NEA Release Report on the Future of Theater for Young Audiences

The publication, Envisioning the Future of Theater for Young Audiences, details the challenges and opportunities faced by theaters in America focused on programming for young audiences, compiled from a convening held in partnership with the service organizations TYA/USA and TCG at which leaders in the field broke down the challenges of their unique business model and the potential for growth and long-term sustainability. The report also includes research on the powerful effects of exposure to theater for children and teens.

Included in the report are findings from a research collaboration between The New Victory and WolfBrown. In the only longitudinal study of its kind, New Victory partnered with under-resourced school communities with no arts programming to track children in both treatment and control groups over three consecutive years. The study found that:

  • Children exposed to live theater are much more able to imagine the lives of others.
  • Children exposed to live theater before the age of eight report that “Theater is for someone like me.” (The study found that trend to decline in children who are not exposed to live theater before the age of eight).
  • Children demonstrate a range of intrinsic impacts after seeing live theater performance, including personal relevance, social bridging, aesthetic growth, and motivation to action. Their survey responses and comments suggest that different types of performances elicit different levels of these impacts.

Read the full report here.

Published: May 08, 2020