Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) is an international field of practice focused broadly on the making of performances for children. It shares concerns and some practices with other areas including drama-in-education and theatre-in-education as well as youth theatre and applied theatre, for example. These other areas are broadly instrumental in intent and their value can be demonstrated in evaluating how well they have met such instrumental goals, by measuring improvements in knowledge, skills or aspects of personal development.
By contrast, while the importance of engaging children in performances made specifically for them is often asserted, there are significant gaps in the evidence currently available for understanding and evaluating this importance and the value of TYA. Led by one of the leading researchers in the field, this 3-year project will engage with existing external partnerships (both local and international) to: a) generate evidence to develop, test and refine frameworks for understanding the value of TYA; and, b) close the gaps in the evidence for this value.
It will be aligned with a current set of work being conducted by ASSITEJ International through funding from Creative Europe. Applicants are invited to define the specific focus and scope in their proposal responding to this call. It is envisaged that within an overall mixed methods design, a case study approach (however developed) would provide for analytical depth while allowing for generalisable findings, though this may be revised in dialogue between the supervisor and the successful applicant.