Ms. Nao Miyauchi from ricca-ricca festa, Okinawa Japan; Ms. Adjjima Na Patalung, BICT Fest, Bangkok, Thailand; Mr. Liew Kung Yu, Little Door Festival, Penang, Malaysia.
About the research visit
Myanmar is the 4th country chosen for selected Asian TYA Network members to carry out research to investigate the environment and current situation of TYA. Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia were the other countries previously visited by the research team since 2016.
About Asian TYA Network
The Asian TYA Network (ATY) aims to understand the current situation of TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) in East and Southeast Asia, also to connect TYA professionals of the region for promoting TYA within Asia and to develop long-term relationships and co-operation across countries. Asian TYA Network started in 2016; it is hosted by ACO Okinawa (host of ricca ricca*festa) and co-hosted by the Japan Foundation Asia Center.
Objective of the research to Myanmar
As briefed by Asian TYA member Ms. May Thet Zaw from Myanmar, TYA is not actively practiced in Myanmar, and there are no TYA practitioners there.
This is similar to the situation we encountered in Cambodia, so we decided to focus the research on observing her group: The New Yangon Theatre Institute (NYTI) on the very first stage of their new project in Dawei with the intention to establish a working relationship with potential collaborator in Dawei.
We also met up with other theater practitioner in Yangon and selected cultural institutions to find out about their organization and the work they do involving young people.
8:00pm - 1st Internal meeting
Venue: Yangon Airport Hotel
Attended by: Nao Miyauchi, Adjjima Na Patalung and Liew Kung Yu
Discussion: To have an overall view about the research trip.
11:00am - Depart from Yangon to Dawei
Venue: Dream Journey Café
People Met: Ms. May Thet Zaw (Associate Director), Ruth Pongstaphone (Executive Director) and Mr Than Htut (Teacher and performer) from The New Yangon Theatre Institute.
Focus: To meet with the practitioners and gain an in-depth understanding about their organisation and their new project in Dawei.
Venue: Palae-Akari restaurant
People Met: Mr Myo Aung (co-founder and editor in chief Dawei Watch Foundation) and Ms. Aye Aye Zin (co-founder Dawei Watch Foundation/Myanmar Journalism Institute). Ms. May Thet Zaw (NTYI) Ms.Wint Wah Yu (local coordinator for NYTI) Mr. Than Htut (NTYI) Ruth Pongstaphone (NTYI)
Focus: To gain an understanding of the role and purpose of Dawei Watch, an underground news agency advocate awareness for local communities to have a better understanding and voice out issues about the rapid development in Dawei District.
Venue: Pakkoku Monastic School
People Met: NTYI member and teacher in charge.
Focus: To observe The New Yangon Theatre and gain an understanding of their methods to engage teachers and students in the monastic school by using theatre art as a tool of engagement. Subsequent discussions were regarding their future plan and possibilities of collaboration with the school.
Venue: Dawei Development Association (DDA) Office
People Met: The New Yangon Theatre Institute members and their invited communities.
Focus: To observe NYTI’s first meeting with members of the selected communities to understand their need and to seek collaboration opportunities. To discuss with NYTI about their plans and the possibilities of collaboration with the local communities.
Venue: Le Bistrot
People Met: Ms. May Thet Zaw (Associate Director), Ruth Pongstaphone (Executive Director) and Mr Than Htut (Teacher and performer)
Discussion: Round up meeting with NYTI and establish the possibilities of further collaborations and project plans in Dawei.
Visit to Pagoda Museum
Visit to Tanintharyi Region Cultural Museum
Venue: Dawei National Party (DNP) office
People Met: Ms.Wint Wah Yu (NYTI local coordinator), 2 members of Dawei National Party.
Focus: Understanding the role of DNP in the economic and social development of Dawei and their fight for the recognition of Daweian ethnic identity.
2:00pm Leaving Dawei for Yangon
Venue: LinkAge Training Restaurant
People Met: Mr. Thila Min and Mr. Nyan Lin Aung(TK Theatre), Mr. Jules Howarth, Mr. Jean-Noel Walkowiak, Mr. Julie Ariza (Social Circus Myanmar) and Mr. Koji Sato (Japan Foundation)
Focus: To gain a clear picture about the role of each organization and their impact on the local community, and their ongoing projects involving young people.
Venue: Goethe Institut Myanmar
People Met: Dr. Suzan Radwan (Head of Language Department
Deputy Director); Ms. Kimberley Pallenschat (Cultural Department); MS Anna-Sophie Schonfelder; Joshua Pyae Sone Oo (Programme Assistant / IT Officer)
Discussion: To inquire about their program which involve children, and the challenges they face working with public school and the government. Subsequent discussions focuses on their new venue in Yangon and possible collaboration in the future (i.e. bringing productions for children from other countries)
Research team departs Yangon