Human beings in a theatre made for them: the child’s voice in contemporary theatre for young audiences

by Tom Maguire

14 Dec 2021
Journal of the British Academy
Digital Object Identifier
Number of pages
12 (pp. 17-27)

Abstract: This article explores the challenges of including the child’s voice in an artform dedicated to children, Theatre for Young Audiences. In 2020, The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People, ASSITEJ, launched a manifesto to bring the voices of children and artists to every country in the world. However, the experience of children of this theatre made for them is often that their rights are elided with or subordinated to those of adults. A model for addressing this and some examples of practice suggest possibilities for change. This article examines the capacity and capability required to realise such possibilities within a precarious industry. Committing to hearing children makes demands on those making theatre and those making policy alike.

Keywords: Children, Theatre for Young Audiences, arts policy, capability, capacity.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 8, supplementary issue 4 (Multidisciplinary perspectives on the child’s voice in public policy).

Sign up to our email newsletters