ASSITEJ SA creates access to theatre for children and young people through the following initiatives:
WORLD THEATRE DAY and the "Take a child to the theatre today" campaign
Every year ASSITEJ centres the world over celebrate the World Day for Theatre for Children and Young People on 20th March. The global association is uniting theatres across the world in conveying one message: Take a child to the theatre today.
The "Take a Child to the Theatre Today" Campaign benefits emerging and established theatre companies and artists, children and young people across South Africa, young aspiring theatre makers, ASSITEJ Youth Ambassadors, volunteers, schools, educators and the Basic Department of Education, and will assist the Department of Arts and Culture in meeting its objectives for the Mzanzi Golden Economy Programme while also creating jobs for those in the arts.
ASSITEJ SA, together with partner Theatre Arts Admin Collecive, believes that children, young people and their families must have access to high quality theatre in the communities where they are based. Theatre allows for growing up and growing together, building family and community spirit. Family Seasons use local facilities such as school and church halls, and site-specific spaces to provide a range of work for children from the very youngest through to teenagers, and parents. Each Family Season comprises diverse professional productions, as well as workshops for children, youth, their families and teachers. The festivals encourage local partnerships between small business, schools, local NGOs and artists, increasing sustainability for the theatre industry and developing new audiences.
ASSITEJ SA has successfully run a Family Season in Cape Town since 2012 in collaboration with the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, a partner organisation. These Family Seasons provide a model for others to create similar community based performance initiatives. ASSITEJ SA has also worked with other organisational partners to run Family Seasons in the Garden Route, the North-West Province, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the Eastern Cape.
ASSITEJ SA aims to collaborative develop curated Family Venues at the most reputable national and international festivals across the country.
The aim of these venues is to bring family programming into the mainstream of existing festivals, which currently do not pay sufficient attention to making or showcasing quality work for children and young people. To date, ASSITEJ has successfully run a Family Venue at the National Arts Festival.
The ASSITEJ SA Youth Ambassadors programme encourages youth leadership and participation in the activities of the association. This project energises and connects youth around theatre, bridging divides and creating a platform for leadership and creative development. Youth Ambassadors are theatre activists, experiencing as much theatre as possible, documenting their experiences and sharing these via social media. ASSITEJ Youth Ambassadors build the audience and artists of tomorrow.
Want to find out how to become a Youth Ambassador?
Vrygrond Iingcungela Players (VIPs)
Theatre focused community work and outreach with young people based in Vrygrond. Currently there are two VIP groups: the Young VIPS (5-8 years) and the VIPS (9-14 years). Each group attends drama classes twice a week and works towards performances for special days and holidays.
This is an ongoing programme of ASSITEJ SA, bridging the gap between theatre and schools. It includes an Interactive theatre and education catalogue and a print version of the catalogue to help theatre companies market their work to schools more easily.