Download Project Report
Theatre for Young Audiences: Opportunities in China
The British Council in China commissioned
BOP Consulting to produce this briefing
note mapping theatre for young audiences
in China, in order to support UK performing
arts practitioners wishing to work with
After the success of recent collaborations between professionals from the UK and China working in theatre for young audiences (often abbreviated to TYA), the British Council commissioned us to write a report on China’s TYA sector.
This included a profile of the conditions and changes in the market, as well as challenges and opportunities for UK professionals.
We interviewed the leading specialists familiar with working in the Chinese TYA sector and cross-referenced this qualitative data with articles, official reports and data released by the Chinese government.
Our key findings included:
Demand for performances for children is rapidly increasing mostly thanks to government policies and demographic and socioeconomic developments. The number of TYA performances has doubled, making it the largest sub-sector of China’s theatre industry; growth is set to continue at a rate of 15% annually over the next 5 years
The majority of these performances are occurring in China’s ‘first tier’ cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, though the demand is increasing just as quickly in less developed cities. Venues are generally very large, though some stakeholders are creating the infrastructure for international productions produced for smaller venues
Lack of government funding puts significant commercial pressure on the local sector, making it often reliant upon ‘safe’ dramatizations of well-known television characters or fairytales, and on lucrative and popular educational programmes to boost theatre experiences
The demand for international performances is therefore increasing in the desire for higher quality. For international professionals, order to navigate China’s complex and challenging market practices, it is highly recommended to find the appropriate partner and to develop a relationship over time.
The report yielded encouraging news for future collaborations between UK and Chinese companies in the performing arts sector. This is particularly exciting given uncertainty over the UK’s future artistic collaborations with EU countries. China offers a strong potential future partnership, with new cultural connections emerging each year, such as the co-commissioning of Yang Liping’s Rite of Spring by the International Arts Festivals of Shanghai and Edinburgh.
A full version of the report can be downloaded here.
China’s young theatre
How UK theatre makers can charm China’s young audiences
Oct 24, 2018
A global research and consulting practice for culture and the creative economy
Nov 4, 2021
How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?
The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability
Apr 22, 2021
5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period
Culture and the Climate Emergency
Dec 4, 2020
Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place
Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?
Sep 23, 2020
This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery
Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril
Aug 21, 2020
Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3
Jul 30, 2020
The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2
Jul 20, 2020
Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal
COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place
Jul 7, 2020
Investing in recovery, planning for transformation
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1
Jun 30, 2020
Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis
COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries
Jun 3, 2020
In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level
‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’
May 13, 2020
Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis
Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future
By BOP Consulting
Co-Founder and Director
Paul is a leading international advisor and practitioner in cultural policy and creative economy. He is Co-Founder of BOP, and alongside his fellow directors he has pioneered now well-established methods to measure the impact of cultural policy.
Planning a new project?
If you are interested to learn more about our work or if you have a project you would like to discuss, get in touch.