QUEER YOUTH THEATER CONFERENCE
Every year leaders in the field of Queer Youth Theater come together for an annual conference, a practice that began in 2010 and is open to all directors, artists, educators, and activists. This annual gathering provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, establish best practices and build new partnerships. It is designed to allow for peer to peer learning and requires a high level of participation from everyone attending. All participants come ready to share the story of their community, their work, and their expertise. Visit the conference page for updates about the 2018 Conference and our past convenings.
Established in 2012, the Incubator Fund’s purpose is to expand the outreach of Queer Youth Theaters nationally, particularly in underserved areas:
Incubators will receive grants to create a new Queer Youth Theater ensemble at their 501(c)3 or fiscally-sponsored organization.
Incubators are required to send 1 representative to the Annual Conference (PYTA will cover transportation, food, and lodging).
Grantee participants will also be required to share a report about their experience of attending the Annual Conference, the mentorship process, and their approach to program development in Queer Youth Theater.
Organizations selected for the Incubator Fund will also be partnered with an experienced mentor to assist with their first year of starting a new program. After meeting potential mentors at the conference, each new queer youth theater will request a mentor that would best help them with their first year. The Programs Committee will finalize pairings of mentors with new groups.
PYTA Mentors provide Incubators with:
Monthly conference calls
Email advice on grants, timelines, and future fundraising strategies
1 site visit to the new theater for a weekend for workshops and in-person consultation
The Freedom Center for Social Justice Carolina’s Pride Theater Ensemble’s goal is to increase the number of healthy options and opportunities available to youth and young adults through the production of original and published short plays, musicals, comedies, choreopoems and dramas that tell the story of LGBTA people. Carolina's Pride Theater Ensemble is based in Charlotte, NC.
The Mission of Outright Vermont, based in Burlington, VT., is to build safe, healthy, and supportive environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth (ages 13-22). Our goal is to make Vermont the safest, most supportive and empowering state for queer youth in the United States of America.
Q&A Troupe, part of the Education Department at Playhouse On The Square in Memphis, TN., uses theatre to explore and express what life is like as an LGBTQ or Allied teen in Memphis and the surrounding area. Participation is open to students ages 14-21. No prior theatrical experience is necessary. Students are never required to reveal whether they identify as LGBTQ or Allied – we are a supportive community working toward a common goal.
In order to build an ecosystem of peer mentorship, guidance, and collaboration within our network, PYTA has announced a new professional development opportunity for its Members and 2015 Conference Attendees. The program will match participants, based on job responsibilities and expertise, to engage in conversations throughout the year about their work, projects, and program goals. Participants will develop deeper connections to the field by strengthening relationships with practitioners across North America.