See numerous works at Cradle of Creativity 2019
See numerous works at Cradle of Creativity 2019

Cradle of Creativity 2019 is an ASSITEJ South Africa production which runs from 20 to 25 August 2019. This feast of Theatre for Young Audiences is at the Baxter in Rosebank, Theatre Arts Admin Collective and Magnet Theatre in Observatory and at Guga S’Thebe in Langa.

Cradle of Creativity is a biennial festival and conference of theatre for children and young people. It’s a celebration of inspiring international, African and South African theatre, dance, music and puppetry. Each show is created especially for its young audience: some experiences to delight the very young – even babies.

Other works aim to challenge and intrigue teens and young adults. All are welcome – schools, families, and theatre practitioners. Teachers can make block bookings for learners to attend a full day of performances and workshops. Delegates and artists can sign up for seminars, workshops and discussions; extending their professional development and adding to the TYA conversation.

Magnet Theatre. Picture: Mark Wessels.
Magnet Theatre. Picture: Mark Wessels.

Schools welcome, family focus

Schools are welcome to make group bookings during the week for either one show or a package of workshops and performances. Over the weekend, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August, there is a special family focus and the organisers encourage you to bring along grandparents, uncles and aunts to join all the children and young people for two days of fun, entertainment and imagination.

Giant puppets will parade in the Baxter’s gardens in a show from Barrydale called River and Redfin. Francois le Roux will perform a concert of Ha!Man and food stalls will provide snacks to enjoy between experiencing quality theatrical work created with young people in mind and heart.

The Cradle of Creativity 2019 programme includes work for every age.

There is a gentle introduction to theatre for the very young: Babah by PuppeTrix Theatre is literally for babies, a multi-sensory experience for babies 4 to 12 months old and their caregivers. Sail Away has been created by Storywood Theatre for children from 0 to 2 years who are on the autism spectrum, and The Tree Song by See Think Wonder is for 1 to 4 year olds who are hearing impaired.

South African work for the Early Years, little people aged 2 to 7, includes Magnet Theatre’s Sh! and Rockin Mbokodo; Inala Theatre and Janni Young Production’s Lumkaand The Mermaid from Zanzibar by one of our favourite storytellers, Pedro the Music Man. From further afield, we welcome Transform with a cast from Botswana and Mozambique and Plasticka from Botswana and Uganda, The Elephant from an Egg from Germany, and Lumière! So Jazzfrom France as well as an extraordinary dance work from the Dutch company, De Stilte called Hi Ha Hut Builders.

For children at primary school the Cradle of Creativity offers much to keep them intrigued. Night/Light by Blank Canvas Kollective uses live music, video projection, shadows and light-play to explore when we feel alone and afraid of the dark. Dream by LunchBox Theatre is the engaging story about a girl who goes missing and the little boy who won’t give up on her, and Galelaby Wellworn Theatre Company shows us that children with the biggest imaginations will save the world.

Hani: the Legacy is an award-winning musical from the Market Theatre Laboratory; Evil is a multi-award winning play based on the autobiography of French-Swedish author Jan Guillou and performed by Jacques de Silva; produced by the National School of the Arts. Two shows directed by Thando Doni: On the Run and Warona are both visual and challenging.

Ensembles – Unga Klara, Wellworn Theatre Company

Ensembles of two companies, Unga Klara from Sweden and Wellworn Theatre Company from South Africa present work for young people of different ages.

Unga Klara’s X is about Sweden’s colonial history and is for young adults, 15 years and up. Girls will make you blush is one of the first performances on the theme of puberty for young adults aged 13 years and up. My true selves is about identity for children 9 to12 years.

Well Worn Theatre Company’s popup storybook play, Rat Race, is for 4 to 6 year olds, Galela and Plastocracy challenge 8 to 12 year olds to think about environmental issues, while Burning Rebellion is an ecological protest poem.

The prize-winning play of the African Play Writing Competition, Dipalo, written by LaluMokuku and Ginni Manning will also be showcased.

What: Cradle of Creativity 2019
When: 20 to 25 August 2019
Where: Baxter Theatre, Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Magnet Theatre, Guga S’Thebe, Cape Town
Tickets: Webtickets, Adults R80, children R50, group bookings R30