registration Level 2 $50
Individual – Registration Level 3 $25
Access for All Registration $0
RECHARGE TYA Registration grants you access to all streaming performances, keynote presentations, panels, artistic provocations, and cross-community dialogues during the RECHARGE TYA Series (May 3-12, 2021). You will also have access to the recordings for all sessions, so that you can revisit them or view any sessions you miss.
Registration for FULL YEAR OF CONFERENCE PROGRAMMING FROM MAY-NOVEMBER
(Including RECALIBRATE, RESTART, and REIMAGINE. You will receive access to all of the Virtual Conference programming for RECHARGE, RECALIBRATE, RESTART, and REIMAGINE without needing to register again).
Full Year Organizational Registration – Large (10+ Participants) $500
Full Year Organizational Registration – Small (up to 10 Participants) $350
Full Year Individual – Access Sponsor Level $250
Full Year Individual – Registration Level 1 $150
Full Year Individual – Registration Level 2 $75
Full Year Access for All Registration $0
Full Year Registration grants you access to all four series programming offered from May through November: RECHARGE (May), RECALIBRATE (June), RESTART (August to October), REIMAGINE (November).
An exciting lineup of dynamic and accomplished speakers will offer big ideas, thought-provoking questions, and challenge the TYA field to think about our work in new ways.
Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.
Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.
Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at NonprofitAF.com.
Headshot PC: Mel Ponder Photography, melponder.com.
Nambi E. Kelley
Award-winning playwright/actress, Nambi E. Kelley is currently in residence at New Victory Theater through the LabWorks Program for BIPOC artists in New York City . She was chosen by Toni Morrison to adapt her novel JAZZ. Her adaptation of Richard Wright’s NATIVE SON has been seen across the country and premiered off-Broadway in 2019 at The Duke on 42nd Street (The Acting Company; AUDELCO Award for “Best Play”). She is currently developing multiple commercial theatre projects, TBA. Nambi is a former playwright-in-residence at the National Black Theatre, the Goodman Theatre, and a former Dramatists Guild Fellow. She is the recipient of the 2020 NNPN annual commission, the Prince Prize 2019, and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writers Alliance Grant 2018-19. Nambi’s newly formed production company, First Woman LLC, is currently producing a digital and national tour of Nambi’s young audiences’ play, JABARI DREAMS OF FREEDOM, directed by Daniel Carlton. Nambi served as a writer on Showtime’s The Chi, a new show on Fox (TBA), and is in development with several other film and TV projects. www.nambikelley.com.
Dr. Erika M. Dawkins
Erika M. Dawkins, PsyD, MEd, CSP is currently the Clinical Director for Chester Community Coalition and the School Psychologist for Widener Partnership Charter School, a K through 8th charter school in Chester, PA. In 2014, she completed her Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology and Masters of Education (MEd) in Human Sexuality at Widener University, as part of one of their dual degree programs. Also while at Widener, Dr. Dawkins completed the necessary training in school psychology, and is a certified school psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Howard University in 2008, graduating magna cum laude.
Dr. Dawkins’ clinical and research interests include minority identity development, microaggressions, intersectionality, grief, trauma, couples therapy, human sexuality, and more recently, the impact that social media has on self image and the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. In supporting young minorities around having positive, healthy relationships, Dr. Dawkins has had the opportunity to speak with numerous youth groups, colleges and universities, and private groups around various challenges they may face, and how to navigate them. She has a passion for working with brown women and families who are seeking to develop and maintain strong, healthy intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Dawkins is also a requested inspirational speaker. Often using her own life story to motivate and encourage those she encounters, her belief is that transparency and communication are the keys to making the connections we desire. In 2019, Dr. Dawkins opened her own counseling, consulting and coaching firm, Revolutionary Perspectives, LLC. Her life philosophy and objective as the owner of Revolutionary Perspectives, LLC is to “Encourage radical change. Inspire far-reaching impact.
For self-care, Dr. Dawkins enjoys decorative planning/journaling, attending live music events, lifting weights, and traveling. Dr. Dawkins credits her success thus far to her faith in God; her family and friends who push her and challenge her at every turn; and her fearless, run full speed ahead attitude, knowing that even if she trips, she can always get back up and get back at it.
Miko Lee is a storyteller, speaker, and educator. She believes in the power of story to amplify voices. She is a currently Executive Director of Teaching Artist Guild and Lead Producer for APEX Express on KPFA Radio. Miko’s entire career has been in the nonprofit world, first as a theatre actor, director and writer and then as an artistic director and as an arts education leader. As Executive Director of Youth in Arts, Miko helped to create and implement the Marin Arts Education Plan, the Marin Arts Now Community and the Marin County Arts & Culture Master Plan and the Downtown San Rafael Arts District. Miko was the Director of Arts and Public Education at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts where she designed and directed Learning Without Borders, which was a California Arts Council Demonstration Model and a recipient of three consecutive U.S. Department of Education Model Arts awards. In addition to Teaching Artist Guild, Miko serves on the Leadership Team of Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE), California’s Special Education + Arts Working Group and the Public Will Committee of CREATE CA.
More info here:
Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) produces professional theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of young people, families and educators in the state of Hawai‘i.
HTY believes that drama education and theatre are unique, socially-based education and art forms that help their participants and audiences walk in the shoes of others, allowing them to expand their imaginations, enrich their lives and discover the infinite possibilities in the world. HTY works towards a future for Hawai‘i in which people are culturally literate and imaginative, are critical thinkers and inventive problem solvers, with a respect for history and a sense of place in a complex world.
Founded in 1955, HTY is one of the oldest and most respected children’s theatres in the country. HTY has served over five million people through school and family performances and drama education programs. Over 300 new plays for young audiences have been commissioned by HTY.
Across two decades Idris Goodwin has forged an impactful career as a multiple award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, director, educator, and culturist.
Idris is the author of over 50 original plays ranging from his Hip Hop inspired breakbeat series to historical dramas to works for young audiences. Titles such as And In This Corner Cassius Clay, How We Got On, Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, This is Modern Art and the ground breaking Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow, are widely produced across the country by a diverse mix of professional theatres, academic environments, and non-traditional spaces alike. Goodwin’s created original content for and/or appeared on Nickelodeon, Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel.
Several of his plays are published and/or licensed through Playscripts Inc. Other works like the poetry books Can I Kick It?, Inauguration co written with nico wilkinson, Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins, and the play This Is Modern Art are available from Haymarket Books.
Passionate about cultivating new audiences in the arts, Idris is The Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, the first Black man to hold the position in its 100 year history. Prior to this, Goodwin served two seasons as Producing Artistic Director at StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. He actively serves on both the advisory boards of Theatre for Young Audiences USA and Children’s Theatre Foundation Association.
Idris is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow, recognized as a culture bearer who celebrates community values and cultivates histories with care. Supported by prestigious institutions like The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, and The Playwrights’ Center, Goodwin uses his full creative powers to galvanize people into the community square to sculpt better tomorrows.
Johamy Morales (she/her) has over eighteen years of experience in education, directing, community engagement, new work development and working in the performing arts. Johamy currently serves as the Director of Education at Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) and as a Trustee for Theatre Communication Group (TCG). In addition she has served as an advisory council for the Colorado Creative Industries, ReImagine: New Plays in TYA, TCG’s Rising Leaders of Color, and TCG’s Education Conference. Prior to working with SCT, Johamy served as the Education Director for Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado and directed the Comparative Arts Department and the Junior Musical Theatre Program at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan. Johamy has worked with Arena Stage and La Jolla Playhouse through their education programs as a teaching artist. Johamy is an alumnus of the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship at Arena Stage and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England, where she studied Contemporary & Classical works. Johamy toured with the cast of New World Jukebox where she performed in the 2006 Grahamstown National Arts Festival, in Grahamstown, South Africa and with San Diego State University in, Carnaval de Calaveras, with performances in Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Mexico D.F. in 2004. In February of 2017, Johamy collaborated with the US State Department, the US Embassy & Consulate and several NGO’s to promote awareness of domestic and gender violence in Kolkata and Ranchi, India. As an educator, artist, and director Johamy has worked with various schools and nonprofit organizations both nationally and internationally including Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, American Alliance for Education & Theatre, Write Now: TYA New Work Festival by Child’s Play, First Stage, Hope College, Fort Lewis College, University of San Diego, Esperanza Charter School, Wexner Center, Dennos Museum, Students in Transition Empowerment Program, and Columbus Refugee & Immigration Services. Johamy Morales holds an MFA in acting from The Ohio State University, with a specialization in outreach and devising new work, and a BA in Theatre from San Diego State University.
Min Kahng is an award-winning Bay Area playwright, composer, lyricist and creative coach whose works include The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Theatre Bay Area Award, Edgerton New Play Award, NAMT Production Grant), GOLD: The Midas Musical (Theatre Bay Area Award), Inside Out & Back Again, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation, Bad Kitty On Stage!, The Song of the Nightingale and Tales of Olympus. Kahng also wrote the NEA-funded project Story Explorers, an original musical for young audiences with autism. Kahng is an alumnus of the Playwrights Foundation’s Residency, Djerassi, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Residency, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, and the TheatreWorks New Works Festival. He has been invited as a Guest Lecturer/Artist at Harvard University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, San Jose State University and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Kahng is a Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, a Richard Rodgers Award Finalist, a Board Member of Theatre for Young Audiences USA, and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. www.minkahng.com
Miriam Gonzales, playwright: The Smartest Girl in the World; Óyeme, the beautiful; Selena Maria Sings; 10 Seconds; Sunny and Licorice; Girl Power! (Kennedy Center, NSO youth concert series); Oh Mighty Mollie; The South Overlook Oaks (adaptation); Bertie, Maggie and the Magic Zero. Productions: Childsplay Theater, Imagination Stage, StoryBook Theatre, North Carolina Theater for Young People (2022), Arts on the Horizon, Atlas Theater, Columbus Children’s Theater, and Austin Playhouse. Miriam’s work has toured extensively into schools and communities throughout the DC area, Arizona and North Carolina (2022). Professional readings: Write Now (Childsplay Theater), La Jolla Playhouse’s DNA New Works Series, Northwestern University’s PLAYground New Play Festival, AATE conference, Imagination Stage, Latinx TYA Theater Commons, Georgetown University’s International Cross-Currents Festival, and the annual TCG conference. Miriam is a former teaching artist with Young Playwrights’ Theater in Washington, D.C. and served as their Board Chair. She serves on the Board of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, and is the co-developer of Imagination Stage’s Óyeme theater arts program for Central American refugee youth. Awards: Write Now/Bonderman Award, Aurand Harris Memorial Playwriting Award, AATE Distinguished Play Awards, Imagination Award (Imagination Stage Theater). Miriam is a graduate of Brown University and received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University. She hails from Corpus Christi, Texas, and currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two daughters.
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman (he/him) is an artist, producer, writer, curator, and educator dedicated to the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Throughout his career, Jonathan has been passionate about innovation, experimentation and advocacy in the TYA field. Most recently, Jonathan served as the first Producer of Family Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, creating ways to re-imagine the Lincoln Center campus as an international arts destination for families. Jonathan is also the Co-Founder of New York’s Trusty Sidekick Theater Company. He led the company through five years of growth and the creation of 12 original works, including the critically-acclaimed Up and Away (a multi-sensory, immersive experience for young people on the autism spectrum). Recent artistic credits include co-creator of The Cerulean Time Capsule for the Kennedy Center, and director of the world premiere of The Boy at the Edge of Everything (Finegan Kruckemeyer) at Seattle Children’s Theatre. He has held artistic and education-focused roles at The New Victory Theater, True Colors Youth Theatre, and the Cloud Foundation.
Consulting Director of Antiracism Initiatives, TYA/USA
Equity & Diversity Strategist
actor, writer, creative director, stylist, human
Shavanna Calder (she/her) recently co-produced and co-hosted TYA/USA’s Listen, Learn, Lead: Antiracism in TYA Series, a nationwide learning program that served nearly 1,000 TYA professionals in exploring antiracism in their work and the field at large. She holds a Master’s Degree from NYU and also received her BA from Wellesley College where she studied Sociology & Cinema and Media Studies. She has worked with individuals on their Equity & Diversity journey as well as companies/organizations such as Stage Door Experience, Rock the Audition, Trusty Sidekick and Innovative Voice Studio. She is first generation and still identifies as a sociologist at heart.
As a performer she recently completed a run of The Legend of Georgia McBride at Milwaukee Rep & Arizona Theatre Company. Other favorite credits include: HBO’s Los Espookys, SNL, Grammys (2018), Hairspray (National Tour), CBS ‘Best of’ Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, For Colored Girls (Lady in Green), Caroline, or Change (Emmie). Additionally, she is the fortunate recipient of UCB’s Diversity Scholarship where she studied improv 101 and 201.
Shavanna is also the editor of Arts in Color (a site about people of color in theatre), which she started in 2012. The Arts in Color team shared auditions, history, news, celebrated showcasing seniors and much more. Additionally, she is the Creative Director of Mujer! (a feminist fashion magazine that defies partiarchal definitions of beauty). Whilst doing all of this she also worked full time at NYU, in various departments, for 7.5 years.
Proud Member of Actors Equity Association.
Consulting Director of Antiracism Initiatives, TYA/USA
Rudy Ramirez (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, arts educator, and facilitator. Rudy is an Arizona State University alumnus and Arizona native. As a performer, some of their favorite projects include Childsplay’s THE YELLOW BOAT, TOMAS & THE LIBRARY LADY (national tour), and THE SMARTEST GIRL IN THE WORLD. Rudy is a current teaching artist with Ping Chong + Company, and has served similarly at other organizations like Seattle Children’s Theatre, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Childsplay. They recently served as Director of Education at The Magik Theatre. Rudy is a founding member of the BIPOC in TYA Advisory Board and the project curator for ANTI-RACIST & ANTI-OPPRESSIVE FUTURES FOR THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES: AN INTERACTIVE GUIDE. Rudy firmly believes in the transformative power of storytelling, art-making, and theatre for all.
Founded in 1977, Childsplay is a nationally and internationally respected professional theatre company whose chosen audience is children. At Childsplay we believe that young people deserve to experience challenging, thought-provoking theatre of the highest artistic quality. Our respect for children’s intelligence and creativity drives us to produce new and innovative works by theatre’s finest artists. Equally, our understanding of the challenges facing Arizona’s classroom teachers leads us to offer arts education resources throughout Arizona. In the past 43 years, we have educated and inspired more than six million young people and families. We have grown to serve an average annual audience of 250,000 students, teachers, and families.
Valle del Sol
Sensitive to people of all cultures, Valle del Sol was founded in 1970 to fill a gap in behavioral health and social services available to the Latino community and underserved population with nowhere else to turn. While Valle del Sol serves all communities, providing services that are culturally appropriate remains essential. For more than 44 years, Valle del Sol has led the way in behavioral health, human services, and leadership development by assisting thousands of men, women, children, families, and the elderly through counseling, substance abuse treatment, support services, and leadership development programs. Phoenix attorney at law and former NCLR Chairman of the Board, Daniel R. Ortega, Jr. has watched Valle del Sol’s transformation since its inception. “Valle del Sol is an institution that we absolutely must have. It has an excellent reputation in the community because it has shown its ability to serve and has touched many, many lives.”
Cry Havoc Theater Company
Cry Havoc Theater Company was founded in Dallas, TX in 2014 by Mara Richards Bim. Cry Havoc Theater Company’s body of work includes ten productions (nine of which are devised new works). Recent original productions include: Endlings, a documentary/verbatim piece on climate change and climate grief; Crossing the Line (2019) a documentary/verbatim piece on the crisis at the U.S./Mexico border; Babel (2018) a documentary/verbatim piece about guns and gun violence in America; The Great American Sideshow (2017) a political allegory about the Trump administration; and Shots Fired (2017) a documentary/verbatim piece about the Dallas police shootings.
In 2019, Cry Havoc was named “Best Thing to Happen to Local Theater” by DMagazine and the company received three D-FW Theater Critics Forum Awards for their production of Crossing the Line including Best New Play or Musical, Best Performance by an Ensemble, and Best Directors (Mara Richards Bim and Tim Johnson). In 2018, Cry Havoc’s production of Babel received two Forum Awards including best new play. In 2018, the company was awarded the National Theatre for Young Audiences/USA’s Community Impact Award, presented at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices Festival.
Brave Little Company
Brave Little Company is theatre for everyone. We create works about, with, and for kids and their grown-ups, reflecting Houston’s diversity and empowering children to create art on their own.
Filament Theatre creates imaginary worlds in which young people have agency and autonomy to explore and express the ideas they are passionate about – whether that’s new information, a challenging social situation, or a form of artistic expression. We need stories to help us encounter new worlds, meet new people, and practice how we might behave in that new situation. Without that kind of imagination, we will be unable to navigate the challenges that face our future.
At Filament, the word PLAY is both a noun and a verb. Our audiences join in our play at every step, from family dramaturgy workshops, to participatory pre- and post-show activities, to the performances themselves. Our past work includes a play where the audience rides bicycles, a play with two actors playing 26 characters, a totally audience-driven interactive installation, a play in a restaurant with a five-course meal accompanying the story, a play in a sandbox, a play that toured the rooms of an old mansion, a choose-your-own-adventure play, a play with a symphony orchestra, a whole bunch of which were commissions by Chicago playwrights. All of our work is accessible to multigenerational and neurodiverse audiences.
Our production process welcomes young people into the room as essential collaborators, working alongside adult professionals to craft and explore the world of each play, elevating young people as experts and positioning adults as allies. Centering youth voices and perspectives is key to every step of our creative process; not only does it give young people a crucial platform in a society that undervalues their input, but it makes the art more relevant, truthful, and creative. As we grow, Filament is testing and exploring ways to expand youth leadership within all aspects of the organization.
Now in its fourteenth year, Filament Theatre is an anchor cultural organization for the Six Corners business district in Chicago’s Portage Park. We serve approximately 8500 patrons annually through our theatre programming, camps, school residencies, and classes. As the only theatre of its kind in Chicago, Filament is a vital home for innovative artists and young people finding and using their power through the performing arts.
An exciting showcase of TYA productions and experiences created over the last year will offer attendees the opportunity to experience the resilience, innovation, and creativity of our field in the midst of a pandemic. Plus, attendees also gain access to Alliance Theatre’s full Toddler Takeover Festival lineup!
Metro Theater Company - St. Louis, MO
by Idris Goodwin
soundtrack by Jackie “Jackpot” Sharp
directed by Jamie McKitrrick
It’s Jack and the Beanstalk with a modern-day twist. In this reimagined world, Jack and his mother struggle to live happily ever after. When his farm can’t feed him, his community can’t support him, and his mother can’t take care of him, Jack takes matters into his own hands. After climbing the beanstalk and stealing the giant’s goose, Jack flees home and discovers the goose’s golden eggs have a mysterious, intoxicating power that turns his world upside down. How can something so good make everything bad? Can Jack turn things around to save his village?
Jacked! fuses storytelling and poetry with nonstop hip-hop and break-beat music in this fresh, energetic virtual production that uses hand-drawn animation. Jacked! explores the imaginative boundaries of theater, film, and animation and inside the story and the music is an age-appropriate message for children about substance use disorders and their effects on our communities.
Thanks to presenting Sponsor Whitaker Foundation with additional support from Children’s Theater Foundation of America.
Jack – Jarris L. Williams
Ensemble – The Knuckles
Director – Jamie McKittrick
Soundtrack and musical direction by Jackie “Jackpot” Sharp
Visual Artist – Nicholas Kryah
Costume Designer – Dorathy L. Johnston
Animation Designer/Video editor – Michael Tran
Sound Engineer — Ben Arnold
Stage Manager – Jimmy Bernatowicz
Jacked! was originally commissioned by Cleveland Play House and developed as part of Cleveland Play House’s Classroom Matinee Touring Program with a soundtrack by Rhythm Science Sound.
Chicago Children's Theatre - Chicago, IL
Created by Jerrell L. Henderson and Caitlin McLeod
Directed by Jerrell L. Henderson
Designed by Caitlin McLeod
Music and sound design by Daniel Ison
Director of photography Jeff Paschal
Voice over performances by Davu Smith (Diamond) and Amira Danan (Elder)
Dramaturgy by Denae Hill
Produced by Jacqueline Russell and Will Bishop
Diamond’s Dream is a virtual puppet production that takes place on a CTA Red Line train traveling south through pandemic-era Chicago. Diamond, a pre-teen African-American boy, has fallen asleep on the train while on his way to visit his dying grandmother. When he awakes, time and reality have shifted, and he meets the ghost of a young African-American girl, a shape-shifting elder spirit who died of Spanish Flu 100 years ago to the date. Both are confronted with paranormal puppets and images representing society’s ills – ignorance, poverty and racism. While the spirit girl seeks only rest, Diamond comes to understand she must first be remembered in order to find it. Recommended for ages 9 and up.
Diamond’s Dream is the first new work to emerge from the Springboard Project, a new initiative launched in 2020 by Chicago Children’s Theatre to foster new works made especially for today’s young people. The piece was created by Jerrell L. Henderson and Caitlin McLeod.
Alliance Theatre - Atlanta, GA
By Pearl Cleage
Inspired by Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, The New York Times bestselling book by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
A Palette Group Production
Original Compositions by Eugene H. Russell IV
Directed by Mark Valdez
Written by Atlanta’s bestselling author, playwright, and Civil Rights Activist, Pearl Cleage, this original animated short celebrates the power of youth to change history. We meet three friends as they learn about the sit-ins of the Civil Rights era, and powerfully apply those lessons to issues they – and we all – face today. The film invites students, parents, teachers, and families to experience the Civil Rights Movement as a living, breathing energy with practical lessons, ethical challenges, and moral choices that remain relevant today. Featuring a mixture of Civil Rights anthems and new freedom songs composed specifically for the film, Sit-In will move audiences, encourage intergenerational conversations, and inspire the next generation of conscientious social activists.
The Goodwin Project
Children's Theater of Madison - Madison, WI
CHILDREN’S THEATER OF MADISON (CTM) PRESENTS THE GOODWIN PROJECT
The Goodwin Project is a series of four short plays written by the brilliant Idris Goodwin created by CTM’s Goodwin Team. The purpose is to start tough conversations about race within the households and classrooms! Combined with educational content specifically developed for each production, The Goodwin Project provides families and teachers with a well-designed toolkit to address race in an insightful, groundbreaking, and helpful way.
THE PLAYS: CTM produced The Water Gun Song (2nd grade & up) directed by Dana Pellebon and Nothing Rhymes with Juneteenth (5th grade & up) directed by Shasparay Irvin.
Along with these plays, CTM showcases #matter (9th grade & up), directed and produced by Cody Spellman and Black Flag (10th grade & up), which was adapted and directed by Sophia Capp.
BONUS CONTENT MADE TO ACCOMPANY EACH PLAY: We are so excited to offer bonus educational content for each show. This includes activities for teachers and parents to do with their kids, including a talkback session for all audiences.
OUR BBIPOC TEAM OF PRODUCERS, ARTISTS AND EDUCATORS: The CTM community celebrates visible and invisible differences in identity, gender expression, age, culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, learning style, religion, occupation, nationality, immigration status, socio-economic status, and life experiences that span these differences. With this in mind, a team of talented BBIPOC artists and professionals were assembled, under the leadership of producer Laura McMillan, to bring these plays to life through the CTM platform.
Stories of Oceania
Honolulu Theatre for Youth - Honolulu, HI
Join Kapili as he learns about respecting and honoring people of different cultures through the stories of his classmates. The show explores ideas of stereotype and acceptance, and it features stories from our neighbors in the Pacific that celebrate the cultural traditions that connect us. This digital production was devised and filmed for HTY’s 2021 Virtual Season and is recommended for ages 8+.
The Digital Production Team:
Sean Choo – KĀPILI
Serina Dunham – VAI / Ghost
Moses Goods – ANITELU / ASI / Ghost
Makiʻilei Ishihara – TANA / Ghost
Pōʻai Lincoln – MOM / MANU / Ghost
Matthew Mazzella – KŌRA
Theoren Nansen – ASI (voice)
Destiny Qalo – INISE
Junior Tesoro – PWUN
Eric West – Ghost
The Quest for Solomon's Treasure
First Stage - Milwaukee, WI
Developed by John Maclay and Jeremy Tardy
All seven episodes are available to stream through May 30, 2021
Tune in to this seven-episode world premiere web series streaming exclusively for family and school audiences. Follow six Milwaukee young people as they work together to solve clues in the ultimate treasure hunt to save the day. With new clues revealed each week in each of these 15-20 minute episodes, you’re invited to help us solve this mystery! It’s a little bit Goonies, a little bit National Treasure, and one hundred percent Milwaukee. Recommended for families with young people ages 8+
CAST & CREW
Written by John Maclay
Directed by Jeremy Tardy
Visual Effects by Jeremy Tardy
Director of Photography – Ryan Bingham
Gaffer/Grip/Asst. Dir. of Photography – Pierce Ellner
Production Assistant – Natalie Mayo
Frannie – LINA SINGH
Alina – LUCIA SANTANA
Jordan – COLLIN WOLDT
Kendall – MILO ELLIOTT
Olivia – TERYNN ERBY-WALKER
Selma – ALICE RIVERA
Grayson – CHARLES ELLIOTT
Special Thanks to the young performers who were critical to the development of the script: Paige Landrum, Evie Patrick, Selma Rivera, Ailie Snyder, Nolan Zellermayer
Special Thanks to our Script Consultants: John Gurda, Alvaro Saar Rios, Sheri Williams-Pannell
Childsplay - Tempe, AZ
This show is bilingual! ¡Este programa es bilingüe!
A physically poetic adaptation of Yuyi Morales’ story that tells of resilience, hope and the courage it takes to find one’s voice when navigating a new place. Dreamers honors the passion, strength, and hope that is born from the challenges experienced in an immigrant’s journey and reminds us that, “Someday we will become something we haven’t even yet imagined.”
Directed by Ricky Araiza
Featuring Anya Hernandez (one-person performance)
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
In association with Teatro Bravo
Cry Havoc Theater Company - Dallas, TX
When Cry Havoc Theater Company began developing Endlings in the fall of 2019, it was envisioned as a live, verbatim theater production that would explore the collective grief humans experience in the midst of a disappearing natural world and the political division that infects conversations around climate change. The company was scheduled to travel to Seattle, Washington and the surrounding areas to collect interviews and introduce the teenagers of Cry Havoc to a different and more intact ecosystem than the one they experience in Dallas, Texas.
And then came COVID-19.
Throughout the spring of 2020, the group of teens and the director of the project, Mara Richards Bim, continued to collect interviews over zoom. As they navigated the shutdown, their individual desires to connect with nature took on very different meanings as did the experience of collective grief. The resulting audio play weaves together first-person interviews with experts, activists, and individuals living on the front lines of climate disruption along with conversations between the teens of Cry Havoc and the director on the topics of Covid-19, grief, and art.
Written and directed by Mara Richards Bim, developed with the teens of Cry Havoc Theater Company
Brave Little Company - Houston, TX
Paper Offerings begins when a girl named Amy finds a series of notes and items left around her house–even though no one has visited during lockdown. As the clues unfold in Amy’s letters, the audience discovers the story of two siblings and their journey from Vietnam to Houston. Paper Offerings draws on Vietnamese and Asian folklore, immigrant experiences, and food traditions to create a story that audiences of all ages can enjoy, using all of their senses! For the TYA/USA Festival and Conference, Paper Offerings has been adapted for a virtual experience.
Paper Offerings, a play by mail created by Brave Little Company
Creative Team: Jade Chang, Mai Le, Hannah Lee, Pin Lim, Alan Nguyen, Troy Scheid
Jabari Dreams of Freedom
First Woman Productions - New York, NY
JABARI DREAMS OF FREEDOM is a play to save Black youth from living through fear. It tells the story of Jabari, a young Black boy from the South Side of Chicago who loves to paint. Through painting, he can escape the turbulent world around him. When a friend is hurt by police, Jabari is afraid to leave the house. With his Forever President Barack Obama as a guide, he dreams he meets children from the Civil Rights Era including Ruby Bridges, Claudette Colvin, and a 7-year-old Barack Obama on the eve of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Can Jabari use the lessons he’s learned to instill in young Barack the ideas he’ll need to become president? Will Jabari take these lessons back into his own life and heal his community? Using history, rap, freedom songs, and humor, this play explores what it means to have courage in a world where Black children—Black boys—are not safe.
Written by Nambi E. Kelley
Directed by Daniel Carlton
Sound and Media Designer/Editor – Leo Lei
Musical Director – Joe Plummer
Jabari – Cameron Goode
Dad, Obama & Others – Octavius Lanier
Mom, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges & Others – Lori Sinclair Minor
Emmet & Understudy – Otis McDaniel
Stage Manager – Jes Aguilar-Smucker
Assistant Stage Manager – Olivia Leslie
Production Coordinator – Whitney Stone
The Lost Treasure of Atlantis
Imagination Stage - Bethesda, MD
Spy Team 7 is on a mission to recover a powerful treasure from the evil Dr. Levinious, but we’ve lost contact. Only YOU can help us now. Please sign up and help us save the world! Our madcap team of expert spies needs YOU to help save the day and find the lost treasure of Atlantis! Full of surprises, fun, and memorable characters, each performance of The Lost Treasure of Atlantis takes a small number of families through a series of puzzles, codes, and challenges on a quest to recover the stolen Heart of the Dragon. Part online escape room, part interactive game, this creative and immersive theatrical experience is a live virtual event perfect for ages 5+.
Conceived and Co-Directed by Strother Gaines
Written by Doug Robinson
Produced and Co-Directed by Jeffrey Eagle
CAST (in order of appearance)
Amanda Haddock, “Pat” – Dr. Patricia Lee Mills, Ph.D.
Matthew Pauli, “Pat” – Prof. Cornelius Archimedes Pattagobhi
Jasmine Jones, “Pat” – Patty Marigold
Edima Essien, Newscaster
David Whitney, Man Eating Sandwich
Danielle Gallo, Tank
Miss Kitty, Specs
Ryan Sellers, Locksmith / Dr. Levinious
Waffles Belack, Dog Jumping Over TP
Danielle Harris, Scenic & Graphic Designer
Madison Booth, Costume Designer
Bethany Regalbuto, Digital Content Programmer
Chris Mariles, Director of Photography
Paige Smith Lee, Editor
Ted Hogeman, Sound
Xander Eagle, Production Assistant & Ninja #3
Leonardo and Sam: The Terrible Monster and the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World, Respectively
Manual Cinema & Kennedy Center Education
Emmy Award®–winning company, Manual Cinema tells Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems’ tale of a not-so-scary monster. Leonardo is truly a terrible monster—terrible at being a monster, that is. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn’t quite as satisfying as he thought it would be. Leonardo realizes that he might be a terrible, awful monster—but he could be a really good friend.
Most enjoyed by ages 5+.
Laura Colby, President
Anna Amadei, Vice President
TEL: +1 718 797 4577
Leonardo and Sam: The Terrible Monster and the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World, Respectively
Created by Manual Cinema
Co-Commissioned by Manual Cinema and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Inspired by the books Leonardo, The Terrible Monster and Sam, The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems
Directed by Sarah Fornace
Adaptation by Sarah Fornace and Drew Dir with Ben Kauffman
Storyboards: Drew Dir
Original Score and Sound Design by Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter
Dramaturgy by Megan Alrutz
Emily, Narrator, Character Voices & Vocals: Lily Emerson
Giacometti: Lindsey Noel Whiting
Fiore and Assistant Giacometti Puppeteer: Samuel Taylor
2D Puppetry: Lizi Breit, Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Keys and Guitar: Ben Kauffman
Keys: Kyle Vegter
Sound Recording: Ben Kauffman, Charlie Malave, and Kyle Vegter
Video Editing: Drew Dir and Sarah Fornace
Paper Puppet Design: Drew Dir
Giacometti Puppet Design: Lizi Breit
Fiore Puppet Design: Julia Miller
Set Design: Julia Miller
Lighting Design: Andrew Morgan
Costume Design: Maddy Lowe
Props Design: Lizi Breit and Julia Miller
Director of Artistic Sign Language: Jill Owens Brick
Sign Language Interpreters: April Jackson-Woodard, Christina Whitehouse-Suggs, Debby Kajiyama
Leonardo and the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the World
Why I Am Crying (Sam)
Why I Am Crying (Kerry)
Kerry and Sam
Wonderful Friend (reprise)
The Pigeon, Elephant Gerald, and Piggie characters © Mo Willems. Used with permission.
Special Thanks to Marcia Wernick, Laura Colby, Maria Pelone, Kate Gerhart Fagal, and Lisa Dir
Support for Kennedy Center Performances for Young Audiences is provided by A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.
Generous support is also provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
Toddler Takeover and Pre-K Playfest
Alliance Theatre - Atlanta, GA
TYA/USA Virtual Festival Registrants will also gain access to the full Toddler Takeover digital festival from Alliance Theatre! This unique event offers children from birth through 5 years a one-of-a-kind virtual arts festival featuring productions from around the world.
Doodle Pop presented by Brush Theatre
Old Man and the River presented by WeeFestival of Arts & Culture
In My Granny’s Garden presented by Alliance Theatre
(Knock, Knock) the Sounds of Winter presented by Alliance Theatre
Sounds of the West End presented by Alliance Theatre
Beautiful Blackbird Live presented by Alliance Theatre
Songs to Grown On presented by Alliance Theatre
Music for the Very Young presented by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Note: Times listed below are in EASTERN Time.
RECHARGE TYA will take place from May 3-12, 2021. Festival Performances will be available to stream for from May 3-12. Live Programming will be offered on the following schedule:
May 3, 12-2:30pm ET
May 5, 12-2:30pm ET
May 7, 12-3pm ET
May 10, 12-2:30pm ET
May 12, 12-2:30pm ET
Conference & Festival Opening
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman
Opening Keynote with Vu Le, Creator of NonProfit AF
Opening Keynote with Vu Le, Creator of NonProfit AF
Nonprofits Recharged: Using the Lessons We’ve Learned to Move Our Sector Forward
The pandemic and society’s reckoning with systemic racism have revealed critical lessons for our sector about how we work, how we relate to one another, how we take care of ourselves, and how we are sometimes our own biggest barriers. It’s been rough these past few years, especially 2020. Let’s examine the biggest takeaways and figure out how we can use them to advance our work.
Keynote: Embracing Ensemble in the TYA Model
The Honolulu Theatre for Youth Company breaks down how their resident ensemble enhances the organization’s agility, creativity, diversity and productivity while saving resources and enhancing the company’s connection to local community and culture.
Honolulu Theatre for Youth
Artistic Provocation: Cry Havoc Theater Company
Each day of the conference, an innovative TYA Company will lead the field in an artistic creation prompt to make something at home along with colleagues across the country. Join Cry Havoc Theater Company from Dallas, TX for our first provocation.
Cry Havoc Theater Company
Keynote: How Long Will You Stay Awake? Lessons for the TYA Field to Carry Forward
Featuring award-winning playwright, actress, and changemaker Nambi E. Kelley.
Nambi E. Kelley
Panel: ReImagining New Play Development Pathways
Featuring the ReImagine: New Plays in TYA Advisory Committee
Artistic Provocation: Brave Little Company
Each day of the conference, an innovative TYA Company will lead the field in an artistic creation prompt to make something at home along with colleagues across the country. Join Brave Little Company from Houston, TX for our second provocation.
Brave Little Company
TYA Community Open Space on Spatial Chat
Join TYA/USA for an interactive day of connection, conversation, and experimentation in new video conferencing platform SpatialChat. Reconnect with old friends, meet new colleagues, and get inspired by choose-your-own-adventure networking. Visit the virtual expo hall to connect with vendors as well! SpatialChat will allow you to navigate your own way through a variety of virtual meeting spaces, engage in small group conversation, or just meet up in the virtual “lobby.”
Note: You will need to access SpatialChat from a web browser on a computer to participate in this day’s programming.
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman
Keynote: Combating Compassion-Fatigue in TYA – How To Care For Yourself and the Young People You Serve Without Burning Out
Keynote Workshop with Dr. Erika M. Dawkins of Revolutionary Perspectives
Dr. Erika M. Dawkins
Artistic Provocation: Filament Theatre
Each day of the conference, an innovative TYA Company will lead the field in an artistic creation prompt to make something at home along with colleagues across the country. Join Filament Theatre from Chicago, IL for our third and final provocation.
Celebrating the Field with Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Corey Medallion Awards
Join CTFA in celebrating our field through this special awards presentation. Named for former CTFA President Orlin Corey, this award recognizes artists, educators, administrators, activists and others whose visionary works for youth embodies the core values of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.
Keynote: My Dearest Arts Organization, Are You Still There?
Artists and Arts organizations are intertwined in an often toxic relationship. In March 2021, Teaching Artists Guild (TAG) and Teaching Artists of the MidAtlantic (TAMA) joined forces to share a “break-up letter” between teaching artists and the arts organizations that they work with. Join TAG ED Miko Lee for a straight talk–cherishing the memories and dishing the gory details. We all strive for a healthier relationship. Where do we go from here?
Creative Self-Care: Pairing Drama and Mental Health Strategies to Support Artists and Educators
This year, Childsplay and Valle Del Sol have partnered to create a special series of workshops for educators in response to the tremendous stresses of teaching during a pandemic. These “Creative Self-Care” sessions combine drama-based strategies for community-building and mindfulness with information and best practices from mental health counseling. In this webinar, we will share the program’s design, experience some of the activities together, and provide time for questions and discussion about applying this work in your practice.
Valle del Sol
Jonathan Shmidt Chapman