ASSITEJ SA celebrates Naledi winners


Image result for ASSITEJ SAASSITEJ SA celebrates excellence in theatre for young audiences at the 15th annual Naledi Theatre Awards.

2018. ASSITEJ SA is proud to be associated with three awards at the Naledi Theatre Awards: Best Theatre Production for Children, Best Theatre Production for Young People (Age 13-17), and Best Performance in a Production for Young Audiences.

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The Naledi Theatre Awards, which took place last night at the Joburg theatre, was a sparkling celebration of the diverse talents and creativity of the South African theatre scene, and ASSITEJ SA takes this opportunity to congratulate all the winners and nominees.

We were delighted that the following awards were announced:

Prod. by National Children’s Theatre, Written by Gillian Katz, Adapted by Francois Theron, Directed by Jade Bowers

Prod. by Redhill School in partnership with & CO, Written by Melvin Tunstall III, Douglas Lyons, Greg Borowsky & Douglas Lyons, Directed by Shelley Adriaanzen

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES (Supported by ASSITEJ SA) went to Jaques De Silva as “as Antic the Ant” from Goggas!

Image result for Jaques da Silva
Jaques da Silva

Jaques da Silva won this award for the second year in a row (last year he took home the prize for Taking Flight, a joint production of Hijinks Theatre and Zikka Zimba). This year, it was his stand-out performance in Goggas! which got the Naledi judges excited.

We were also delighted that one of the productions nominated for Best Production for Young Audiences aged 14-17 went on to win Best Ensemble. This was the superb production of Hani: The Legacy, produced by The Market Theatre Laboratory, created by graduates of The Market Theatre Laboratory, and directed by Leila Henriques.

ASSITEJ SA was happy to see so many new and original productions amongst the nominees – South African artists are creating work for babies, for young children and for teens, writing new musicals and creating original stage plays that speak to their audiences from a South African and African context. The work reflects a number of different styles and approaches and we encourage theatre-makers to continue to push the envelope for these audiences. The days of only providing children with the standard Western classics is thankfully becoming a thing of the past, as audiences connect to works specially created for them in their own context.

ASSITEJ SA Education Officer, Tsholofelo Shounyane, who sits on the Naledi panel of Judges, and who organises Naledi showcases of the work that would otherwise be overlooked as it performs in non-traditional venues, says “I’m very honoured and thankful to be part of the Naledi Assitej Panel and to be granted the opportunity to access theatre works for children and have a hand in rewarding deserving artists. I’m proud of all the nominees, winners and all the brave artists that have taken the challenge of creating Children’s Theatre head on, promoting work for young audiences in a climate that is still getting used to the idea and raising the bar for the work produced for young audiences. Their talent, commitment and unrelenting hard work is nothing short of amazing.”


ASSITEJ South Africa is a registered NPO (066-875), which operates as a networking platform for people working with or interested in theatre for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high quality theatre for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to develop and support artists working in the field, to be an advocate for the right of every child to arts education in schools, and to build relationships within the sector locally, nationally, across the continent and globally.

Members are present in all provinces and include actors, musicians, dancers, directors, choreographers, theatre educators, stage designers and dramatists, as well as theatre companies, organisations and institutions, critics and cultural journalists, cultural officers, amateur drama groups, organizers, societies and other networks.

ASSITEJ South Africa works to promote international awareness of South African theatre for children and young people, through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts. Members are given access to a global network of information about festivals, performances, courses and seminars all over the world, with the potential to participate in these activities. ASSITEJ SA was the proud host of the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, Cradle of Creativity, in 2017.

ASSITEJ South Africa is generously supported by Rand Merchant Bank, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Department of Basic Education, Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), the HCI Foundation, and the City of Cape Town. Other funders, supporters and partners include and have included the National Lotteries Commission, the National Arts Council of South Africa, the Department of Arts and Culture, UNESCO IFCD, Buz Publicity, Splitbeam Gearhouse, Institut Francaise, Alliance Francaise, Africalia, Pro Helvetia, Goethe Institut, Government of Flanders, SIDA, The National School of the Arts, Artscape, Baxter Theatre, Theatre Arts Admin Collective, the National Arts Festival, the Distell Foundation, the Kids of the Cape, the Cape Tercentenary Foundation, CATHSSETA, Ruth & Anita Wise Trust, Lorenzo and Stella Chiappini Charitable Trust, Puppetry South Africa, The Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity, Copy Dog Productions, Mandela Bay Development Agency, Speeltheater Holland Studio, Bush Radio, FMR, and Cape Town Television.


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