News & Media


Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the final 2019 bulletin for the Youth Arts and Theatre for Young Audiences sector.

This bumper edition contains ‘Converge’ documentation from our national gathering last month; exciting international opportunities; sector call outs; an update from Sue Giles; and TNA’s ASSITEJ Sector Survey – designed to help us appoint representatives for a National ASSITEJ Advisory Group in 2020.

Thank you all for your energy and generosity this year. It’s been a pleasure connecting with companies and artists from across this vibrant part of the sector.

Bethany, Nicole, Simone, Rani and Jamie
Theatre Network Australia


[TNA is the National Centre for ASSITEJ.​ We support Sue Giles in her role as Australian Representative and Vice President of ASSITEJ global, and work in collaboration with Sue and the wider sector on key advocacy priorities and activities].

‘Converge’ Documentation online now
If you weren’t able to make it or would like to revisit some of the content, event documentation including video, audio, written transcripts and handy links and resources are now online. Thanks again to everyone for contributing to a great event! (Delegates can still submit event feedback via the delegate survey).

ASSITEJ Sector Survey – How do you lead the sector?
In early 2020, TNA will appoint a National ASSITEJ Advisory Group of representatives from across the country – from Early Years right through to Youth Arts and Youth-Led Initiatives. To help us identify advocacy champions, we have designed a short (really simple!) survey to gauge your sector participation and aspirations. Take the survey.

Congress 2020 in Japan – Presentation selections
We understand that responses have been coming in from the selection team in Japan. Please let us know if your work has been selected. TNA is working with Sue Giles and Australia Council on possible ways to support and profile Congress delegates.

Victorian Independent Producers Initiative (VIPI) – New program launched
VIPI is designed to support independent producers, and through them, independent artists and companies in the performing arts, based in Victoria. Find out about the program components and how to get involved here.

Member Booklet – Final Call for Inclusions!
We are building a promotional tool for international delegations. Listings are still open to TNA member companies making work with, by and for young people. Independent practitioners will be listed online. Contact us to be included. (Not a member? Join here!)


ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in Norway – Wrap Up
This year’s gathering was held in September in Kristiansand, Norway. 600 international delegates including 12 Australians got together under the banner theme: “Towards the Unknown – Confronting the Present”. View the archived livestreams from the Norway gathering here.

Get involved with the ASSITEJ Professional Networks
We encourage you to connect and get involved with various ASSITEJ professional networks.
Below is an overview of each network and some useful insights / news:

International Inclusive Arts Network (IIAN) – This network works to create inclusive policy and toolkits for the global community. A recent development through IIAN is the establishment of ‘Country Champions’. We are thrilled to introduce Michelle Hovane and Francis Italiano of Sensorium Theatre in WA as our Disability Champions for Australia!

Small Size – Theatre for Early Years: In February 2020 three Australian delegates will attend Visioni Festival for Early Years in Bologna, Italy: Sally Chance (SA), Kirsty Grierson (TAS) and Emily McKnight (NSW). Australia is the country of focus for the festival this year – a great chance to talk about our work and approaches to TEY.

Write Local Play Global is a network of writers for TYA. There are currently 18 Australian writers on the website. Tony Mack (SA) is on the leadership team and Finegan Kruckemeyer (SA) is an artistic advisor.

Next Generation Network draws alumni together for continued connection and collaboration. Australian alumni include Fraser Caulfield, Jacob Boehme, Thom Browning and Sara Strachan. Next Generation opportunities happen every year. Subscribe to the ASSITEJ global newsletter and let us know if you apply for Next Gen – we can assist with letters of support.

ITYARN is the International Theatre Young Audiences Research network which coordinates the symposia from ASSITEJ gatherings. In Norway research papers reflected an incredible range of approaches from around the world. Australian research is needed:

Young Dance Network is a new global exchange network for ASSITEJ created out of a strongly growing area of performance for young audiences.


20 Dec – The Bendigo Studio, Arena Theatre Company
This week-long development lab (16-20 March 2020) is for theatre companies and independent artists who make performance for young audiences to develop a new work and discuss their practice. Creative teams will have access to studio spaces in Bendigo (VIC) and a pool of actors to develop their new work. EOIs for the 2020 studio close 20 Dec 2019. Read more.

29 Nov – Call Out for Inclusive TYA work in Australia
As mentioned in Sue’s update, Michelle and Francis from Sensorium Theatre in WA have been appointed as Australian Disability Champions for the International Inclusive Arts Network (IIAN). Part of their role is to collate data on inclusive TYA work to feed into an international database. The current deadline for data is next Friday 29 Nov. If you’re making work in this field, please submit your info using this form.

2 Dec – 2020 ASSITEJ AWARDS – Nominations close next Monday
The next round of international awards will be presented in Tokyo, Japan as part of the 2020 ASSITEJ Congress (May 2020). Categories include Artistic Excellence, Lifetime Achievement, Playwrights Awards and Emerging Scholars. Nomination process: Contact TNA with your nominations and we will submit on behalf of ASSITEJ Australia. Please use the nomination process info listed with each award category.

31 Jan – Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation Fellowship – $20,000
The Joan and Betty Rayner ACTF Fellowship exist to support an artist’s practice in children’s theatre and TYA. Expressions of interest are now open and will close on 31 Jan 2020.

24 Feb – APAM Gathering at Asia TOPA – Melbourne 2020
APAM is rolling out its new model in 2020. Taking place in Melbourne alongside Asia TOPA 2020 (Feb 24 – 28), the APAM Gathering will be a huge week of networking, showcase performances and events. Registration covers some catering. Check out the full program and book now.

3 Dec – China Professional Placements – Art Space for Kids (A.S.K)
Applications for Australia Council for the Arts’ China Placement close on Tue 3 Dec. Applications are open for arts managers, tour managers and producers to apply for a 2020 professional placement between May – June 2020. More info.

8 Dec – Open Call 2020 – International Forum at Theatertreffen 2020 by Berliner Festspiele
Berliner Festspiele’s Theatertreffen invites young, progressive artists from across the world to participate in an 18-day international scholarship program in May 2020. Applications close 8 December 2019. Fellows announced Feb 2020.

30 Nov – Open Call: Center Stage Korea 2020
The KAMS – Korea Arts Management Service – is calling for international presenters (festival, venue, or network) to apply for the Center Stage Korea grant by 30 November 2018.

IPAY – Delegate registrations are still open
Showcase 2020 will be held in Philadelphia, USA, from 21-25 January. More info here.

Choose Art – website needs your input!
Choose Art has been designed to improve access to arts for people with disability. Use this online tool to promote your inclusive and accessible arts programs.

*The acronym ASSITEJ comes from the original French:
Association Internationale de Theatre pour les Enfants et le Jeunesse


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