March 20th is the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People and is celebrated worldwide through the campaign “Take a Child to the Theatre”.
ASSITEJ unites theatres, organisations and individuals throughout the world who make theatre for children and young people. ASSITEJ is dedicated to the artistic, cultural and educational rights of children and young people across the globe and advocates on behalf of all children regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion. ASSITEJ brings people together so that they can share knowledge and practice within the field of theatre for children and young people in order to deepen understandings, develop practice, create new opportunities and strengthen the global sector. The members of ASSITEJ are national centres, professional networks, and individuals from around 100 countries across the world.
ASSITEJ president Yvette Hardie says : “In this age where more and more people are being shunned, turned away at borders and airports, rejected because they come from a different class, ethnicity, language group or religion, it is the artist who has the capacity to provide a sense of belonging, of connection.” Yoshi Oida says “Since I was born, I grew up mimicking my parents all the time. How to walk, how to eat, and how to talk; I learned all of these from mimicking my parents. Then from when I became old enough to understand things, taken by parents, I learned to go to the theatre. Theatre was for me, the magic country.”
The focus enables national centres, individual members, companies, arts organisations, academics, teachers, artists, practitioners and others interested in theatre for young audiences to connect with the idea of world day and ‘make the case’ for children’s entitlement to theatre and the arts.
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World Theatre Day is celebrated on 27 March 2020.