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Cradle of Creativity Conference Application Call

The International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network’s (ITYARN) Conference and ASSITEJ International Focus Days at the Cradle of Creativity.

Presenters at the ITYARN Conference have the opportunity to have their work considered for publication. The theme being Cradle of Creativity: Examining intercultural exchange and diversity in theatre for young audiences in Africa and the world.

ITYARN was founded in 2006 to address scholarly research around theatre as an art form for young audiences. This contrasted the vast amount of research focussed on process-oriented practices and impacts on education and social issues for young people. Now in its tenth year, the network body has released seven peer-reviewed publications and regularly hosts forum discussions worldwide.

“The ITYARN Conference in South Africa will be ITYARN’s most extensive project to date and the first major international research conference on theatre for young audiences in Africa. We are extremely excited about the intercultural scholarly and artistic exchange and are planning for a rich program of two days with our South African partners,” – Professor Manon van der Water of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founding member of ITYARN.

The conference takes place on 16 and 17 May 2017, and followed by a series of days dedicated to various focus areas up until 27 May 2017. These “Focus Days” will allow for discussion around a particular theme in a host of formats to encourage robust conversation. This is to engage artists in presenting workshops and projects in less formal settings as well.


  • Intercultural exchange and the child/youth in the 21st century: cultural norms and values
  • Healing/reconciliation/social change/peace through theatre
  • The challenges of childhood in the 21st century – developing creative potential through theatre
  • Resilience and arts practice
  • Processes of transformation, citizenship and social justice
  • Interdisciplinary and integrated arts for children and youth
  • Aesthetics, ethics and education in theatre/arts for children and youth
  • Theatre and cognitive science

The Cradle of Creativity (16-27 May) comprises a Festival, a Conference and a World Congress, all dedicated to theatre for young audiences. The multi-layered event will take place in Cape Town, at multiple venues. This will be the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and International Theatre Festival in its 52-year history, and the very first on the African continent.

For more information of the conference and festival, please visit the ASSITEJ website at

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