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'Overheard at New Visions/New Voices 2012' compiled and edited by Abra Chusid

At New Visions/New Voices, we gather together to hear stories: stories of the characters onstage, brought to life by dedicated creative teams; stories of the playwrights’ discoveries through the week of development.  Coming together as a field, we also have the opportunity to share stories about our work around the world: stories of successes and risks, challenges and strengths. 

Zoom out, and you will see another story developing, in which we all play key roles. It is the story of our continuous and ongoing development of theatre for young audiences:  What does our field look like now?  How will we shape it in the years to come?  What are our hopes and dreams for young audiences worldwide? 

Individually, the quotes below may be provocative, funny, or somewhat strange; together, they tell a story.  A story of now.  A story of us.  A story of this benchmark in TYA

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Slamming at NV/NV!

In and around the eight full productions being workshopped, New Visions/New Voices includes international and US playwrights slams - and another sixteen unique voices can be heard reading five minute excerpts. 

For a slide show with photos of most of the writers, click here. (Thanks to photographer Teresa Fisher)



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'NV/NV 2012: International Playwright Observers Q & A', by Jenny Anne Koppera

As during the 2010 festival, the Kennedy Center invited international playwrights to attend, to observe, to converse with other playwrights, to find insights into other ways of working. 

The Playwrights:
Methe Bendix is a playwright, director, and artistic director of Theater Hund in Copenhagen, Denmark. This TYA theatre performs for young audiences at local venues in Copenhagen and on national and international tours.
Joe Brennan is a storyteller and writer from Ireland. His most recent project, called Star Boy, a wordless play for the early years, is performed by Joe as a one man show.
Cristina Gottfridsson is from Sweden. A freelance playwright working in TYA, adult theatre, and film, she has written approximately 40 plays which have been performed in Sweden, Europe and now in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Amaranta Leyva is from Mexico and currently lives in Canada. A playwright and puppeteer, her company is entitled Marionettas de la Esquina. She is currently working on a version of Sleeping Beauty to be presented by the Kennedy Center February 2013.
Elif Temuçin lives in Istanbul, Turkey. She a playwright, actress and puppeteer for Theatre BeReZe, a company which has been recently recognized as the Best Innovative Theatre in Istanbul

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'Baby Maybe' (Barry Kornhauser, USA)

Theater for babies?  Really?  When I first learned of this sub-genre of the TYA field, I responded with the same healthy skepticism I suspect is shared by many theater practitioners, even those, like me, devoted to working for children. That creating plays for preschoolers has been a highly regarded practice across the globe for several decades now seemed as incomprehensible as baby-talk

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'Theater of the Young, For the Young' (Steven Dietz, USA)

Let’s you and I build the perfect audience for our new play.  While we may differ on a few details, I’ll bet that our ideal audience would share some of these traits:

They would be Eager—they’d rush to their seats, they’d want to sit up close, they would not want to leave when it was over.

They would be Engaged—leaning forward, hungry for action and image and story and surprise. They would not sit with their arms folded across their chests.

They would be Open—open to experimentation, to newness, to things they have never seen before in a play.

They would be Demanding—they’d bust us when our play got boring or maudlin or vague or preachy or pretentious.

They would be Vocal—they’d hoot at the good jokes and gasp at the surprising stuff. They’d cheer when it was over, and then ask the hardest and truest questions imaginable.

And they would be Committed—they’d likely want to come back the next day and see the play again.

There’s a name for this ideal audience. They are called kids. If only we got to write for them. How amazing that would be.

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