ASSITEJ SA believes that every child and young person in our country deserves access to the arts, and especially to live theatre, from the earliest possible age. Theatre is a transformational force in the lives of young people, inspiring imaginations, shifting perceptions, teaching empathy and building our nation.
ASSITEJ was established on 10 May 1965 by a global alliance of organisations and individuals involved in the promotion of theatre for children and young people. The ASSITEJ International archives are located in Frankfurt, Germany, the Secretariat is now in Copenhagen, Denmark, and ASSITEJ is present in more than 100 countries.
ASSITEJ South Africa was launched as a national association on 2 July 2007 at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
In its more than 10-year history, it has grown tremendously, playing host to the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young People, held in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2017 – the first time this major ASSITEJ event has been held in Africa. To find out more about this groundbreaking event, go here: website: www.assitej2017.org.za
Members include: individuals such as actors, musicians, dancers, directors, choreographers, theatre educators, stage designers, dramatists, critics, cultural journalists, researchers and cultural officers, as well as organisations, such as theatre companies, NGOs, institutions, amateur drama groups, societies, schools, crèches, and other networks.
ASSITEJ SA publishes a Theatre4youth catalogue every two years which reflects the dynamic nature of theatre for young audiences in the country. The online version of this catalogue can be found at www.theatre4youth.co.za
Other publications include Suzanne Lebeau’s play The Ogreling, in English and translated into isiXhosa by Sindiwe Magona, as well as contributions to other playtexts.