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Theatre for children & young people

ASSITEJ South Africa is a national network organisation of artists, educators, organisations and institutions from all provinces.

Our Vision

South African children and young people will have access to quality, performing arts especially designed for them, contributing to a more empathic, engaged and creative society.

We build the sector of theatre for young audiences in South Africa through supporting and developing the artists, empowering education through the performing arts, creating strategies for access to the arts, and advocating for the role of the arts as an essential right of every child and young person.

ASSITEJ SA's response to the COVID-19

Current Programmes 2020

In the Works 2020

In the Works is a playwriting development programme and festival which culminates in readings in August. This festival was previously known as the African Youth Theatre and Dance Festival, and is now in its third iteration. This is an incubation festival which allows the audience to engage in the creation process and will hopefully lead to many exciting new productions for children and young people to be performed at our showcase festival, Cradle of Creativity 2021, to be held also in Gauteng at the Market Theatre and other venues.

In the Works focuses on new writing in theatre for young audiences and takes place in partnership with The 12th Drama for Life Conference and Festival: Masidlale Exploring Connection! from 20-24 August 2020.

PLAYWRIGHTS include Jade Beeby, Maimouna Jallow, Siphumeze Khundayi, Modisana Mabale, Zinhle Mbokane, Lereko Mfono, Mathabo Tlali & Sihle Nontshokweni, Uvile Ximba and Sanelisiwe Yekani. The plays are aimed at children and young people aged between 6-16.

You can register for the conference using this link:

Read more about In the Works:

This programme creates a national framework for connecting children and young people with the theatre best suited to them. It comprises an online catalogue for finding the best work most suited to the children and young people of our country, as well as an ongoing programme to make these connections.

Through Theatre4Youth, we take children to the theatre and take theatre to children in creches, community halls, schools, theatres and other spaces.

There are three Theatre4Youth full-time coordinators, each based in a different province: Western Cape, Gauteng and KZN. We also have part-time representatives in all other provinces.

This dynamic team ensures that ASSITEJ SA knows what is happening in all parts of the country and that we are able to strategize to connect artists with audiences and vice versa.

In response to COVID-19, we are redesigning elements of the site to provide space for virtual theatre and workshops to be made available to schools, and children learning at home, across the country.

Go to the Theatre4youth catalogue here
Kickstarter Educational Empowerment

Kickstarter is our highly acclaimed and awarded arts-education programme supporting teachers to be able to deliver quality Creative Arts in schools. It targets teachers and community-based artist facilitators to build capacity in delivering the formal Creative Arts curriculum at Intermediate Phase. It uses an experiential, easily accessible, step-by-step methodology, which has been tried and tested since 2000. The programme is generously funded by Rand Merchant Bank. 

Kickstarter is now working in three provinces, inclusive of Free State, KZN and Northern Cape, training 60 teachers across 30 schools. The programme is also being upscaled for further roll-outs across the country.

Under lockdown, Kickstarter has gone virtual, and the Artist-facilitators are hard at work creating video material which can be used by teachers to develop their teaching practice. ASSITEJ SA is working hard to ensure that teachers are supported during this challenging time. 

Read more
Anti-Racism Dialogues

ASSITEJ SA is committed to finding creative and performative ways to get children talking about difficult issues in order that together we can co-create the society we all dream of – one in which systemic racism is dismantled and each person is empowered to achieve their full potential; a society in which #BlackLivesMatter.

ASSITEJ SA says “no” to racism, and to this end, has been piloting a programme to give children a space in which to have important conversations about race. The pilot has been based on readings of the book, Skin We are In, by Sindiwe Magona and Nina Jablonski, with illustrations by Lynne Fellman. The book invites children to engage with perceptions of race in the frame of an accessible story, as well as scientific explanations of key ideas, and allows for an inter-generational exchange on the subject.

ASSITEJ SA has held two interactive bookreadings with children and their caregivers, in which Mam’ Sindiwe (writer), Lalu Mokuku (ASSITEJ SA chair), Lindiwe Msiza (board member) and staff members have read the book and led the conversation and related activities, in order to test the concept.  The project will be extended to other languages and to other books.

If you are interested in joining these conversations with your children, please contact Tsholofelo Shounyane on

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We are the official national centre of ASSITEJ (Association Internationale du Theatre de l’Enfance et la Jeunesse/International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People). (Link to ASSITEJ website: