Coordinator, Mrs. Helle Hauger, reports about the conclusions emerging from the corresponding break out group in Monaco
As an essential part of AITA/IATA the standing committee for children and youth (SCCY) have a possibility to address the Congress and to lead a session of 2.5 hours during the congress. This time we choose to focus on the 1. World Festival of Youth Theatre since this is the newest world wide AITA/IATA event. For over 9 years this event has been on the agenda for SCCY, and last summer the decision was taken to carry out another kind of festival. Under the theme: Right and Wrong 19 youth theatre groups from 19 different countries was selected among 54 applicants. They met in Vienna 16 – 26 July 2009 to explore this new challenge for young people.
In the afternoon and evenings the performances were on stage and every morning all the participating actors was in workshops. One person from each theatre group ( 2 leaders in each group ) was asked beforehand to lead a workshop consisting of 16 – 18 young actors in internationally mixed groups. The task was to create and to present a 10 minutes piece of theatre under the theme Right and Wrong to be shown in public the last day of the festival. As part of the project 10 students in theatre and drama from Osnabruck university department in Lingen were invited to be part of the leading team in the workshops. The students together with the young actors had here the possibility in safe surroundings to try out their theory in a concrete practice. This part was lead by an “artistic leader” and a team of very experienced “old people”. So the so called Challenging Theatre Project was a part of the concept.
The 19 performances were of high quality and reflected the variety of youth theatre influenced by very different approaches, forms, ways of working and different culture. The content of the performances created discussions in general and inspiration in particular for the work in the workshops. To set free the talent of the young actors in the workshops was the big challenge and a task not without problems. To let the students be facilitators and to create a leading team between the students and the young actor leaders was the crucial point in some workshops but in the end all 10 groups had their performance in Museums Quartier in the center of Vienna. The first world festival of youth theatre was a success! This festival was an experiment: we believed in the power and ability of the young people to create and to work together, we believed in theatre without predictable adult influence. We learned a lot and we will carefully evaluate for the future World Youth Theatre Festivals and see what kind of guidelines can be created.
Outcome from the break out group in Monaco
New ideas were discussed: young technicians, young playwrights, young directors to have the possibilities to work together the same way the young actors did? Or just the creation of meeting places for young people behind the stage.
The interest in discussing and hearing about this first world Festival of Youth Theatre was huge and the outcome for the time being is that there is a serious interest in hosting the 2.nd. World Festival of Youth Theatre in 2011. Also interest was spoken from 2 other countries for the 3. World festival of Youth Theatre in 2013. Having these talks with interested countries is the outmost outcome of this breakout group you can whish.
We wanted to tell the congress what our minds were so occupied and engaged in since this festival and if the good story gives people the wish and courage to take the challenge to host another World Youth Theatre Festival we have indeed achieved a lot in Monaco.