In May, Professors Dr. Mary Schuttler and Gillian McNally presented at the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network in Cape Town, South Africa.  Dr. Schuttler presented a paper on the impact of UNC’s 2016 production of The Transition of Doodle Pequeño. She discussed how our undergraduate students responded to doing a play about gender and sexual identity for young audiences. Additionally, she shared how the play impacted the young people who saw the show.

Gillian McNally facilitated a panel discussion on LGBTQ TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences). In this panel, she also shared the impact of The Transition of Doodle Pequeño on the UNC students, the children in the audience and the elementary school’s reactions to this controversial production. Other participants on the panel discussed the difficulties of marketing and performing TYA plays in school settings. McNally also participated on another panel looking at bilingual (Spanish/English) TYA in the USA.

Adding to both of these panels was UNC Alumnae Sam Provenzano. Sam is now an MFA candidate in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities program at the University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UNC, she was introduced to TYA and now she has decided to pursue TYA as her career.

Olivia Newman, a senior Theatre Education major joined Schuttler and McNally in Cape Town to attend the 2017 ASSITEJ (the International Association for the Theatre for Children and Young People) Festival and Congress.

Each of the UNC Bears enjoyed having discussions about TYA with scholars and practitioners from all corners of the globe as well as experiencing numerous African TYA productions.