Children, Youth and Performance Conference

Children, Youth, and Performance Conference  2021
Children, Youth, and Performance Conference, 2021

Connecting Drama and Performance Research to Practice in the Lives of Young People

The Children, Youth and Performance Conference is accepting proposals for our fourth conference, held in partnership with York University and Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. The conference will take place in June of 2022.

This international, peer-reviewed conference is an exchange of knowledge between researchers, performers, educators, practitioners, and community organizers, putting performance research to work and examining its effects on the lives of young people. Through a range of informative and interactive sessions, participants will discuss the future applications and implications of performance work with, by, for, and about children and youth. We were thrilled to have more than 300 attendees from more than 20 countries participate in our highly interactive online conference in June 2021, and look forward to continuing the robust and fruitful conversations in 2022!

Our conference is open to a variety of presentation topics and styles focusing on children, youth, and the performing arts. We invite presenters from a variety of disciplines and sectors, including, but not limited to child and youth studies, performing arts, Indigenous studies, social sciences, humanities, education, human rights, and public policy. We are planning for a hybrid conference this year, taking changing circumstances and guidance from public health and safety officials very seriously. More scheduling details will be made available in 2022, following acceptances.


We welcome proposals based on cutting-edge research, theories, and practices that are aligned with one or more of this year’s five themes:

  1. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in the Performing Arts
  2. Digital and Hybrid Performances by/with/for/about Children and Young People
  3. Sustainability and Well-being in Child-centred Performance Work
  4. Queerness in Performances and Theatre for Young Audiences
  5. Learning and Unlearning through the Performing Arts

Each proposal should outline the presentation’s purpose, method(s), outcomes, or reflections, and what will take place during the session. Please clearly indicate which of the five conference themes (listed above) your proposal best aligns with, and your preferred presentation format (listed below):

Case Studies / Project Snapshots: Taking into consideration the changing pandemic circumstances, presentations in this format will either be accepted as ‘case studies’ or ‘project snapshots’ depending on scheduling limitations and health and safety considerations. These presentations should discuss projects or case studies relevant to one of the above conference themes. Each session will have a moderator and each presentation will have a limited amount of time (~10-15 minutes for Case Studies, ~5 minutes per presenter for Project Snapshots), with a longer, interactive, audience-driven question and answer period for Project Snapshots.

Interactive Workshops (45 minutes): Taking into consideration the changing pandemic circumstances, proposed workshops must be flexible for either an in-person studio space or live video-conferencing format (Zoom). Workshops should be directly relevant to at least one of the conference themes, and welcoming to participants with varying levels of performance or research experience (participants will be a mixture of artists, researchers, practitioners, educators, community organizers, and others who engage in child/youth-focused work). Please ensure your workshop carefully adheres to the allotted timeframe (including all required set-up and/or take-down), as sessions will be back-to-back. Workshop presenters are responsible for their own materials and set-up. Please clearly state the specific activity/activities that will take place. In cases where workshops are scheduled online or in-person, we will have conference assistants available to support you. If flexibility is not possible for your proposed workshop, we ask that you select a different presentation format.

Panels (25 or 45 minutes, depending on panel size): We welcome panel proposals of three or more participants, showcasing initiatives and projects relevant to one of the conference themes. Panels may include any combination of researchers, practitioners, performers, and/or young people, in a collaborative, discussion-style format.

Original Performance Excerpts (up to 15 minutes): We welcome short performances, derived from research projects or advocacy initiatives, addressing one of the conference themes. Within the allotted timeframe, each presentation should include a short performance (such as a monologue or scene) followed by a brief talk-back. We strongly encourage proposals that include child and youth presenters. All presentations of this type must fit within the allotted timeframe (including any required set-up and/or take-down). Performances may be scheduled as live or pre-recorded, depending on changing pandemic circumstances.

How to Submit Proposals

Your proposal should be submitted as the text body of an email (not an attachment), with all listed co-presenters cc’d.  The email should include:

[1] a succinct presentation title (10 words max.);

[2] presenter name(s), affiliations, contact information, and bio(s) (100 words max. for each bio);

[3] which conference theme your proposal aligns with

[4] your preferred presentation format (workshop, panel etc.); and

[5] a presentation summary (300 words max.).

Please submit proposals no later than January 7th, 2022. Proposals must be sent directly to Dr. Abigail Shabtay, Conference Chair, at, which will then be shared with the review committee. Applicants may submit multiple proposals given that co-presenters are different for each. If you submitted a proposal for early acceptance and it was not accepted, you can revise your submission or submit a new proposal for the second deadline.

Twitter: @CYPConference