ASSITEJ SA connects and supports theatre practitioners, companies, organisations, institutions and schools across the country, who share a belief in the transformative difference that theatre makes in the lives and education of children and young people.

It runs arts programmes that empower artists, teachers and children and young people both within and across the curriculum and in the extra-curricular space. ASSITEJ SA works strategically with a range of partners to maximise benefits for children and youth, to synergise international and local opportunities, to activate the field, to pilot and model innovative projects, and then replicate them across the country. "ASSITEJ SA is the national centre for ASSITEJ (the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People), which works in around 100 countries across the world and was founded in 1965 in Paris. ASSITEJ SA was established in July 2007 and registered as an NPO in 2009. In its first decade it significantly raised the profile of the arts for young audiences in South Africa, hosting the ASSITEJ World Congress in Africa for the first time in 2017 - the largest international theatre for young audiences festival to date on the continent.

ASSITEJ SA believes that every child and young person in our country deserves access to high quality arts, especially designed for them. 

and has reached over 276 609 beneficiaries directly, and 616 272 indirect beneficiaries. These beneficiaries are largely children and youth, aged 0-19, but also include emerging artists between 18-35 and other adults, most particularly teachers and care-givers, as well as established artists, parents, care-givers, academics and others interested in the power of the arts in the lives of the young.

As a network organisation, ASSITEJ SA brings together all those working in the arts and arts education for the benefit of children and youth, from township youth with a passion for the arts to the most resourced theatres in our country. The national centre of ASSITEJ SA is situated in the township of Vrygrond, Cape Town, with satellite offices in Johannesburg and Durban, and coordinators and members in all provinces. It is served by an experienced, hard working and talented board and staff, and has a pool of diverse and effective facilitators coming from its membership.

Its ongoing education programme, Kickstarter Educational Empowerment, is considered a leading vehicle for the empowerment of Creative Arts teachers and has been awarded for its excellence and innovation. This programme currently runs in three provinces, with plans for a national upscale. The Kickstarter Educational Empowerment Project was developed to ensure quality delivery of Creative Arts by primary school teachers at Intermediate Phase level, where the subject is compulsory and where the basics are being put in place. It targets teachers, paired with community-based artist facilitators, to build capacity in delivering the compulsory Creative Arts curriculum, even without previous arts’ experience. It aims to transform learning environments and learning strategies through engagement with the arts.

It is currently funded by Rand Merchant Bank.

ASSITEJ South Africa’s Theatre4Youth programme connects schools and crèches to theatre and theatre to educational institutions and community spaces. This programme creates a national framework for connecting children and young people with the theatre best suited to them, and to the educational curriculum, wherever they happen to live. Through Theatre4Youth, we take children and youth to the theatre and take theatre to young audiences in crèches, community halls, schools, theatres and other spaces. The programme includes an interactive online resource that helps schools select innovative, high quality, age-appropriate theatre experiences and workshops for their learners, as well as a print catalogue to market productions to schools. Teachers are able to request productions about the subjects or themes they feel are most important.

We also mentor artists to create, develop and tour productions so that theatre can become a powerful resource connecting to the heart, mind, body and spirit of every child. These mentorship programmes take different forms – some are for individuals, and some for companies. See The programme has been funded by the National Arts Council, the National Lotteries commission and UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity, and is a core programme of ASSITEJ SA

ASSITEJ SA also runs the After School Game Changer programme in the Western Cape, which trains facilitators working in the after school space at schools, providing high quality arts activities for learners at the end of the school day. This is a year-long training programme, which we have been delivering for the Western Cape Government (Dept of Cultural Affairs and Sports) since 2017.

ASSITEJ SA also runs ad-hoc educational programmes which involve curriculum-linked workshops and productions for learners. These include the Langa Heritage Museum production about the pass system, the Warhorse educational workshops (an award-winning project linked to History, Languages and Life Skills) and the Remix Dance Education project which linked disabled children with able-bodied children in an educational project.

Wherever possible we look for strategic synergies between these projects and our core educational investment programme, Kickstarter Educational Empowerment.

Contact Person

Yvette Hardie
+27 82 859 5635

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