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TYA, Culture, Society

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

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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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Educational Value in the Theatre for Young Audiences and Its Relation to the Attitudes of the Educational Community

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Iva Gruić Introduction Earlier investigation of the TYA in Croatia revealed that theatre people presume that the educational community insists on strong educational values in the per- formances, and those assumptions influence their work. The investigation pre- sented here explores the attitudes of the educational community by the use of the semantic differential scale. Three aspects of TYA were initially addressed: teaching, entertainment, and aesthetic quality; and during the investigation two more factors appeared: comprehensibility and weight. The results show that not just teaching, but teaching and entertainment are basic factors in participants’ evaluation and understanding of meaning and influence of TYA and that teaching is understood primarily as being emotionally encouraging and positive. Aesthetic quality got significantly lower results. Therefore, theatres have some reason when they present their work as educational, but the whole picture is more complex. The factor of weight (consisting of seriousness, usefulness, importance, and be- ing intellectually motivating), got high results too, which offers a contribution to the ongoing discussion about openness of educational community to heavier themes and issues in TYA. 1. Educational Aspect of Theatre The wish to educate is not only seen in theatre for young audiences; similar kinds of intentions are easy to find in the whole history of theatre, as Levy shows in his investigation of the topic, a study which led him to a list of eleven ways of how theatre teaches (21-3). The same can be said for the theory of theatre: from its very beginning, it dis-...

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