ASSITEJ South Africa presents Cradle of Creativity, a biennial festival and conference of theatre for young people, from Tuesday August 20 to Sunday August 25, at Guga S’thebe in Langa, the Baxter theatre in Rosebank and Theatre Arts Admin Collective and Magnet Theatre in Observatory.
Cradle of Creativity is a celebration of international and South African theatre, dance, music and puppetry.
Each show is created especially for its young audience, from babies to teenagers and young adults.
All are welcome to attend, particularly schools, families and theatre practitioners.
Teachers can make block bookings for pupils to attend a full day of performances and workshops while artists can sign up for seminars, workshops and discussions.
Artists from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, the USA and Australia are due to attend.
There is a gentle introduction to theatre for babies aged four to 12 months in Babah by PuppeTrix Theatre. The multi-sensory experience is for the babies 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 those aged 2 to 7, includes Magnet Theatre’s Sh! and Rockin Mbokodo; Inala Theatre and Janni Young Production’s Lumka; and The Mermaid from Zanzibar by Pedro the Music Man.
From further afield, they 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 Jazz from France as well as a dance work from the Dutch company, De Stilte called Hi Ha Hut Builders.
For children at primary school, Night/ Light by Blank Canvas Kollective in Johannesburg uses live music, video projection, shadows and light-play to explore feeling alone and being afraid of the dark.
Dream by LunchBox Theatre is a story about a girl who goes missing and the little boy who won’t give up on her, and Galela by Wellworn Theatre Company will show how children with the biggest imaginations will save the world.
High school pupils can see Hani: the Legacy, a musical from the Market Theatre Laboratory; and Evil, a multi-award winning play based on the autobiography of French-Swedish author Jan Guillou and performed by Johannesburg actor, Jacques de Silva.
There are also two shows directed by Thando Doni: On the Run and Waronaare.
The ensembles of two companies, Unga Klara from Sweden and Wellworn Theatre Company from South Africa will present a range of their work for young people of different ages.
The prize-winning play of the African Play Writing Competition, Dipalo, written by Lalu Mokuku and Ginni Manning will also be showcased. This play is for young adults, 15 and over and deals with the issue of corruption of religious leaders through the eyes of two young friends as their relationship grows.
ASSITEJ was established in 1965 by a global alliance of organisations and individuals involved in the promotion of theatre for young people.
It is present in more than 100 countries and ASSITEJ South Africa was launched as a national association in 2007.
Tickets for Cradle of Creativity are through Webtickets and cost R80 for adults, R50 for children and R30 for group bookings. For the full festival programme, visit www.cradleofcreativity.com