Audience & Community Engagement Strategies in TYA

Welcome to our NEXTBlog topic!

We invited a variety of TYA professionals to share strategies for pre and post show audience engagement and important questions to consider when designing these activities. The blog posts you’ll read this month responded to and built upon the following questions:

  • What kinds of pre-show activities or experiences do you offer to draw audience members and your community into a performance?
  • How do you create opportunities for audience members of all ages to make personal connections to the production through pre and post show activities?
  • What kinds of experiences do you provide for teachers and school groups to connect the theatre-going experience to the curriculum?

We asked individuals to think beyond the useful, very prevalent tools of study guides and talk backs to learn more about the innovative ways TYA companies pique the audiences’ interest in a play, connect to classroom curriculum and deepen the audiences’ understanding of a play’s characters, events and themes.

The thoughtful, articulate and humorous posts come to you from artists thinking about audience engagement through a variety of lenses and contexts including investigating the meaning of “audience engagement” itself, school partnerships, new research on the function of post-show discussions, and how to engage young people as creative artists.

The goal of this topic is not to provide you with defined answers and “the best” way to engage young audiences. (Does that even exist?) Instead, we hope these posts spark new questions to pursue and create a rich dialogue within the TYA community. These conversations are as rich as YOU make them. Add your voice  by commenting on the blog posts or submitting one on this topic to NEXTBlog. Any interested bloggers should send an email or blog post to meredythpederson at to participate!

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