In the audience, age is just a number

Have you ever been to a TYA production without a kid in tow? Tell us here!

“At a time when the pressures on young people are perhaps greater than they have been at any time since the second world war, and the challenges faced by massive cultural and technological shifts, climate change, and economic collapse are immense, what we need is a rising generation who can use their heads to solve those problems but also their imaginations… Theatre, particularly theatre for children, fires the imagination, it gives our children the skills and the creativity necessary to face the world, to understand it and perhaps to change it too.” — Lyn Gardner on “Why Children’s Theatre Matters,” The Guardian, October 23, 2013.

TYA (or “theatre for young audiences”) includes any performance taking place in the presence of young audiences — consisting of but not limited to — theatre, dance, music, puppetry, circus and physical theatre. When most people hear “TYA” or “theatre for young audiences,” they immediately think of fairy tales, saturated colors, peppy music and cartoon-like characters with overly large heads. While such types of performance have a place in the field, the international TYA landscape is actually far more expansive, featuring some of the most imaginative multi-disciplinary pieces of theatre that captivate young people and adults alike.

At The New Victory Theater, we present shows of various disciplines — from immersive to solo to experiential to promenade — from around the world to New York kid and family audiences. Oftentimes, the shows we present were created without consideration of the age of the audience in mind, but they happen to be kid- and family-appropriate. Adults frequently attend New Victory performances as parents with their kids, as teachers or chaperones accompanying classes or as interested patrons without kids, and we find that the adults enjoy our shows as much as the kids next to them.

As presenters of theatre for young people, we believe that kids are smart, deserving and emotionally complex audience members who can and should have access to sophisticated artistry, complicated ideas and serious issues. Kids should be challenged with a standard of subject matter and theatricality that will inspire, engage and encourage critical thinking and, most importantly, spark the imagination.

The New Victory Theater staff

This video was made by our friends at the New Victory Theater, devoted to presenting outstanding performing arts for kids, families and audiences of all ages.