© 2012

Theatre, Youth, and Culture

A Critical and Historical Exploration

  • Authors

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Manon van de Water
    Pages 1-8
  3. Manon van de Water
    Pages 59-79
  4. Manon van de Water
    Pages 101-120
  5. Manon van de Water
    Pages 121-140
  6. Manon van de Water
    Pages 141-147
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 149-201

About this book


There is a complex relationship between performance, youth, and the shifting material circumstances (social, cultural, economic, ideological, and political) under which theatre for children and youth is generated and perceived. This book explores different aspect of theatre for young audiences using examples from theatrical events globally.


children theatre youth

About the authors

Manon Van de Water is a Professor of Theatre Research and the Director of the Theatre for Youth Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Bibliographic information


"Theatre, Youth, and Culture is an address to the fields of theatre for youth, theatre education, and drama education as a whole. van de Water calls us to consider how we participate in the marginalization of our work and how the history of our field sets us up to do so. Her language is open and honest, and she poses questions without prescribing answers. Readers looking for a 'how-to' book will be disappointed; she does not draw out a map for writing new dramas or new plays that break the

boundaries we currently face. Rather, she has articulated difficult questions about our marginalization, untangled its multiple contributing variables, and called all of us who work in this field to make better theatre, now with a few of our blindspots lifted." - Youth Theatre Journal

"A broadly-based book that covers many of what [Manon van de Water] feels to be the conceptual and theoretical lacunae of theatre, youth, and culture. Her book is a welcome addition to the scant base of theoretical knowledge in this area, and it provokes many interesting discussions, as well as highlighting many areas that require further thought and research." - Youth Drama Ireland

"Manon van de Water's Theatre, Youth, Culture offers a clear, concise, and accessible introduction to international theatre for young audiences (TYA), particularly of the shifting material circumstances under which this theatrical genre is produced and perceived in the US, Russia, and the Netherlands. The strategy of organizing by topics taboos, gay/lesbian TYA, theatre as therapy in volatile regions, and theatre for the very young is a brilliant move, and I cannot imagine a more impressive and invigorating treatment of topics and theories so central to contemporary TYA practice. Uniquely and perfectly, van de Water utilizes her vast personal experience and a wealth of inspirational, real-world case studies to write an engaging and informing book that, I believe, will be returned to time and again." - Lorenzo Garcia, chair of Dance and Theatre Department, associate professor of Theatre for Young Audiences, University of North Texas

'Manon van de Water explores a variety of aspects of theatre for young audiences: dramatic methods, taboos on stage, theatre for early childhood. By analyzing the practice and reflecting the theory, van de Water teaches us a lot about a relevant worldwide movement in the Performing Arts. A must for all involved in Cultural Studies!' - Wolfgang Schneider, Professor, Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Communication, University of Hildesheim, Germany