Theatre thinkers come together to discuss the importance of theatre for young people at the Cradle of Creativity.
Excitement is building as Cape Town prepares for one of the most exciting periods in children and young people’s theatre. The Cradle of Creativity: The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young Audiences opens on the 16 May and run until 27 May bringing with it a world congress, a festival of theatre and a conference. While Artscape, The Baxter Theatre and the Cape Town City Hall stages welcome twelve days of once-in-a- lifetime theatre productions, the conference brings together some of the foremost thinkers in theatre-making for young people.
The Cradle of Creativity kicks off with a two day conference (16-17 May), organised by the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) in association with the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department and University of the Witwatersrand’s Drama for Life. This academic conference brings together theatre practitioners in various fields, to discuss the importance of theatre for young people, not only in entertainment and education, but also in healing and social change. The event is supported by a generous grant from the National Research Foundation of South Africa.
Day One of the conference opens with a keynote address by Dr. Ekua Ekumah, entitled Multidisciplinary theatre: fostering intercultural tolerance and educational reforms in Ghana and beyond. Matthew Reason from the United Kingdom opens the second day with his keynote address entitled Children, Spectatorship and Diversity. Both papers speak, with pertinence, to South Africa and Africa as a whole and the world, particularly in its current state of flux.
The first day of the conference features addresses and panel discussions on the role of young people’s theatre plays in world issues such as the exile and plight of refugees and migrants, gender, diversity, disability and inclusivity, democracy, transformation and citizenship. A keynote panel will examine contemporary writing and expressive literacy.
Day two follows similar themes with addresses on socially conscious theatre, diversity and interculturality. The keynote panel is a discussion hosted by the International Association of Theatre Critics looking at the role of mature criticism in children’s theatre.
Academics, theatre makers, educators, critics and those with a love of young people’s theatre, will share their voices in what will be an important conversation to theatre as a whole. For two days The Cradle of Creativity: The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young Audiences will be a place of learning, engaging and sharing of ideas and experiences. The academic conference will be followed by a series of Focus Days, which break down the subject into specific components and look more deeply and intensively at Theatre for Healing, Theatre and Inclusivity, Theatre for the Early Years, Music and Dance Theatre for Young Audiences, amongst other topics.