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Cradle of Creativity 2023 offers a feast of engaging arts for young theatre goers

The 2023 Cradle of Creativity festival is an 8 day long city-wide celebration of unforgettable encounters. The dynamic roving international performing arts festival for children and young people is hosted by The Market Theatre and offers the very best performing arts for young audiences from across the continent and the world. This year’s theme “The Stories That Move Us” will build a rich legacy of diversity, creativity & opportunity that will continue to generate energy and activity long after the final curtain call.

Cradle of Creativity is meticulously curated in Women’s month, August, by one of the foremost young female curators of our time, Faye Kabali Kagwa, who was recognized as a Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South African in 2021. “This festival continues to take seriously our youngest citizens and engage them in a creative way, while being an exciting platform for artists from South Africa, the continent and the world” says Kabali-Kagwa.

The festival will feature some of the very best in South African theatre with performances from all provinces, speaking to children from as young as 2 to young adults. We have a range of voices present, from youth voices to professional theatre companies: these include “Skin We Are In” by the Kwasha Theatre Company, “Stories We See” by Gcebile Dlamini, featuring children from the Johannesburg Society for The Blind, “Bounced” by Cape Town based theatre company Magnet Theatre, a leader in early years theatre, and the musical extravaganza, “Mwana wa Mvula” by Kimberley’s Amandla Dance Teatro ZA: these are just some of the bold voices to make up the festival programme on the South African front.

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Cradle also boasts a rich series of international productions presented by Netherlands theatre company, de Stilte; Danish theatre company, Batida; Carre Blanc Cie from France; La Guimbarde from Belgium; the Joshua Monten Dance Company from Switzerland; Ishyo theatre from Rwanda; Teatro Al Vacio from Mexico, and Maas Foundation from Pakistan. Performances take place at the Market theatre, Windybrow Arts Centre, Sibikwa Arts Centre and the National Children’s Theatre as well as at selected schools and community centres. In addition, some of the dance productions will be travelling to the Jomba! Contemporary Dance festival in Durban, in partnership with the Centre for Creative Arts.

In addition, there is a rich Professional programme aimed at artists, teachers, and subject advisors, with workshops, panel discussions and presentations from across the globe taking place daily according to a range of focus areas. To further extend the international element, the ASSITEJ international Executive Committee meeting and an African regional workshop as part of the BABEL, EU-funded ASSITEJ project, will be housed at the festival, ensuring the representation of more than 30 countries in person at the festival.

We are also excited to introduce the Young Critics Programme which is an integral part of the festival and sees youth voices reviewing and critiquing productions, using a variety of styles and media.

The festival producer, another powerful female leader within the arts sector, Yvette Hardie, the Director of ASSITEJ SA, says “this will be a Cradle of Creativity festival to savour and enjoy. We are delighted to bring the festival to Gauteng for the first time, where we hope new audiences and artists will be attracted to participate in and access the performing arts for children and young people. We encourage families, schools and community groups to engage with the festival and ensure that South African children realise the power of their imaginations to make positive change happen.”

Cradle of Creativity will open on the 20th of August and wrap up on the 27th of August, with a closing ceremony at the Market Theatre. The festival is supported by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and the Department of Basic Education, as well as a number of cultural agencies that include: British Council Wales, Pro Helvetia, Government of Flanders, Wallonie-Bruxelles Internationale, the French Institute of South Africa, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Goethe Institute, the Swedish Embassy and Performing Arts Fund NL.

All programme information and tickets are available on

For more information please contact:

Yvette Hardie (producer):

Faye Kabali-Kagwa (curator):