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Monday, August 10, 2020


ASSITEJ South Africa is a registered NPO (066-875), which operates as a networking platform for people working with or interested in theatre for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high quality theatre for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to develop and support artists working in the field, 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.

ASSITEJ SA presented a rich and diverse set of projects for children and young people at the 46th National Arts Festival (NAF).

The following is an excerpt from their recent newsletter:

“Over the past few weeks, life has been richer for many art lovers and creatives across the country, as the National Arts Festival (vNAF) has been a virtual trail-blazer for the South Africa’s art scene, during these difficult times of lockdown. The festival has pushed artists to try new forms of expression, and audiences to consider engaging in new ways.

Even though many art spaces were closed and we couldn’t meet physically, the vNAF pioneered bringing a virtual festival into people’s homes, and we were delighted to present two well-received ASSITEJ South African projects on the main festival:

- iSitimela Sendaba – the Story Train presented young children with daily doses of African stories from 11 vibrant African storytellers throughout the festival. The stories were performed live via zoom and also premiered LIVE on our Facebook page, which reached approximately 5474 audiences across the digital platforms.

In the Works presented two play readings of new South African plays, as part of the ASSITEJ playwriting development programme, along with a conversation between the playwrights and their international dramaturgs. The new South African plays that were showcased are Zwelitsha by Sanelisiwe Yekani and Little Fist, Big Heart by Lereko Mfono, both being special treats for children aged 10-13 years old. We are excited to see what will happen when these thought provoking and engaging pieces step out onto the real stage, post-pandemic. You will be able to catch them again at the DFL ASSITEJ SA Masidlale Festival and Conference from August 20 to 24, along with seven other exciting new works.

We are grateful to our members, partners and sponsors for their support, in particular the National Arts Festival team, Play Africa, the Write Local Play Global Network, the John F Kennedy Centre, and the National Lotteries Commission of South Africa (who partially sponsored In the Works), who together made it possible for ASSITEJ South Africa to present quality work for young audiences during lockdown.”

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