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SPARK Pre-Conference Sessions
IPAY & TYA/USA present

2020 Spark: Hear Them Roar!

Pre-Conference to IPAY Showcase

Tuesday, January 21, 9am-6:30pm

Keynote Presentation: Young People Exploring the Political Moment on Stage

Cry Havoc Theater Company, Dallas, TX (USA)
Mara Richard Bim, Artistic Director, and Cry Havoc Young Artists; Leonela Arguello, Rodrigo Fuentes, Angie Hogue, Larsen Nichols, Landon Robinson (USA)

How can young people drive a creative process that engages directly with the political zeitgeist? How can honest dialogue between young people and complicated world they live in provide the inspiration for creating theater? Join the young artists of Cry Havoc Theater Company, along with artistic director Mara Richards Bim, as they share their artistic practice and experiences at the intersection of art-making and activism.

Plenary Panel: A Global Conversation on Youth-Responsive Artistic Practice

Mara Richards Bim and Teen Artists from Cry Havoc (USA)
Una NicEion from Prime Cut (North Ireland) [Showcase Artist, Removed]
Tina Fance, Artistic Producer, Mammalian Diving Reflex (CAN)
Lisa Nelson-Haynes, Executive Director, Philadelphia Young Playwrights (USA)
Jeremy Miller, Executive Director, Monkey Baa Theatre Company (AUS)

Moderated by Dr. Edie Demas, Arts Consultant (USA)

How can artists listen to, draw inspiration from, and activate young people as part of their creative process? What effect does it have on the young people, the artist, and the audience? Join a range of artistic leaders from around the globe in conversation as they explore these questions.

Unpacking the Practicalities of Youth Inclusion

Aideen Howard, Director of The Ark (Ireland)
Henrik Kohler, CEO of TeaterCentrum (Denmark)
Allie Vanyur, Programs Manager, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (USA)

Moderated by Sierra Rhoades Nicholls, circus artist, Circadium School of Contemporary Circus (USA)

How do you navigate the complicated logistics of hiring, touring, or professionally engaging young people in artistic settings? How do you overcome the common barriers of youth-inclusion? How do you address safety and healthy boundaries when working with young people? Join this conversation for a range of perspectives from leaders from several countries, moderated by young circus artist, Sierra Rhoades Nicholls, of Circadium School of Contemporary Circus in Philadelphia.

Our children are powerful: Indigenous resistance, resilience, and survival

Tailinh Agoyo, co-founder and director of We Are the Seeds (Narragansett)

More info announced soon!

Cry Havoc Artistic Workshop [participatory]

Mara Richards Bim and Cry Havoc

[limited capacity / sign-up required]

Join Cry Havoc Theater Company for a hands-on workshop exploring their devising process, drawing inspiration from the political landscape and community interviews to create original pieces of theater with youth.

Keynote Presentation

Idris Goodwin, Playwright, (USA)

Nationally-recognized Playwright, Poet, and TYA Artistic Leader Idris Goodwin reflects on the way young people inspire his practice, and provides a call to action for the ways we call can ensure that young people are at the center of our work.

Making Space for Young Voices

Pernille Welent Sørensen, Consultant for TeaterCentrum, Ph.d student (Denmark)
Aideen Howard, Director of The Ark (Ireland)
Anissa Weinraub, Public School Educator at Academy at Palumbo, Theatre Artist and Activist (USA)
Michael O’Bryan, Director of Learning at The Village of Arts and Humanities (USA)
Courtney J. Boddie, Director of Education and School Engagement, New Victory Theatre (USA)

Moderated by Nell Bang-Jensen, Artistic Director, Theatre Horizon (USA)

How can an organization prioritize the voices of young people as part of its mission, and build programming that brings that vision to action? Four leaders will share their own philosophies, and then open up the conversation for a wider discussion.

Cultivating Teen Audiences by Honoring Diverse Teen Voices

Kelsey Ford, Program Manager Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (USA)
Kacen Callender, Young Adult Author (USA)
Idris Goodwin, Playwright, (USA)

Moderated by Jacqueline Handy, Programming Manager at Lincoln Center (USA)


How do we continue to develop and present more work created for teen audiences? How can we cultivate teens as audience members by showcasing teen stories in the diverse, artistic, nuanced, and sophisticated ways that teens expect and deserve? Join this conversation as we look to models within and beyond our field to explore ways to create and present more shows for teenagers featuring diverse teen stories.

Collaborating With Our Audience: Curious Seed Artistic Workshop [participatory]

Christine Devaney of Curious Seed joined by Hendrik Lebon and Yvonne Buskie, two long term collaborators of Curious Seed

[limited capacity / sign-up required]


In this workshop, Christine Devaney, Curious Seed's Artistic Director, will share her evolving approach to creating dance theatre work for young audiences and the various ways she is exploring collaborating with this audience in the making of her work: 

Asking the audience what they want - then taking care of this and making art from it

Asking the audience to contribute to the making of the work - then taking care of this and making art from it

. Sharing life stories - then taking care of this and making art from it.

 Focusing on aspects of Chalk About, Curious Seed’s internationally acclaimed show for young audiences, there will be moving, writing, chalking and talking together

. This workshop is open to all who have an interest in work for young audiences (not just the movers and groovers!)

Plenary Panel on Youth-Led Arts and Activism in Philadelphia

Sabirah Mahmud, National Logistics Director, Youth Climate Strike (USA)
Lola Hodgins and Zena Mazahreh, Student Ambassadors, Youth Climate Strike (USA)
Emyne AahLeah, music artist and producer (USA)
Kyheem “HeemFuQuan” Tucker, music artist and producer (USA)

Moderated by Marisol Rosa-Shapiro, Theatre Artist, Director of Community Engagement Shakespeare in Clark Park (USA)

Young people will have the final word of the day, as youth artists and climate strike leaders from Philadelphia address participants on their vision for the future, and the role that art and activism can play in our next chapter.

Contact IPAY

International Performing Arts for Youth
C/O CultureWorks | The Philadelphia Building
1315 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Philadelphia, PA 19107
267.690.1325 phone | 267.519.3343 fax | Contact Us

Our tax exempt ID is 43-1917355

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