Thank you to everyone who joined us at mac in Birmingham last Wednesday for The Future Playground.
This year's event was attended by 70 theatre makers, artists, musicians, composers, choreographers and programmers, all keen to explore the changing landscape of making work for and with children.
Our speakers raised provocations on wide ranging issues from the manner in which a child remembers an experience through to adulthood to who decides what is the 'right' experience for an age range. They spoke of the child's suspension of belief and immersion in an experience, the role of silence and the differences between ages in different countries, which means a show rated 4+ in The Netherlands can be rated 8+ in Britain.
The break-out sessions stimulated debate around the role of the adult / parent on a child's experience of art and how we may damage or restrict it, the use of the outdoors in making art for children and how this can be a less structured space for their adult counterparts, whether an artist should start a piece of work with an audience age range in mind or allow the work to grow and decide it's audience at a later stage, and whether research and development periods with children is necessary to create a successful piece for children.