World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People has been celebrated by ASSITEJ International on 20 March since 2001. It is an important opportunity to reflect on the profound impact arts experiences have on all children and young people, and how we can ensure their access to these, even when theatre as we knew it pre-pandemic is still not possible in many parts of the world. Our own Sue Giles AM has been an ASSITEJ International Vice President since 2017, and she wrote a note to mark the day.
“World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People is something extraordinary this year, as we in Australia celebrate the fact that we can go to theatre and take children to arts experiences, and others around the world are still facing closed venues and empty rehearsal rooms. The message remains vital though – the role that we as both artists and participants in art play in all of our cultures and societies is central to identity and social cohesion. The rights of children and young people to arts and culture, to expression and participation, is something to focus on and continue championing.
The ASSITEJ International World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People campaign, ‘Take a Child to the Theatre’ acknowledges the role that adults play in children’s’ access to art. This was even more vital in the long months of lockdown as TYA artists around the world created works that reached out to homes and schools and families – always needing adults to assist and make access possible. The upcoming Victorian school holiday in April offers more for kids in real life than we could imagine was possible in the past 12 months – Melbourne, let’s take a child to arts experiences this year because we CAN!”
ASSITEJ President Yvette Hardie wrote a 2021 message.
Photography: Sarah Walker