The deadline for proposals for performances for the Cradle of Creativity set to take place in Cape Town May 17-27, 2017 is 30 April 2016.
Jaqueline Dommisse, the festival director, Yusrah Bardien, our Communications and Marketing Manager and Jeanette Isaacman, volunteer administrative assistant, are all working through the applications which are beginning to pile up in exciting ways.
“It is our intention to curate a memorable programme for this festival and we are appealing to individuals around the world help us reach a wide and diverse number of artists to ensure a vibrant and representative programme” says Dommisse who also served as the Artistic Director of Out The Box Festival in 2010 which oversaw some 50 productions, around 16 of which were international.
Artists from a broad range of disciplines are encouraged to apply, but must have young audiences (aged from 0-19) as the target market for their work. Productions will include all types of theatre, including drama, physical theatre, dance theatre, music theatre, puppetry, site-specific performances, storytelling performances, and performances using multi-media, circus and other skills.
In addition, the festival calls for work linked to the sub-themes of our conference programme – theatre for social change, theatre for healing, theatre and storytelling, theatre and heritage, inclusive theatre and art for arts’ sake, created without condescension and without didacticism. While the festival is primarily featuring professional work for young audiences, it will also feature a select number of performances by children.
Overall, the festival encourages work which speaks to inter-cultural exchange. Collaborative productions at the festival will include work which brings African nations together with other African nations, or with nations outside of Africa, or as part of the theme of a performance.
The ASSITEJ International network extends to nearly 100 countries and also contains several specialist networks, including Small Size (theatre for early years), Write Local, Play Global (playwrights in theatre for young audiences), and Next Generation (which caters to emerging artists in the field), amongst others. The ASSITEJ event will also play host to some new and burgeoning networks, including a Dance for Young Audiences network, a Music Theatre for Young Audiences network and a Producers Network.
ASSITEJ festivals have always provided a powerful market-place for international producers from around the world. The Magnet Theatre production “Every Year, Every Day I am Walking” for example, was commissioned for the ASSITEJ Cameroon Festival: FATEJ (African Festival for Children and Youth Theatre) in 2008 and has since toured to several ASSITEJ-related festivals including the 17th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival in Copenhagen. It was after its appearance at this Congress, that invitations started to flood in and the production has toured to 18 countries to date. The Cradle of Creativity will make these kinds of connecting opportunities available to more African artists, and thus allow African (and South African) theatre for young audience artists to take their rightful place on the world stage.
In her capacity as President of ASSITEJ International Yvette Hardie, also the Director of ASSITEJ South Africa has drummed up support for the festival across the globe: “we see the Cradle of Creativity as being a catalytic event which we believe will have a powerful transformative effect on our sector in South Africa, and on the access of children and young people to the arts, into the future.”
The number of applications to date have been a positive reflection of enthusiasm for the forthcoming event. To create greater access for applications and due to the nature of unstable internet connections for many individuals, ASSITEJ SA has made the application form available to download. This will allow applicants to fill in the applications offline, before emailing their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals with little to no access to internet may hand-deliver their applications by arrangement with ASSITEJ SA.
The forms are available on the Cradle of Creativity website.