Music Theatre for Young Audiences

20th – 22nd November 2016 in Mannheim

The Children’s and Young People’s Theatre Centre (Kinder- und Jugenstheaterzentrum), in co-operation with National Theatre Mannheim’s Young Opera (Junge Oper), invite you to HAPPY NEW EARS an International Congress between 20th and 22nd November 2016. The congress opens the Young Opera‘s HAPPY NEW EARS European Festival of Contemporary Music Theatre for Young Audiences, which will take place between the 20th and 27th November marking the Young Opera‘s 10th anniversary.

The congress will offer a praxis-orientated encounter focusing on questions about, stances on and discourse around current aesthetics, developments in, approaches to, and qualities of music theatre for young audiences. This will take the form of experiment spaces, discussions, an agora style market place exchange and post-performance talks about festival pieces watched during the congress. The congress aims to bring a variety of artistic perspectives and approaches into contact with each other and to create opportunities and ideas for the further development of contemporary music theatre.  

A full program of encounters, collaborative experimentation and research, as well as dialogue with international experts of various genres within music theatre production and creation, is on offer. We would like to invite music and theatre makers, students and all those interested in contemporary European music theatre for young audiences and its artists.

Central questions for these encounters and discussions are: What is contemporary music theatre for young audiences, particularly those between the ages of 0 & 12 years, and how does it present itself in Germany and Europe? What is involved in the staging of listening for young audiences? Where do stimuli for its further development come from? Where do opportunities arise for experimentation? Which fruitful interactions with other art forms arise in these opportunities, in cultural exchange and in exchange with a young audience? How can the development of experimental work methods be nurtured?

During the congress these questions will be deliberated and reflected upon in forums and work groups and will be investigated in laboratories and workshops. In co-ordination with the European festival of contemporary music theatre for young audiences, experienced European artists will contribute to the discussion and investigation into the topic to add to the the artistic, pedagogic and field-specific expertise that participants will offer themselves.

To conclude, the team of national and international observers will formulate their vision, from which all participants can draw inspiration from for new ideas for the contemporary music theatre of tomorrow.