Theatre & performing arts 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.

Our mission is to 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.

Current Programmes

Cradle of Creativity 2023

Cradle of Creativity took place in Johannesburg from 20-27 August 2023, at the Market theatre, Windybrow Arts centre, Sibikwa Arts centre and National Children’s Theatre. The programme included 27 productions (18 local and 9 international), reaching more than 8700 audience members, and 200 delegates from 32 countries around the world. Go to for more info.
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We are grateful to our partners and funders for their support; these include the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, and the Department of Basic Education, as well as many international agencies and individual donors who contributed to the  #TakeAChildToTheTheatre campaign.

Take a Child to the Theatre

Every year ASSITEJ celebrates the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People on 20 March, and uses this day to spread its ongoing campaign of “Take a child to the theatre today”, stressing a child’s right to experience the arts.

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It produces a variety of tools to do this, including World Day Messages from its President and other parties, and World Day videos to inspire and advocate for access to the arts for every child. Follow our campaign for #Takeachildtothetheatre on social media, repost and spread the word.

The world of theatre is opening up once more, and we look forward to draw children and their families back into our theatres. Follow us to find out more. Take the child or children in your life to the theatre OR, you can also support children who would never otherwise have such an opportunity, to see theatre, by donating with the Ref: Takeachild


Theatre4Youth / Arts4Youth

This programme creates a national framework for connecting children and young people with the theatre and arts experiences best suited to them. It is currently funded through the Social Employment Fund, which means that we are employing 1650 artists to work in 133 organisations in all 9 provinces to reach over 50 000 children and young people!

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Theatre4Youth’s online catalogue is a tool to showcase the artistic work best suited to the children and young people of our country, as well as a means to make connections between artists and arts organisations and the learning environments where children and young people are found. As a member of Assitej SA, you have access to the back-end of catalogue which contains the contacts of thousands of schools and other spaces country-wide.

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

Theatre4Youth coordinators are based in all nine provinces. This dynamic team ensures that ASSITEJ SA knows what is happening in all parts of the country, so that we can strategise to connect artists with audiences and vice versa. We assist in placing artists in in-school and after-school programmes and in providing young people with both ad-hoc and ongoing artistic experiences.

In response to COVID-19, the site also houses virtual theatre and online workshops and resources.


Kickstarter Empowerment

ASSITEJ SA is the official partner to the national Department of Basic Education in Creative Arts. KICKSTARTER EDUCATIONAL EMPOWERMENT is our highly acclaimed and awarded arts-education programme supporting teachers to be able to deliver quality Creative Arts in schools.

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Kickstarter Educational Empowerment 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 has been generously funded by Rand Merchant Bank and is currently funded by the First Rand Empowerment Fund.

Kickstarter works across four provinces, inclusive of Free State, Gauteng, KZN and Northern Cape, training 80 teachers across 40 schools on an annual basis.

Under lockdown, Kickstarter went virtual, and Artist-facilitators created video material and other content for teachers to use to develop their teaching practice.


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Most Recent News

BABEL workshop unites TYA artists across Africa

BABEL workshop unites TYA artists across Africa

ASSITEJ SA hosted African artists from across the continent under the "Babel" African Regional workshops at the Cradle of Creativity festival BABEL (or The Art of Listening in Theatre for Young Audiences, commonly known as TYA) is a European Large-scale Cooperation...

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Our Collective Cradle Story

Our Collective Cradle Story

A collective storytelling exercise     OUR COLLECTIVE STORY During the Cradle of Creativity festival, delegates entered into a collective storytelling exercise, described below: Dear Delegates,Together, over the next week, we are going to be collaborating...

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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 & Performing Arts for Children and Young People).

Our Partners

Thank you to all our partners, supporters, funders and friends.