Into a world of unlimited views

19 Apr 2012 in Uncategorised
Related Shows: Woza Albert

Review - Into a world of unlimited views

A love for the theatre is being fostered in children and young people with the ‘take a child to the theatre’ campaign TODAY, March 20, is celebrated as the Assitej World Theatre Day for children and young people, a day to encourage access to theatre for the whole family. On this day, the 85 Assitej (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) centres around the world organise events such as conferences, theatre festivals and free performances and this year they are being drawn together around a central campaign - take a child to the theatre. Assitej’s president, Cape Town theatre director Yvette Hardie, says all partners - theatre companies and management of theatre complexes - were encouraged to engage by opening their doors and encouraging people to come. She applauds small businesses that are financially supporting children to get to the theatre. “We believe it’s important that children have a space where they can access their imagination,” says Hardie, the first African to head the global organisation. “For us, theatre is an incredibly powerful and important human development tool. Its far bigger than mere entertainment; it’s the space where anybody has the capacity to shift perception. “Theatre allows us to see the world through other people’s eyes, in ways that would otherwise be hidden from us. It encourages empathy and creative engagement.” “In a world where multiple perspectives need to be considered and where dominant philosophies lead to people thinking very narrowly, theatre gives people access to a multiplicity of views.” In Cape Town, Assitej has partnered with the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory for their second Family Season of Performance. “Many families in Cape Town do not have access to the theatre, so we’re looking at building local festivals, which families can access easily, where the work is of a high quality and speaks to the whole family. This year, they have expanded the festival to Vrygrond, where the national Assitej offices are situated. “We’re using this idea as a model to roll out to the rest of the country” Hardie says. Assitej is also associated with Durban’s Catalina Theatre and Pietermaritzburg’s Hilton College Theatre and their presentations of I-puppeti and Othello, respectively. Hardie says many theatres around the country will be opening their doors to children and young people to celebrate March 20. In Gauteng, theatre institutions that have come on board to support this initiative include the Market Theatre, Joburg Theatre, People’s Theatre, Sibikwa Arts Centre, National Children’s Theatre and the Hillbrow Theatre Project. See the programme of events at the end of this article. “It’s been wonderful to see this incredible response because everyone understands that unless we get children excited, we as the theatre community won’t survive. “It’s a small-scale festival, but the important thing is we can engage with people where they need it, to encourage a culture of theatre loving,” says Hardie. “So often families are in many ways fractured, not just by issues such as divorce but because they have few positive things that they can do together. “This is a wonderfully engaging experience, rather than a didactic one, so for children and young people it’s an important way to open up their eyes to what’s happening around them.” Every year Assitej asks a significant world leader/artist in theatre to write a message to young people to celebrate Assitej World Day. This year, Suzanne Lebeau, a multiple award-winning FrenchCanadian playwright, has written the message and will deliver it in Cape Town, where she will watch the local production of her play The Ogreling, which has been translated into Xhosa a iZim ‘eliricinci by Sindiwe Magona. For the next three years, Assitej will be uniting theatres across the world hi conveying one message: “Take a child to the theatre today”. Assitej encourages South Africans to make a contribution of R10 by SMSing “Thealre4Youth” to 38490, thereby sponsoring youngsters to visit the theatre. Today: The Jungle Book at the People’s Theatre - special performance at 7pm. Tickets R50. Contact: Andrew or Lorraine on 011 403 1563/2340 Woza Albert at The Market Theatre - special sponsored performance at llam for Sparrow School in Sophiatown (Market Theatre is paying for the transport as well) Charlotte’s Web opening night at The National Children’s Theatre, 5.30pm. Contact Sydwell Koopedi .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Moira .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Causing a Scene, Joburg’s own Improv Group at The Hillbrow Theatre Project. Special, free performance at 6pm with an improvisation workshop for children and youth. Contact Gerard Hester .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Tomorrow: Dance Xplosion at Sibikwa: Starting at 10am and ending at 5pm, the event will take place at the Sibikwa Arts Centre Theatre, Liverpool Park, cnr Liverpool and Bolton roads, Benoni South. Tickets at the door for R20. Schools wishing to attend these performances should contact Sibikwa at 011 429 4359 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Have something to say?

Chat with us on and

Market Theatre Renting Options
Looking to rent? view options
Market Theatre Dining Options
Feeling hungry? view menu's
Market Theatre Nearby Accommodation
Need a place to stay? view options