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YPAA News – March 2016

March 2016: YPAA /ASSITEJ Australia, news from the sector- Simon Clarke

March 20 is World Day for Theatre of Children and Young People, created by ASSITEJ to promote children’s entitlement to theatre and the arts. #Takeachildtothetheatretoday To mark the occasion, Jenny Sealy, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company, Co-director of the 2012 London Paralympics and Yvette Hardie, President of ASSITEJ have released short messages of hope and inclusivity. Read them here or go to

YPAA National Wrap-up
My heart was warmed by the enthusiastic response I had to the call out for news items, and I thank you all for the passion, energy and activity that makes Youth Arts in Australia the vibrant, internationally renowned sector that it is.

St Martins’ co-production with Fraught Outfit, Theatre Works and Melbourne Festival has swept the pool with Greenroom award nominations in six categories: a major coup for a work devised by an incredible group of young women. Charlotte Hilder started her role as Creative Producer, Youth Outreach at the Arts Centre Melbourne – congrats on the appointment.

L2R is offering free dance workshops for young people at the Visy Cares Hub in Sunshine. Find more details here!

Monkey Baa has celebrated 2016, the Year on the Monkey, with their first ever promenade show, Monkey Tales in the Chinese Garden of Friendship. They have just returned from Montreal spotlighting their award-winning show, The Unknown Soldier at IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth). Next week sees rehearsals begin on The Peasant Prince, their adaptation of Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography, Mao’s Last Dancer.

Zeal Theatre turned 27 years old recently and celebrated by premiering a new play “Lucky Country” at the Bankstown Arts Centre. It’s their 49th production and will be touring it into high schools around NSW, Vic and Qld throughout 2016 and hopefully further afield in 2017. Happy birthday to them!

If you’re ready to tumble, skip, leap, hoop and hang in the air! A brand new Teenage Circus Class Vulcana Youth is launching at Vulcana Women’s Circus

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre continues their partnership with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) this year, providing a Puppetry unit for students of the Bachelor of Performing Arts course. Over a semester students will work on short puppetry works inspired by Little Red Riding Hood that will be as an in-development showing at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre as part of the 2016 WAAPA Performance Program on 19 and 20 May. Tickets for I See Red are on sale from from April 4. For more information on Spare Parts Puppet Theatre training and development programs visit or to sign up to news about Spare Parts’ Artist Training and Development initiatives email


Lastly, I’d like to congratulate Finegan Kruckemeyer, an excellent advocate for Youth Arts in Australian, for his continuing successes around the world. Next month sees his plays performed in New York, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Ann Arbor and Castrop Rauxel (Germany). He confesses to being “very excited to have ‘the boy at the edge of everything’ open at the prestigious Lincoln Center for the Arts in New York, as realised by Trusty Sidekick Theater Company and directed by Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, (and) similarly so, with the world premiere of ‘the snow’ for Wisconsin’s First Stage Theatre, with Jeff Frank at the helm.”

February saw the return of ‘this girl laughs’ by the ensemble at Jenny Sawtelle Koppera’s Spinning Dot Theatre, ‘man covets bird’ return from Valentine’s Day at 24th Street Theatre, as directed by Debbie Devine and having just been named as an LA Times critic’s choice and in germany, ‘der junge mit dem längsten schatten’ opens at the Westfälisches Landestheater, which also finds its way into a new five-play anthology, ‘Spielplatz 29’.

An incredible way to start 2016 – Keep the inspiration coming, Fin.

Simon Clarke –

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