The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young People was held from the 16 – 27 May 2017 in cape Town, South Africa. It comprised of a Festival, a Conference and a World Congress.
The Cradle of Creativity (all dedicated to theater for young audiences. The multi-layered event was hosted by ASSITEJ South Africa, and took place in Cape Town at multiple venues.This has been the first time the festival has been held in an African country since the inception of ASSITEJ International in 1965.
ASSITEJ South Africa, is a networking platform for people working with or interested in theater for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high quality theater for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to be an advocate for the right of every child to arts education in schools, and to build relationships within the sector locally, nationally, across the continent and globally.
It was a privilege to have been among the thirty artists chosen from around the world to participant in the Next Generation Residency .The residency is a yearly program for young theater professionals to enable intercultural collaborations.My two weeks in Capetown had me in awe of all the high quality children’s plays I watched, the theater companies in attendance, The workshops and symposiums. This festival taught me that children’s theater is just as important as adults theater.
Among the activities I attended:
- The Focus day sessions and workshops: story telling by Rives Collins
- Viewpoints workshop by Erwin
- Theatre as Education
Learning how to tell stories using different techniques and knowing what kind of stories children are interested in was also important to note.
- A Mano
- Animal Farm
- Caban ZA
- Dear Mr Government, Please May I Have A Meeting With You Even Though I’m Six Years Old?
- Fingers and Toes, My Body Knows
- Full Moon
- Gretel and Hansel
- It’s Dark Outside
- Karoo Moose
- KhoKho’s Treasure
- Making Mandela
- Maloza – The Man Club
- Moi Monsieur Moi
- My Culture, My Strength, My Identity
- No Fun ction alL anguage
- Obisike: It takes a lion’s heart
- Our House
- Panali Panali
- Patrice Balbina’s Chance Encounter with the End of the World
- Pim & Theo
- Pockets of Knowledge
- Red Earth Revisited
- Rite of Spring
- Soro et le Grain de Maïs Magique
- Spirit Songs
- Tears By The River
- The Bookbinder
- The Kids from Amandla Street
- The Underground Library
- Three Monks
- Tiger Bay
- Transhumance: The Sheeps are in Town
- What Goes Up
- When Lion Had Wings
- Yao Yao
- Zapato busca Sapato
- Zick Zack Puff
I sat in the plays with a note book, noting all the interesting techniques, methods that I liked. There were simply many plays to watch and I felt if I didn’t jolt down, I would be bound to forget. I am glad to say that cradle of creativity is where I got to watch mind blowing plays. My horizon broadened as I learnt several ways to produce children’s plays.
The Receptions: Being able to attend receptions organized by specific countries with Assitej ie, Australian, Netherlands, Asian, china’s etc. was a great way to get reading material of what activities and productions are done and supported.
Africa Day meeting: Through the Africa day meeting, I got to know that there is no ASSITEJ in Uganda. What a pity, we are missing on great theater collaborations and connections. Am going to do something about this.
I enjoyed the Africa day celebrations that happened outside Arts cape theater. Unlike all the productions and programmed that happened indoors, it was good to enjoy the nature and atmosphere at the same time whilst watching amazing musical collaborations and puppetry.
Workshop and preparation of the auction was a time to get to know the next generation delegates, how they think, collaborate and work in a team. Initially I had thought it would have been difficult to come up with presentations as we had several actors, directors but every one was willing to listen and follow direction. It was great that we were able to present not one but three presentations at the auction.
It wasn’t all work though, we took time off to climb lions head. Te scenery, my oh my…………..
Me after the festival