Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival

SETC’s Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival is a non-competitive exhibition of theatre produced for young audiences by companies during the annual SETC Convention and is open to all Convention attendees as well as children from schools surrounding the Convention city.

2017 Festival Schedule

Performances will take place at Lexington Children’s Theatre in Lexington, KY, on Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Thurs. March 2, 9:00am

The Red Badge of Courage

Presented by Lexington Children’s Theatre – Lexington, KY
Adapted by Katherine Schultz Miller; Directed Octavia Biggs
Henry Fleming can’t wait to grow up and grow out of his small town — joining the Union army is his chance! Soon Henry learns the reality of war and what it means to fight for what’s right.

Thurs. March 2, 10:30am

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, Jr.

Presented by Little Aggies Theatre – Albertville, AL
Written by Timothy McDonald; Directed by Kelleybrooke Brown
Based on one of Rald Dahl’s most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, Jr. is a brand new take on this ‘master peach’ of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witting and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.

Thurs. March 2, Noon


Presented by Riverside Theatre – Vero Beach, FL
Written by Ken Clifton and DJ Salisbury; Directed by DJ Salisbury
You’re never too small to make a difference! Pansy is a poodle in waiting, determined to find the perfect person to adopt her. Based on the book series ‘Pansy at the Palace’ by Cynthia Bardes and filled with music, fun, love and mystery, Poodleful! is one for the entire family.

2017 Adjudicators

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams is a theatre artist committed to empowering young people as performers, creators, leaders and individuals. Jennifer serves as the Education Director at the Orlando Repertory Theatre. She has served as a director, choreographer and teaching artist in a variety of organizations including the Springer Opera House, Rose of Athens Theatre, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Kluge Community Learning Center and First Stage.

David Saar

David Saar has directed and taught for Childsplay since founding the company in 1977. His numerous awards include the Governor’s Arts Award for his contributions to the arts in Arizona (1989), the Phoenix Futures Forum Dream Weavers Vision award (1993), the first Notable Achievement Award from the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU (2002), USITT’s Thomas DeGaetani Award (2007), the Medallion Award from The Children’s Theatre Foundation (2010), and the Shelley Award from the Arizona Citizens for the Arts (2016).

About the Festival

The festival strives to highlight, promote and enhance the quality of theatre for young audiences by presenting professional and/or amateur productions that embrace the broadest possible range of genres and styles, and by subsequent adjudication of those productions.

The festival brings together various forms of theatre for youth, including:

  • Professional theatre companies
  • Young people performing for young audiences
  • College students learning the challenge of performing for young audiences
  • New plays and proven classics

Reaching Out: The festival provides the opportunity for thousands of young people to experience the magic of live theatre, allows the performing companies and playwrights to receive critical feedback and gives TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) producers and performers a forum in which to share their craft. It is a rare and valuable opportunity to help them continue their growth as artists and producing institutions.

Background: Over the last quarter century, the Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival has showcased more than one hundred works to more than 25,000 young people. As part of the Annual Convention, the festival brings together Artist and Audience, Playwright and Publisher, Performer and Producer to explore the infinite world of Theatre for Youth and to work with and get feedback from some of this country’s pre-eminent figures in the field.

“The festival allows new plays to be performed in a safe
and nurturing environment and helps promote the growth
of these new works, which eventually touch and enrich the
lives of thousands of children across the country.”

Kenton Yeager, Past Chair, Theatre for Youth Division

Festival Contacts

For questions about the festival or to submit your application, please contact the Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival:

Cassady Gorrell
SETC Theatre for Youth Festival Chair
3409 Simocoe Dr
Lexington, KY 40502
Phone: 859.327.9647

Additional Theatre for Youth Contacts:

SETC Theatre for Youth Division Chair:  Amie Dunn Kisling
SETC Theatre for Youth Division Vice-Chair:  Riley Braem
SETC Central Office:  Claire Wisniewski

What the Children Have to Say

“I wish I could put on a performance for you
like you did for me and the other children.”

“The play was really fun. It was a blast!”

“The show was so fun! I really learned something
from the play. I learned that I have time for everything.”

“Thank you for letting us come to the SETC. It was very
nice and it was funny too. Your show is my favorite show.
I wish I could come again. I wish I could meet you all!”