Cradle of Creativity: The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young Audiences is a spectacular African festival with some of the most exciting international and local theatre for young audiences set to take to the stage in Cape Town this May. Cradle of Creativity, in partnership with the South African National Arts Council, takes place from 16 to 27 May, and is a once in a life-time opportunity to see brilliant theatre for young audiences at one event which includes a World Congress, Festival and Conference.

'What Goes Up' will be performed at the Cradle of Creativity. Photograph Jesse Stevenson
‘What Goes Up’ will be performed at the Cradle of Creativity. Photograph Jesse Stevenson

The programme includes 64 productions from 85 countries, cultural hubs in Langa, Atlantis, Phillip and Vryground, youth development initiatives, an academic conference, and more, all working to promote long term the need for young people to have access to the arts.

The event offers rich diversity and opportunities for local audiences and artists, and will take place across Cape Town at Artscape, the Baxter and the Cape Town City Hall. Productions on offer at the Festival include works for babies, toddlers, children, tweens and teens.  In addition, Magnet Theatre: Early Years Fringe will offer three days of work dedicated solely to theatre for children aged 0-7 from 24 – 26 May.  Cradle of Creativity will also take place at Cultural Hubs in Atlantis, Gugulethu, Langa and Philippi over the weekend of 20 and 21 May.

'Sparrow' at the ASSITEJ Festival
‘Sparrow’ at the ASSITEJ Festival

Academic conference

The conversation at Cradle of Creativity is made up of an intensive two-day academic conference on 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 is followed by a series of focus days from 18–27 May, themed around aspects of theatre for youth such as Theatre and/as Education,  Theatre for Social Change, Theatre for Healing, Theatre for the Early Years and Dance Theatre for Young Audiences.

The Congress of ASSITEJ International will be a four-day meeting of ASSITEJ representatives from nearly 100 different countries. Under the leadership of President Yvette Hardie, the strategy for the next three years will be decided upon by the members of the 52–year-old organisation.


'Rite of Spring' will be performed at the Cradle of Creativity. Photograph PhileDeprez
‘Rite of Spring’ will be performed at the Cradle of Creativity. Photograph PhileDeprez

Expect a celebration of intercultural exchange at the Cradle of Creativity with works from around the world right here in the Mother City showcasing almost an entire alphabet of countries:  Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Denmark to Z:  Zambia and Zimbabwe with a whole lot in between including: Germany, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, and Spain.

What is ASSITEJ?

ASSITEJ (Fr) is the international association of theatre for children and young audiences, founded in Paris in 1965. It’s currently under the leadership of its first African President, Yvette Hardie, director of ASSITEJ SA.

Members 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.

What: Cradle of Creativity: The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival for Children and Young Audiences’
When: 16 – 27 May, 2017
Where: Artscape, Baxter, City Hall and other venues
Book: Computicket

Production Company Country
A Mano El Patio Teatro / IkebanahArtesEscenicas Spain
Animal Farm – An African Adaptation Nobulali Productions South Africa
Anziehsachen Theaterhaus Ensemble Germany
CabanZA Theater de Spiegel Belgium, South Africa
Dear Mr Government, please may I have a meeting with you even though I’m six years old? Three People, under Umthunzi Holdings South Africa
Ekhaya Magnet Theatre South Africa
Fingers and Toes, My Body Knows Nicola Elliott South Africa
Full Moon Khayal Association for Arts and Eductation Lebanon
Gretel and Hansel Le Carrousel, compagnie de théâtre Canada
Insta-grammar Drama for Life Theatre Company South Africa
It’s Dark Outside The Last Great Hunt Australia
Karoo Moose Baxter Theatre Centre South Africa
Khokho’s Treasure National Children’s Theatre South Africa
Maimane! Drama for Life Theatre Company South Africa
Making Mandela Hello Elephant South Africa
Maloza – The Man Cub ASSITEJ Zambia and La Baracca Zambia, Italy
Mbuzeni KolekaPutuma South Africa
Mogatapele MOWA Art Fields South Africa
Moi, Monsieur, moi! Compagnie de la Casquette Senegal, Belgium, France
My Culture, My Strength, My Identity Chipawo Trust Zimbabwe
No Fun ctionalLanguage The Chaeli Campaign South Africa
Obisike: It takes a lion’s heart ASSITEJ Nigeria and JungesSchauspiel Nigeria, Germany
Our House Ishyo Arts Centre Rwanda, Germany
PanaliPanali Dinaledi Expressions Zambia
Patchwork Pillow Fort Prodcutions South Africa
PATRICE BALBINA’S CHANCE ENCOUNTER WITH THE END OF THE WORLD TeatroElsinor, DynamO Theatre, Presentation House Theatre, Australian. Theatre for Young Audience, Teatro O Bando, Pilot Theatre, Boomerang Italy, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany
Phefumla WunderkammerProduksjoner
Pim& Theo  New International Encounter (NIE) and OdsherredTeater  UK / DK
Pockets of Knowledge Art Breed South Africa
Red Earth Revisited Speeltheater Holland Studio South Africa
Rite of Spring Maas theatre and dance and Flatfoot Netherlands and South Africa
Sandscape Magnet Theatre Cameroon, Kenya
Seedfolks Children’s Theatre Company USA
Sensescapes DalijaAcinThelander Sweden
Simbad, o Navegante (Simbad, the Seafarer) CircoMínimo Brazil
Soro and th e Lucky Grain of Corn compagnie la vie a pied France, Reunion Island
Sparrow TeaterFot Norway
Spirit Songs Magnet Theatre Educational Trust &
The International Theatre and Literacy Project
South Africa
Tears by the River / FedelisKyalo Krystal Puppeteers Kenya
The Bookbinder Trick of the Light Theatre New Zealand
The Kids From Amandla Street Seeds of Water Pty Ltd South Africa
The Line Gina Shmuckler South Africa
The Underground Library Jon Keevy South Africa
Three Monks China National Theatre for Children China
Tiger Bay Cape Town Opera and Wales MilleniumCenter South Africa and Wales
Transhumance Corpus Canada
Us/Them Bronks Belgium
What Goes UP… FTH:K South Africa
Whiteout Barrowland Ballet Scotland
Yao Yao BRUSH Theatre LLC South Korea
ZapatobuscaSapato La Maquina de Teatro Mozambique, Mexico, Brazil
Zick Zack Puff Company Mafalda Switzerland