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, by and with 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.

Flagship Programmes

Cradle of Creativity

Cradle of Creativity is a biennial festival which originated when ASSITEJ SA  hosted the 19th World Congress of ASSITEJ in 2017, the first time that this prestigious event came to the African continent. Since then we have held Cradle of Creativity in Cape Town (2019), online (2021) and most recently in Johannesburg from 20-27 August 2023, at the Market theatre, Windybrow Arts centre, Sibikwa Arts centre and National Children’s Theatre. The 2023 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.

The next Cradle of Creativity will be in August 2025 in Northern Cape with some events taking place in Gauteng.

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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ASSITEJ 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.

ASSITEJ SA finds opportunities throughout the year to support children’s access to the arts. Take the child or children in your life to the theatre OR 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 1850 artists to work in 150 organisations in all 9 provinces to reach over 52 000 children and young people a month!

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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. Members of Assitej SA have access to the back-end of the 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.

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 the delivery of Creative Arts nationally. 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 to create arts-rich schools. 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 the First Rand Empowerment Fund. We are now doing this work supported by the DG Murray Trust and DCAS (Western Cape), as well as through our SEF programme.

Under lockdown, Kickstarter went virtual, and Artist-facilitators created video material and other content for teachers to use to develop their teaching practice. Kickstarter workshops are SACE accredited and schools can sign up for ad-hoc or specially designed workshops to support their arts practice.


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Most Recent News

Starting strategically

Starting strategically

Strategic planning and dreaming ASSITEJ SA board members, staff and interns, along with members of the Department of Basic Education, met for a weekend's Strategic Planning to consider the way forward for the period 2024-2026. There are a number of exciting new...

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WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY: A call for Botho/Ubuntu

WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY: A call for Botho/Ubuntu

   PUT CHILDREN FIRST ON WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY, ASSITEJ SA SAYS PUT CHILDREN FIRST - A CALL FOR BOTHO/UBUNTU PERSONIFICATION IN TIMES OF WAR AND CONFLICT   Botho/Ubuntu is a Southern African concept that espouses the rights of human beings. It could be translated to...

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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 Dedicated Partners

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