News & Events

International Performing Arts for Youth presents the 32nd International Showcase of Performing Arts for Young People

posted by betsydubois on Oct 12th, 2009

The International Showcase of Performing Arts for Young People (Showcase 2010), presented by International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), is returning to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 20-23. This annual conference, held in a different city each year since 1979, will occur in and around Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, and will be hosted by Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Showcase 2010 features 21 professional performing arts companies from around the world that create dance, music, and theater specifically for young people. The companies are selected by an international committee comprised of experts in the field of performing arts for youth, including accomplished artists and artistic or programming directors, arts education directors, children's festival directors, and artist managers. This year’s companies come from Australia, Canada, Iceland, The Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, The United Kingdom, and The United States.

Showcase attracts more than 400 artists, agents and presenters from across the world to view, discuss, and book the work for North American tours. Showcase features an exhibit area that provides display information and video material on touring productions. As an educational service to the field, the conference offers professional development learning communities which engage current issues and trends. Of particular significance this year, IPAY will present a keynote address by Liz Lerman of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and a guest lecture by renowned children’s book author Mo Willems.

Showcasing artists are 500 Clown (USA), Arena Theatre Company (Australia), Bambalina (Spain), The Billy Jonas Band (USA), Dallas Brass (USA), DynamO Théâtre (Canada), Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (Canada), Katarsis Educación y Teatro S.L. (Spain), Le Théâtre Motus (Canada), Mark Nizer (USA), Polyglot Theatre (Australia), The Possible Theatre/Moguleikhusid (Iceland), Project (USA), Runt Productions (USA), Tall Stories (UK), Terrapin Puppet Theatre (Australia), Theatreworks, USA (USA), Visible Fictions (Scotland), Windmill Performing Arts (Australia), and Youth dance company De Stilte (The Netherlands).

Registration for Showcase 2010 is available at Register to exhibit before November 1 or register to attend Showcase before December 1 and save $50. Contact Daniel Student, Administrative Director, at 267-690-1325 or for any questions regarding the conference.


Since 2001, International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) has created professional and educational opportunities supporting meaningful performing arts experiences for young audiences in North America. IPAY is proud to be the only service organization devoted exclusively to the entire performing arts for youth industry, including all forms of theatre, dance, and music. It exists to serve its membership consisting of presenters, artists, and agents/managers from throughout the world by providing meaningful engagement with, and support of, the presentation and creation of new and established work for young audiences in North America. Learn more about IPAY and whether membership is right for you at


Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, opens the door for children to experience professional performing arts programming for children which inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of all cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh's 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh.


Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker. Described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art,” her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976, and has cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble, with dancers whose ages span five decades, into a leading force in contemporary dance. Liz has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the American Choreographer Award, the American Jewish Congress “Golda” Award, and Washingtonian magazine’s 1988 Washingtonian of the Year.


Mo Willems began his career as a writer and animator for PBS’ Sesame Street, where he garnered 6 Emmy Awards for his writing. His debut children’s book effort, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! became a New York Times Bestseller and was awarded the first of Mo’s three Caldecott Honors in 2004. In addition to picture books, Mo created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of “Easy Readers”, which were awarded the Theodor Suess Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009, and an illustrated memoir of his year-long trip around the world in 1990-91 entitled You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons. Mo is currently writing the script and lyrics for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, commissioned by the Kennedy Center for its 2010 season.


Since 2000, 500 Clown has used action-based performance and circus arts to tell long-form dramatic stories. In 500 Clown Frankenstein, three clowns embark on a madcap journey to construct Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory. Bound in elaborate period costumes, the trio struggles through acrobatic feats in an extended battle with an unruly table. The result is the creation of unexpected horror, "...scattershot, ribald, and exhilarating" -The New York Times

Established in 1966, Arena Theatre Company is one of Australia’s longest-running producers of theatre for young audiences. Created for 5-12 year olds and their families, Mr Freezy is an inventive and hilarious blend of puppetry and live performance set in an ice-cream van.

Over its 27 years of history, Bambalina has always been outstanding for the interdisciplinary vocation of its shows and for its use of a theatre language in tune with the most contemporary playwrights. Trees give us shade, fruit, flowers, medicine, oxygen… and paper. They were asking themselves where the soul of a tree converted into paper could be hiding. One thing occurred to them: make the folds sing. And that is what gave rise to Kraft.

The Billy Jonas Band’s music is percussion-based, making use of found and traditional instruments, helping audiences discover the music within common items and within themselves. Jonas has received multiple awards including a First Place/Gold from AFIM (American Federation of Independent Musicians), numerous Parent's Choice Golds and two New York Times "Best" listings.

Since its founding in 1983, the Dallas Brass has become one of America’s foremost musical ensembles. Their show, American Musical Journey, takes the audience on a musical travelogue from George Washington's era through the present with marches, Broadway musicals, music from Hollywood, Dixieland, and much more. The Dallas Brass has performed at Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and more.

DynamO Théâtre focuses on producing and performing original plays that draw on acrobatic movement, physical acting, clowning and poetic imagery as a dramatic language. Thrice upon a time… is a modern-day tale that draws on domestic and foreign legends. It features three young people forced to confront their fears to overcome an evil witch, as movement and live music grippingly and evocatively depict the courage of children in our often forbidding world.

Canada’s premiere Aboriginal dance company, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre creates, produces and presents original works, festivals and educational programming inspired by Aboriginal culture. Entertaining and insightful, the Iroquois Creation Story comes to life in A Story Before Time. Audiences are delighted by the perfect fusion of contemporary and traditional dance and music.

A new and dynamic company, Katarsis, Educación y Teatro S.L. was founded in 2006 by Canada’s Actor and Director Kevin Stewart and Spanish Artist and Educator Carolina Ramos. They will perform Bedtime (Pa Cama), in which two friends discover a world of adventures before bedtime that distracts them from falling asleep.

Le Théâtre Motus combines the talents of a new generation of artists with artists who have already made their mark in Quebec’s theatre community to explore colored shadow theatre, acting techniques and puppeteering. In Baobab, a huge and ancient baobab stands in the middle of a Western African forest. One day, this ancient baobab brings forth an egg. From this egg is born a little boy. But who is he?

Performance Magazine called Mark Nizer’s show “nothing less than brilliant.” His invention of the Laser Diablo merges juggling, light and technology. Imagine four lasers being juggled at thousands of rpms, with the spinning laser beams dancing just above the audience's heads.

Polyglot Theater is Australia's leading creator of experiential, interactive and installation theatre for children aged up to 12 years. We Built This City is a conceptual installation which celebrates absolute simplicity and the power of children's imaginations. It is a public construction site, using nothing but thousands and thousands of cardboard boxes and the energy and ingenuity of kids and families. We Built This City is not a play - it IS play.

The Possible Theater/Moguleikhusid is a professional theatre in Reykjavik that concentrates on plays for children and young people. The Prophecy tells the story of Odinn, a prominent god in Nordic mythology, and his ongoing quest for knowledge. Featuring one actor and a cellist, this play is performed in the style of Storytelling Theater, where the actor both narrates and transforms into several characters.

Project is a dynamic chamber music ensemble comprised of three virtuosic composer/performers from Brooklyn, NY. Blending their classical training with an eclectic taste in musical styles, Project has burst right out of the internet generation with Greg Pattillo's 40 million views on and a special appearance on the Nickolodeon show, iCarly.

Runt Productions was founded in 1998 to produce compelling stories that both entertain and educate. Bo Eason’s life story, Runt of the Litter premiered in Houston in 2000; and enjoyed 2 off-Broadway runs in 2001 and 2007. The NY Times called it, “One of the most powerful plays about sports in the last decade.”

London-based Tall Stories presents old, new and timeless stories in a physical, visual style and link original music with movement and lots of laughs. In Room on a Broom, an adventure about friendship and cooperation, a helpful dog, bird and frog find a witch's lost things, and they all hop on board her broomstick for a ride. “Tall Stories sets the benchmark for children’s theatre” (The Sunday Times)

Terrapin Puppet Theatre is the Australian innovator of puppetry-based visual theatre embracing new technologies, creating contemporary storytelling, and touring and collaborating nationally and internationally. Boats is a story of two mariners fleeing their past and embracing adventure. The sound effects are created live, a boat is cut from bread, a bird tied from a rope, a circus hides in a jacket. And finally a storm is made with a teacup.

Theatreworks, USA was founded in 1961and has since received honors such as the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, and Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Awards. Click Clack Moo is a new musical based on the Caldecott Honor book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, directed by Tony Award winner John Rando.

For over 17 years, Visible Fictions has created vibrant, high quality and accessible theatre for both young people and adults alike. In Shopping for Shoes, a visually witty, fast paced performance, ever-changing kinetic set, and funny, award-winning script tell a heart warming tale of new found love, dog poo and of course - shoes.

Since its inception in 2002, Windmill Performing Arts has performed across Australia and the world winning a swag of state and national awards. Featuring rhyme, funky tunes, quirky puppetry and intriguing design, Plop! is specifically crafted to provide preschool audiences with intimate and non-threatening first theatrical experiences. Plop! explores the fear of unknown things that sometimes aren't so scary after all.

Youth dance company De Stilte is the only professional dance company in the Southern region of The Netherlands that focuses entirely on developing and producing performances for children. In Madcap, three dancers enter the stage for a splendid event: children at play. They vie to conquer their place in a game, to share their imagination and to confirm their friendship.