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TYA, Culture, Society

International Essays on Theatre for Young Audiences- A Publication of ASSITEJ and ITYARN


Edited By Manon van de Water

This unique edition is the result of the second International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) conference that was held in Malmoe, Sweden, in May 2011 as part of the XVIIth ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival. In fifteen essays that are illustrative of the wide variety as well as of the many opportunities for research in TYA, this book covers six continents, includes quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic/action, and historiographical methods, and highlights critical theory, philosophical discourse, play analysis, and other approaches. The essays deal with a broad range of issues, including representation, cultural contexts, questions of identity, race-, class-, and gender theory, notions of child and childhood, aesthetics, and the influence of media and dominant ideologies. ITYARN aims to further research in the field of theatre for young audiences to contextualize and theorize the lively artistic products for children and youth globally. It is the research network of ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theatre for Children and Youth, which co-produced this publication.


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Defining the Child: Taboos of Fear and Age Appropriateness in Youth Holocoust Drama


69 Defining the Child: Taboos of Fear and Age Appropriateness in Youth Holocaust Drama1 Erika Hughes Theatre is frequently used in the teaching and commemoration of the Holocaust for young people. Yet the Holocaust is not a universally understood event, and the question of how best to tell its stories elicits multiple answers, many of them in opposition with one another. In this essay, I discuss archetypes and tropes found in Holocaust plays from the United States, Germany, and Israel, which are shaped largely by the differing ideologies of Holocaust commemoration and remembrance, and also how each nation defines a child. Through an examination of American playwright James Still’s And Then They Came For Me: Remember- ing the World of Anne Frank, the Berliner Ensemble’s Anne Frank: Tagebuch, and Israeli playwright/performer Amichai Pardo and director Ruth Kanner’s Ten Matchboxes, I address the following questions: what are some of the special con- siderations performers and facilitators of drama workshops must take into con- sideration when performing the Holocaust for children? How young is too young to discuss something like the Holocaust? How does fear complicate the ways in which performers can present this tragedy onstage? And how do the answers to these questions differ from country to country, and from culture to culture? Staging the Holocaust for Youth The Holocaust presents a particular set of challenges for practitioners of Theatre for Youth. To begin to think about how to perform the Holocaust, one must con- front the problems inherent in talking...

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