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Saturday, May 23, 2015


ASSITEJ South Africa opens call to ASSITEJ 2017 World Congress and Performing Arts Festival and other platforms like CT Fringe and Naledi Showcase.

At the 50th birthday of ASSITEJ International, the very first African president, Yvette Hardie, opened the call for productions for the ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, to be held Cape Town in May 2017.

ASSITEJ South Africa, in partnership with the National Arts Council of South Africa, has placed the call on their website The call is divided into three categories; African Plays, Collaborative Plays (plays made in partnership with one African country and another country) and International Plays (from outside of Africa).

With the congress taking place in Africa for the first time since the inception of ASSITEJ in 1965, Vigdis Jakobsdóttir - vice president of ASSITEJ and chairperson of ASSITEJ Iceland shared her thoughts on what coming to South Africa will mean to theatre for young audiences globally:

“In 2017 a gateway of collaboration and exchange between theatre artists in Africa and the rest of the world will open. This gateway is the ASSITEJ World Congress. The congress is always a buzzing hub of discussion, artistic exchange, networking and human interaction. A dynamic and powerful place where artists and producers from up to a hundred nationalities have an opportunity to look each other in the eye and make valuable connections. This congress is the first one in ASSITEJ's 50 year history to happen in Africa, which makes it particularly exciting for everybody in the association.

“The organisational team in South Africa, under the leadership of current president of ASSITEJ worldwide; Yvette Hardie, is already impressing the world of Theatre for Young Audiences, with their level of professionalism and a sharp focus in their work, which will no doubt attract big numbers of artists from around the world to South Africa in 2017.”

Philip Hardy, artistic director of Barnstorm Theatre in Ireland expressed the value he found in the ASSITEJ network which spans nearly 100 countries, his appreciation of ASSITEJ South Africa, and his excitement at the prospect of working in the African continent:

“I worked for many years in isolation being the only theatre company in my country that produced work for young audiences outside of school but it was through my involvement with ASSITEJ that I was exposed to similar artists/companies and through which my own practice was both celebrated and challenged. Over the years there have been further influences through ASSITEJ none more than when Yvette Hardie joined the organisation becoming its president and introducing ASSITEJ Africa and the work of many of its artists to the world. I look forward to visiting SA for the World Congress in 2017 and encountering the artists, companies and stakeholders in TYA there.”

At the moment, ASSITEJ South Africa has a number of platforms calling for productions aimed at young audiences.

Companies wishing to perform for young audiences in Durban at the Catalina Children’s Theatre Festival in late September/October must send a letter of interest to or contact the Catalina Theatre direct on

Companies wishing to perform at the ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival in May 2017 may apply to participate online at:

These platforms allow ASSITEJ South Africa to continue towards its goal of providing every single child in South Africa with access to high quality theatre.