I don’t know about you, but 2013 is off to a running start- emphasis on RUNNING. Life has been moving at lightning speed these days, and in an effort to both keep up and catch up, I’ll start at the beginning.
The time: January 4th, 2013.
The place: The Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The event: The International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Showcase.
I was one of this year’s eight Jim Rye Fellows, and I remember when Kim Peter Kovac interviewed me for this position, and asked me why I wanted to go to IPAY. I replied, “Because I’ve never been?” As a first time IPAY attendee, I had no idea what to expect. As a teaching artist, I couldn’t quite articulate how my work might intersect with a booking conference, but I followed my gut to Philadelphia, and I am so glad I did.
I quickly discovered that IPAY is so much more than a booking conference. The community I found at IPAY pleasantly surprised me, and the performances fueled the theatre-maker within me in ways I didn’t know I needed. Everyone I met eagerly engaged with students, and they were as curious about my work as I was about theirs. A highlight of the four days was having lunch with Andy Packer of Slingsby Theatre Company in Adelaide, Australia. As Andy talked about Slingsby’s artistic values, I discovered someone who spoke my artistic language. As we exchanged ideas about the purpose and value of art and the purpose and value of education, and the more delightfully connected art and education became.
Engaging in conversations like this one with artists I met at IPAY has changed how I think about my teaching artist practice and how it relates to the field of theatre for young audiences as a whole. On top of that, the performances I saw at IPAY woke up the theatre-maker in me, and rejuvenated a part of my artistry I didn’t even know was struggling. In various performances, I finally saw the kind of theatre I am inspired to make. As a result, I got on my flight back to Austin with bags full of artistic inspiration.
Reasons not to miss IPAY 2014:
- You will see performances you LOVE.
- You will see performances you hate.
- You will see performances that make you think.
- You will meet people that make you think.
- You will meet people who will deepen or change the way you see your art.
Interacting with The Megaphone Project, a sound and art installation from Melbourne, Australia (Hi David and Madeline!)
Patch Theatre’s Dave Brown accepting the Victor Award for Patch’s production, Me and My Shadow
(YAY Dave and Patch!)
The 2013 Rye Fellows!