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Showcase History

The first annual Showcase was held in Evanston, Illinois in March 1979. Building on that success, it was determined that Showcase would move to a new site each year to better serve the regions. Showcases have since then been hosted by organizations and performing arts centers throughout North America.


The annual Showcase (which includes performances, exhibits, networking opportunities, and more recently a pre-conference seminar) has attracted major companies, artists, and programmers who serve young audiences. Throughout the four-day event, these professionals share resources and view performances of national and international performing artists who have been selected through a rigorous jury process conducted by an international selection committee. The exhibit area provides display information and video material on touring productions. As an educational service to the field, the conference offers a series of panel discussions on current issues and trends. Approximately 300 people register for the conference each year, representing geographic, cultural, and aesthetic diversity.


The Showcase is designed to encourage dialogue about the creation and presentation of that work among artists and presenters whose lives are devoted to the impact of this work.


Images, top to bottom: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art's Family Theater–photo by Bob Creamer, Washington, DC, Showcase 1988 and 1996 Host; Kravis Center Complex, West Palm Beach, FL, Showcase 1999 Host; Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center’s Shimberg Playhouse, Tampa, FL, Showcase 1989 and 2008 Host; Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA, Showcase 2000 Host

Our membership comprises a worldwide network of artists, producers, presenters, agents, educators, and students. Our mission is to create opportunities for key stakeholders to engage around support of performing arts experiences for young audiences. Click here to learn more.
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