Boston, MA – The Pride Youth Theater Alliance (PYTA) a growing network that advances the practice of Queer Youth Theater is thrilled to announce the date and location of the 2016 Queer Youth Theater Conference:

Memphis, Tennessee

Playhouse On The Square

August 18 – 21, 2016

Carly Crawford, Assistant Director of Theater Education at Playhouse On The Square (POTS) in Memphis, TN, who will serve as the 2016 Conference Chair, exclaims she is “beyond excited to step into the role of Conference Chair for PYTA. For the last two years I’ve left the Annual Conference so bolstered by the work that’s being done throughout North America.” Born in 1985, the POTS Theatre Education Program now serves close to 30,000 young people every year in Memphis, Shelby County and beyond. From preschoolers to young adults, they all are engaged and enlightened, either as audience members or as active participants. POTS began its first queer youth theater program, Q&A, in the Fall of 2014 after receiving mentorship and grant support as part of the PYTA Incubator Fund. 2016 marks the second year a PYTA Incubator has taken on the role of Conference Host.

The Queer Youth Theater Conference, which has grown tremendously since the first convening of directors in 2010, is an annual weekend-long event for leaders from the field to share their work, experiences, and knowledge in peer-led workshops and collaborative experiences. The participants of the 2015 Conference in Lexington, KY included over 55 directors, educators, and activists, as well as 10 youth participants attending the conference for the first time.

SK Kerastas, PYTA Executive Co-Chair and Ground Floor Visiting Artistic Associate at the Berkley Repertory Theatre states, "Every time we meet, our national community grows and flourishes. As Co-Chair I'm elated that PYTA can serve as the central hub for this rapidly growing field and the source of support and connection for queer youth theater practitioners year after year. We are downright giddy to have Playhouse on the Square hosting the 2016 Queer Youth Theater Conference in Memphis. We hope PYTA's work will initiate new cultural dialogue and relationships while we're there. And we anticipate Memphis, a city with rich and thriving artistic rhythms, will have a unique impact on us as well!”

A request for proposals to lead workshops and sessions will be announced in February 2016, followed by an open registration and scholarship application period.

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