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The Kennedy Center

New Visions/New Voices

Conference Registration

For registration information to attend the conference portion of New Visions/New Voices 2020

This year, New Visions/New Voices will partner with Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, the national organization for TYA in the United States, amplifying the impact of the event by co-hosting the 2020 TYA/USA National Festival and Conference. This landmark event will add full performances, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and other special events to the New Visions/New Voices programming (details to be announced in the coming months). The partnership marks the 20-year anniversary of the joint festival presented at the Kennedy Center in 2000, which was arguably the most significant gathering of the TYA field in a generation.

The New Visions/New Voices 2020 festival and joint conference with TYA/USA will begin on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at the Kennedy Center and will conclude in the early afternoon of Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Registration for New Visions/New Voices 2020 festival and joint conference with TYA/USA is now live!

Registration is open now.


Early bird registration rates are available now through January 28 for current TYA/USA members only.

New Visions/New Voices 2020


    Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle, WA
    This highly theatrical play by Idris Goodwin amplifies the extraordinary young life of Jimi Hendrix, one of the most influential artists of all time. Shaped by his Seattle community, young Jimi conjures creativity in the most surprising of places. Directed by Tim Bond, this story told through music, daring imagination, and a smattering of science fiction, asks us dream louder when it matters most.


    Filament Theatre, Chicago, IL
    In June 2018, Halley visits the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and meets the Opportunity Mars rover. The two have something in common: a curious spirit and a shortened life-expectancy. Halley and the NASA scientist in charge of the Mars mission find themselves transformed by an unlikely friendship—with each other, and with a rolling robot millions of miles away. With poetic language and magical realism, playwright Georgette Kelly explores the question “How do you keep on roving when you—or someone you love—faces a dust storm that threatens to block out the sun?” Directed by Julie Ritchey, Farewell Opportunity is being developed in partnership with staff and families at the Crescent Cove Respite and Hospice Center for Kids.


    The Translation Project, Malta
    Ineż is fourteen. A Perf ... short for “perfect”: the ultimate label to aspire to. If you’re fourteen, that is. Ineż is popular, beautiful, sassy, rebellious, a saint, a social media queen.

    Ineż goes missing.

    Everyone in her small community becomes judge and jury. And while she certainly wasn’t perfect ... everyone wanted her to be, in one way or another, their own definition of perfection. Written by Simone Spiteri and directed by Karin Serres, the play asks: what happens when being nothing but perfect is the only option and expectation?


    The Coterie Theatre, Kansas City, MO
    During the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, it was perfectly legal for Kansas City, Missouri’s most popular amusement park to limit admission to black patrons to only one day a year. In this play, we see teenage Rose James, in the early 1960s, use smarts, determination, and a little bit of magic to try to defeat this policy, plus fight to grant her little brother’s wish of getting to ride the Fairyland Park rollercoaster on his actual birthday. In contemporary times, we see Rose’s teenage granddaughter Ella use her spirited nature, talent, and inherited magic to stand up to bullies at the school administration level. Written by Michelle Tyrene Johnson and directed by Nedra Dixon, the play offers the invitation to see how, regardless of time or outcome, discrimination can be battled by tapping into love, a sense of empowerment, and actual black girl magic.


    Childsplay, Tempe, AZ
    Selena Maria is a fourteen-year-old indie songwriter. With a unique style and a sophisticated fusion of sounds, she composes music on her laptop wherever and whenever she finds inspiration. But Selena Maria lives in the shadow of a big legacy: her namesake and her mother’s favorite superstar Tejana singer, Selena Quintanilla. When tragedy strikes her family, taking away the one person who truly appreciates her musical voice, Selena Maria must learn to navigate a new town, a newly evolving relationship with her grief-stricken mother, and a new and rising fear: what if her true self isn’t enough? Written by Miriam Gonzales with original music by Daniel French and directed by Melissa Crespo, this vibrant and deeply moving play takes us on a journey of loss, perseverance, and love.

  • this is what I chose no I'm not sorry and yes if you'd ask I'd do it again

    Jackalope Theatre Company, Chicago, IL
    Even after William’s death, high school life has trudged on. But when Sara starts planning an “Alive Together” assembly to honor William, his sister Vivian finally takes a stand and ask-demands Sara to cancel the event. Does it matter that William and Sara were “a thing” or that Sara may also use the event on her college applications? With the piece's narrative changing based on the audience's choices, Will Kiley directs Daria Miyeko Marinelli's modular play which explores: who has ownership over a tragedy? And what course of action is best in the aftermath?


    Project Pride Players, Omaha, NE and Kansas City, MO
    This Project Pride and Pride Players joint production is a collaboration between queer youth theatre troupes in Omaha, NE and Kansas City, MO. Both troupes give voice to their LGBTQ and straight allied teens by creating annual shows through improv, dance, poetry, and visual art in order to open lines of communication between races, genders, and generations. This brand-new production, directed by Brian Guehring/Carina DuMarce (Omaha) and Amanda Kibler/Aniseto Herrera (Kansas City) will interweave a mash-up of scenes from the shows created by each company and will be performed by teens from both troupes. United We Shout will reflect the activism, diversity, humor, intelligence, and empathy that these inspiring young people hope to see in the world.


    Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Oakland, CA
    Yumi is BORED. The kind of bored where everything loses its color, that just lasts idea pops into Yumi's life. At first Yumi doesn't know what to do with Idea. Yumi tries to hide Idea in the forest. Yumi takes Idea home and feeds it. Idea grows. But, the World Famous Critic has nothing nice to say about Idea. And Yumi is convinced that maybe Critic is correct and his idea isn't any good. But through the power of play and imagination, Yumi and Idea find their voices and grow in ways they could never have imagined. With book and lyrics by Adam Tobin, music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, and direction by Nina Meehan, this musical adaptation of the book by Kobi Yamada will delight dreamers and skeptics alike.

  • Alternate:


    Zach Theatre, Austin, TX
    Script by Sarah Saltwick; conceived by Nat Miller and Sarah Saltwick; lyrics by Nat Miller Amanda Serra, Will Clifton, and Sarah Saltwick.

  • Translation Project Alternate:


    by Katarzya Mazur-Lejman, Poland

About New Visions/New Voices

New Visions/New Voices is a week-long biennial workshop/festival for playwrights and theaters to stimulate and support the creation of new plays and musicals for young audiences and families. The next New Visions/New Voices will be May 14-17 2020.

Since its inception in 1991 through the upcoming 2020 festival, the program has assisted in the development of 119 new plays, musicals, and operas from 102 playwrights and 39 composers, working with 64 U.S. and 13 international theater companies, and has received awards for exemplary service to the field from both the American Alliance for Theater and Education and the Children's Theatre Foundation of America.

Has there been a past participant from your home state or country?

While at the Kennedy Center, selected playwrights, directors, music directors, composers, and actors work collaboratively in a weeklong rehearsal setting to further develop their projects. After revisions, rewrites, and rehearsals of the new plays and musicals, the works are presented as rehearsed readings during a three-day national festival for theater professionals, educators, and others interested in the field.

Apply to be an NV/NV 2020 TYA Festival and Conference Intern

Interns will work alongside TYA/USA staff and Kennedy Center Theater Education to produce this dynamic event. Current and recent undergraduates local to the Washington D.C. area are invited to apply.



New Visions, Voices, and Perspectives in Theatre for Young Audiences Howlround


For more information on New Visions/New Voices, please contact us at:

New Visions/New Voices
Education Division
The Kennedy Center
P.O. Box 101510
Arlington, VA 22210

Phone: (202) 416-8830

New Visions/New Voices

Now available

As a celebration of our 25th Anniversary, now available for purchase is our two volume anthology, New Visions/New Voices: 25 years/25 plays.

A celebration of our 25th Anniversary in 2016, now available for purchase, is our two volume anthology, New Visions/New Voices: 25 years/25 plays, available for purchase through Dramatic Publishing.

We are looking forward to another 25 years!

Buy now