Intergenerational Performance A special issue of Youth Theatre Journal

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Youth Theatre Journal

Guest editors: Erika Hughes, University of Portsmouth&  Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, St. Lawrence University


Many practitioners of Theatre for Young Audiences, TIE/Drama in Education, and Applied Theatre for Youth also work in Creative Ageing, creating collaborative projects that bring people of different ages together in performances and pieces that foreground and/or juxtapose categories such as 'child,' 'adult,' 'elderly,' etc. Arts councils and aging support organisations have begun to document the mutual benefits for all participants that arise from creative intergenerational work. Furthermore, professional and community-based companies around the globe such as London Bubble (UK), Rising Youth Theatre (US), Dance Exchange (US), and Polyglot (AU) foreground intergenerational collaboration in the creation of performance work. And theatre makers such as Milo Rau (Switzerland) and the UK-German company Zoo Indigo have confronted the age identities of audiences through works such as the controversial Five Easy Pieces (Rau, 2017) and Under the Covers (Zoo Indigo, 2009). 

This special issue of Youth Theatre Journal invites theoretical and historical essays, practitioner narratives, and creative examinations of drama and performance work that is explicitly intergenerational. We welcome essays and articles from both practitioners and scholars of intergenerational performance and arts engagement. We are interested in a wide range of approaches to intergenerational work and seek to examine examples in terms of design, process, and/or product. We also invite work that builds upon recent scholarship in natality, historiography, and children’s literature (such as that of Adele Senior, Manon van de Water, and Marah Gubar), which have expanded our understandings of the ever-evolving relationship between the category/construct of youth and what it means to be 'older.' 

Prospective topics could include (but are not limited to): 

  • How intergenerational performance works to reinforce (or subvert) social categories of age 

  • How ethical challenges and considerations arise in working intergenerationally, particularly with respect to agency 

  • Which theoretical/philosophical frameworks offer new ways to conceptualize intergenerational performance praxis

  • How intergenerational theatre is understood and contextualised historiographically 

  • The ways in which funding organisations (national, local, governmental, NGO, private) influence intergenerational creative arts work

  • The aesthetic considerations at play in intergenerational performance processes

  • How intergenerational performance functions intersectionally, at the nexus of myriad other identities

Please submit 300-word abstracts and proposals by February 1, 2020. Submissions may take the form of a standard academic essay (4000-6000 words in length), shorter descriptive essay, practitioner reflection, interview, or provocation. Please indicate estimated length of final submission in your initial proposal. Please submit your initial abstract and proposal to Authors will be notified by February 15, 2020 and will be asked to upload their completed essays to ScholarOne by May 1, 2020: Additional information is available at  


Gubar, Marah. Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 

Senior, Adele. “Beginners On Stage: Arendt, Natality and the Appearance of Children in Contemporary Performance.” Theatre Research International 41, no. 1 (2016): 70–84.

Van de Water, Manon. Theatre, Youth, and Culture: A Critical and Historical Exploration. New York: Palgrave, 2012.

Youth Theatre Journal is a refereed journal that draws contributions from a wide and varied community of researchers, educators, artists, philosophers, administrators, and theorists. It is the official scholarly publication of AATE. Youth Theatre Journal is published twice a year by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group. All domestic AATE members receive a complimentary subscription to the Youth Theatre Journal, including mailed copies of the journal and online access to archived issues. Non-members and others wishing to subscribe to Youth Theatre Journal should contact Lucy Sheach ( Youth Theatre Journal welcomes 4000–6000 word original articles and essays that report on and analyze research and theorized praxis grounded in an eclectic range of approaches to theatre and drama as they intersect with young people and their communities. Because theatre centers on “the human experience,” pieces that place theatre and youth in practical and theoretical conversation within the art form are as encouraged as cross-disciplinary inquiries and reports that stretch to bridge theatre with traditionally disparate fields. The journal focuses on the dissemination of ideas relating to developments in and perspectives on diverse iterations of theatre, drama and performance by, with, for and about children, youth and their worlds. Youth Theatre Journal encourages authors to write in a lucid and accessible style, avoiding unnecessary jargon and taking care to communicate to an international readership.