Beginning the Journey: Legacy and Innovation in TYA

ITYARN, the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network, is calling for proposals for the ITYARN event at the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival in Tokyo, Japan, in May 2020. The overall theme of the Congress and Festival is “Towards the Unknown – Beginning the Journey”

ITYARN aims to advance critical inquiry in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) through the exchange and discussion of papers from scholars in and outside of the field of TYA. We intend to bridge the gap in scholarship between theatre for young people and theatre for adults, and between theory and practice, by discussing the field of TYA from multiple historiographical and theoretical perspectives related to the practice and the shifting material circumstances (social, cultural, economic, ideological, and political) under which TYA is generated and perceived.

The ITYARN conference will take place over the course of a single day during the Congress, provisionally scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2020. The conference will consist of a keynote and a plenary session, followed by 4-5 consecutive panels of 3 papers each and 2-4 working groups. Papers should focus on the theme of the conference: Beginning the Journey: Legacy and Innovation in TYA. Papers may takea variety of perspectives, such as history and cultural contexts, media, aesthetics and art forms, social interventions through art, psychology, theoretical concepts of child and childhood, social and economic conditions, race and ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexual orientation. The language of the conference is English.

Researchers should submit a 500-word proposal, sample bibliography, and 150-word biography in English by email in MSWord.doc or MSWord.docx. Proposals should include name, affiliation, and email address in the upper left corner. For more information on ITYARN and to join the network go to For information on the 2020 ASSITEJ Congress, see:

Please email proposals by October 18, 2019 to

Proposals will be peer reviewed by the ITYARN board and notifications of decisions will go out by November 15, 2019.