Cradle of Creativity comes to the city of gold…

18 Jun 2023

The stories that move us….

Growing performing arts for young audiences in South Africa and the continent

What: An International Performing Arts festival and Professional Programme from 20-27 August 2023 to be held at the Market Theatre, Windybrow Arts Centre, Sibikwa Arts Centre, National Children’s Theatre and other venues in Gauteng.

Aimed at: Audiences aged 0-25, and their Families; Artists working in the space of making work for children and young people from Africa and beyond; Subject Advisors and Teachers of Creative Arts subjects.

Get involved: There are a number of ways to support Cradle of Creativity, big and small. Become a Cradle of Creativity sponsor, and ensure that the arts flourish in the minds and lives of children and young people, contributing to a more creative, engaged and empathic citizenry, and supporting the diversity and sustainability of the arts in South Africa.

Programme in brief:

  • 25 productions including from South Africa, Rwanda (Ishyo Arts Centre), Mexico & Argentina (Teatro al Vacio), Netherlands (De Stilte), Denmark (Batida), France (Carre Blanc Cie), Belgium & Burkino Faso (La Guimbarde), Switzerland (Joshua Monten Dance Company) and Pakistan – see for more information
  • approximately 8000 audience members
  • 150 local and international delegates from 30 countries
    • African Regional workshop programme funded by the European Union as part of the BABEL Project of ASSITEJ International;
    • Young Critics Programme
    • Conference & Professional Programme including daily online engagement with the global Theatre for Young Audiences community

Professional Programme Focus Days:

  • Sunday 20 August – Inclusivity and Accessibility in Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Monday 21 August – Playwriting for Young Audiences
  • Tuesday 22 August – Performing Arts for Teens (14+)
  • Wednesday 23 August – Performing Arts for Early Years (0-6 years)
  • Thursday 24 August – Dance for Young Audiences
  • Friday 25 August – Arts as / in Education
  • Saturday 26 August – Child/Youth Participation in the Arts
  • Sunday 27 August – The Art of Listening in Theatre for Young Audiences

About Cradle of Creativity 2023:

An International Performing Arts for Young Audiences festival, celebrating opportunities for intercultural exchange. It will be an exhilarating event, providing a snapshot of the very best performing arts for young audiences from across the continent and the world. It will build a rich legacy of diversity, creativity & opportunity that will continue to generate energy and activity long after the final curtain call. It will capture the imagination of local children and youth, as well as a global audience, through the power of artistic expression and collaboration.

The festival will be the seat of an ASSITEJ international Executive Committee meeting and an African regional workshop, as part of the BABEL, EU-funded ASSITEJ project, which focuses on The Art of Listening in TYA. There will be delegates from around 30 countries attending the festival. We are excited to introduce our Young Critics Programme which will see youth voices reviewing our programmes using a variety of styles and media.

The Curator of Cradle of Creativity 2023 is Faye Kabali-Kagwa, ASSITEJ SA Western Cape Coordinator. She is a fellow of the VANSA Cultural Leadership Programme 2021, the Pan African Creative Exchange (PACE) Dramaturgy Lab 2021, and the Salzburg Global Seminar Cultural Innovators Forum 2019. In 2021 she was recognised as one of the Mail & Guardians Top 200 Young South Africans for the year. Faye has an uncanny ability to read the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist. The festival is produced by Yvette Hardie, the Director of ASSITEJ SA, who also produced the 2017 and 2019 festivals. Yvette is Honorary President of ASSITEJ international having served in the role of President from 2011-2021.

About the event

This festival began in 2017 when ASSITEJ South Africa hosted the ASSITEJ International 19th World Congress, Conference and Festival in Cape Town. This event stretched across three different theatre venues, and had four cultural hubs. It was a triumph that featured 63 productions, 29 of them South African, 11 with African involvement, and the participation of 464 artists. It created numerous opportunities for South African artists and audiences. And so the idea for a roving biennial festival was born. In 2019 we did it again, with plans to be in Johannesburg at the Market Theatre in 2021. Due to COVID this has taken longer than expected but we are back with “The stories that move us” which is the theme for this year’s festival. The stories that compel us to leave our homes and to unite in theatres, art centres, community halls, and classrooms. The stories that take us across town, across borders, and sometimes across seas. 


Partners / Funders

We are grateful for the support of our venue partners, the Market Theatre Foundation, Sibikwa Arts Centre and National Children’s Theatre. 

We are deeply indebted to our international partners, British Council Wales, the Government of Flanders, Wallonie-Bruxelles Internationale, Pro Helvetia, the French Institute of South Africa, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Goethe Institute, Swedish Embassy, French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and Performing Arts Fund NL. Many of these cultural organisations have been instrumental in keeping South African artists engaged during COVID and we value their partnership and support over a number of years. 

Locally, we are grateful to the Department of Basic Education, IDC (Social Employment Fund), Business and Arts South Africa, Windybrow Arts Centre, The National School of the Arts, Soweto Theatre, University of Witwatersrand: Drama for Life, University of Johannesburg, Alex Arts Academy and Splitbeam Gearhouse for their support.

We are thankful to ASSITEJ International which has selected the Cradle of Creativity as the space for their Executive Committee meeting, as well as the site for an African workshop under the Babel project, which will support African artists from at least 10 countries to participate in the festival. This gives a truly African centre to our festival, something which has been important since we started the Cradle of Creativity on the continent known to be the Cradle of Humankind.

We hope to be able to secure what we need to make this an unforgettable and impactful event, but we are still having to be proactive in the raising of funds.



Sponsor the festival directly

We are looking for sponsors who want to make their mark on the local and international landscape, and invite you to engage with us. We have a number of opportunities and packages within the festival programme. Sponsor a focus day or a theatre space or a particular production that connects with your brand… there are many opportunities to reach family and school audiences, as well as the local and international artistic community.

Sponsor children to attend the performances

We want to make the festival as accessible as possible. We are therefore inviting corporates, organisations and the general public to donate money specifically for sponsored tickets that will enable access for children and young people, who might otherwise not be able to participate in this festival. Every little bit will make a difference and will be used only for ensuring that children get to see something special – which may open their eyes to the world in a new way. 

Why we’re doing this!

At the heart of Cradle of Creativity is the belief in children’s right to access the performing arts. What is unique about the festival is how it serves to foster a space where children from the earliest possible age can experience art which takes them seriously as audiences, and which nurtures the artists who make this work, through a vibrant intercultural exchange. 

Join us for those stories that move us from 20 – 27 August this year in Johannesburg.

For more information, or to sponsor, contact

Yvette Hardie (producer):

Faye Kabali-Kagwa (curator):

Join Us

Enjoy ASSITEJ South Africa benefits.

Be in the Know

Get relevant info direct by e-mail.

Our Partners

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