Recently, the interest and recognition of TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) has been growing in many regions across Asia, with arts organisations starting more activities for children and young people, and several new TYA festivals launching.
Especially in regions where economies have been developing rapidly, the role of TYA in communities is anticipated for children to nurture sensibilities and creativity, even in a tough society, and this kind of movement can be seen already. However, the idea of TYA is not established within many communities, and so cooperation and support between artists and professionals is needed in order to spread high quality TYA activities with broader perspectives.
On the other hand, in regions where TYA is widely recognised and people have opportunities to see various TYA works from all over the world at festivals, the theme of ‘TYA of Asia’ is often discussed and more people are interested in collaboration and creative exchange with other Asian regions.
In 2016, ricca ricca*festa launched Asian TYA Network Programme in partnership with the Japan Foundation Asia Center to further connect TYA professionals from Asia, especially South East Asian regions. Last year 17 professionals were invited to ricca ricca*festa to discuss the current situation and issues of TYA in the regions, and to network with other festival participants. After the festival, research visits were organised to visit Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Cambodia, for meeting more professionals and thinking about TYA in Asia.
Asian TYA Network Programme aims to deliver high quality contemporary performing arts and continues to work on the development of TYA in Asia by establishing long-term partnerships across countries and regions through networking and discussion with Asian TYA professionals.