May 12- 19th, Theatre Direct presented the first ever, theatre and cultural festival for the early years. I was excited about this initiative and HAD to be a part of this celebration. Early in the week I was able to attend the Wee Festival's conference, listen to and interact with "scholars and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines as they present snapshots of their research, discuss themes and trajectories relating to early years, creative development, cognitive ability, theatre, digital media, and play".
I especially enjoyed a presentation by Kate Einarson, a Ph.d candidate and researcher investigating how infants and children learn about music.
Here are a list of other topics that were presented
- Bethany Corey
A Range of Possibilities: Audience Roles in Theatre for the Very Young
- Ben Fletcher-Watson
The Baby Audience: defining the developmental capabilities of babies and toddlers
- Leslee Silverman
Public attitudes and trends in the context of developing, and presenting theatre for early years
- Heather Fitzsimmons Frey with Emma Miles
Trends and Ideas in Theatre for Babies and Early Years
- Caroline Fusco
Talking to urban children and parents about play
- Hilary Leung and Nick Shim
Sago Mini – Designing and Testing Digital Play for the Very Young
- Marc Richard
Creative Dance as Embodied Learning
- Elyne Quan
Darkness and Light: Creating Theatre That Matters for Young Audiences or “How To Not Be Afraid of Taking Ideas Really, Really Far
I would encourage you to visit weefestival.ca to learn more about the conference and festival.