Grown-up engagement in theatre for the very young
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Theatre for the Very Young (TVY), a segment of the much larger field of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA), is an inherently intergenerational experience. Audiences younger than five seldom attend theatre without an adult caregiver. Yet adult audience members in TYA and TVY are often positioned as gatekeepers, adversaries blocking access to young audience members. This thesis wonders how theatre-makers in TVY might more intentionally consider their adult audience members in order to better engage this intergenerational audience. Drawing from the successful intergenerational engagement of Pixar’s animated studios, this thesis documents the development of Raise the Moon, a new play for the very young that aims to engage adults and young people in an equally rich artistic experience. The findings in this thesis invite theatre makers to consider high quality aesthetics, economy of storytelling, and space in their creations for multiple interpretations in order to create theatre that engages grown-ups and young people together.
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