Director Petra Tauscher tells us about the International Youth Arts Festival 2021.
The International Youth Arts Festival is returning this year after taking place digitally last year – are you excited to be able to return to live events? Do you think it’s important for audiences to experience work in person again?
Having produced Digifest in 2020, it is an IYAF return to live performances after two years, and we are thrilled for performers and audiences alike that live culture is back in our lives. This year will be a hybrid festival with an eclectic programme of indoor, outdoor and online work and it is vital that audiences have as many opportunities as possible to come together and be part of a common experience after such a challenging year.
The whole programme looks very exciting – are there any particular highlights you’re looking forward to?
One of the highlights of the festival is family spectacular Hotel Paradiso – a brilliant fusion of theatre, comedy and circus from Edinburgh Festival favourites, Lost in Translation. Vital Signz return to the stage with the best moves in town and their new show reflecting on the year we will never forget with 20-20. We are delighted to present the Creative Youth-supported company, Pound of Flesh challenging genre conventions with their brilliantly inventive gig theatre Jigsaw. And if you would like to see how the filmmakers of the future see the world, join us for the IYAF Film Festival.
IYAF’s remit is to celebrate international youth arts, how have you approached the challenge of presenting the festival in London with the current travel restrictions in place?
Sadly many of our international friends and colleagues are unable to make it to Kingston this year. But some great international young talent can be seen via our Digifest programme, with performers from around the world coming together to share their stories. Online performances will be released throughout the festival as well as the opportunity to take part in our online industry workshops.
What do you think participating in the festival will mean to the young people taking part?
We have been running online industry workshops throughout the year and the young people taking part have identified how challenging this past year has been due to the pandemic and Brexit. IYAF 2021 is a festival for reflection and celebration.
What can audiences expect from the festival?
The festival will be carefully managed this year following all Covid guidelines, and there is so much to explore and enjoy – a whole spectrum of artistic activity for all ages. It is a chance to finally have that thrilling live experience of comedy, music, dance, theatre, circus but also there are many opportunities to take part and learn new skills – from street art with the experts to making your own bird feeders in our Environmental Trail. We can’t wait to welcome audiences back.
Please see more at International Youth Arts Festival website: iyafestival.org.uk