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SUE GILES is the Artistic Director and CEO of Melbourne's Polyglot Theatre and Vice-President of ASSITEJ, the international association of theatre for young audiences. Her distinctive interactive, child-centred work methods have won awards and been the subject of masterclasses, forums and discussions around the world. Her works have been performed as widely.

Platform Papers 54
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Platform Papers 54

Young People and the Arts: An agenda for change

Sue Giles

Expectations around theatre for young people are too prescribed today and in serious need of reconstruction, writes Sue Giles, Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Polyglot Theatre. Ideas of what young people deserve are beset with barriers to exploration and risk-taking. Adults have long-held views on what is appropriate for young people and yet among great concern for values and creativity, many do not see the wok as real art.

Those who seek a new way forward in the sector struggle to be heard. Giles calls for responsible adults to review accepted attitudes, embrace exploration, listen to the young voices and make them partners in the planning. We must un-learn the past hierarchies and empower the engagement of young people as legitimate collaborators: valid, responsive and aware. We must recognise the power of their instinctive play and imagination to change the way we look at the world.

Currency House | 978-0-99461-307-3 | Sales rights: worldwide, except Aust/NZ | PB