ASSITEJ World Day of Theatre for Children is an ASSITEJ campaign, promoted and celebrated through the message ‘Take a Child to the Theatre Today’.
This focus enables National Centres, individual members, companies, arts organisations, academics, teachers, artists, practitioners and others interested in theatre for young audiences to connect with the idea of World Day and ‘make the case’ for children’s entitlement to theatre and the arts.
All ASSITEJ members are invited to promote special World Day messages written every year, share the ASSITEJ film and consider additional activity – large or small. Each year ASSITEJ Centres around the globe deliver activities ranging from conferences, performances, workshops and special media events. This tool-kit aims to help you plan for World Day 2016, which happens on March 20th.
The message ‘take a child to the theatre – today’ can be promoted as a message and as a call to action, it can promote regional activity and theatre events and by linking to other information, illustrate why it is important to take a child to the theatre.
World Day is a global campaign. ASSITEJ has more than 80 National Centres as well as Networks with affiliates across 100 countries, which means there is unlimited possibility for profile, visibility and advocacy.
World Day 2016
1) Take A Child To The Theatre Today LOGO
These are available to download from the ASSITEJ website. An interchangeable version is also available, so that each country can include the text in their own language, as well as change the picture if they wish to do so – http://www.assitej-international.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ZIP_WDT2016-2.zip
2) World Day Messages
Since 2001, each year there has been a World Day message written by a different theatre-related personality or advocate. This has included Peter Brook, Augusto Boal, Suzanne Osten, Suzanne Lebeau, Michael Morpurgo, Malala Yousafzai & Guila Clara Kessous (Unesco Artist for Peace 2015) among others. There is also a new message each year from the President of ASSITEJ: http://www.assitej-international.org/about/world-day/.
These messages should be shared with all members via each National Centre or Network. The messages can be promoted on websites, read at events, published, shared on social media, discussed, referred to in press releases and used in any way that will promote the global campaign.
For 2016, the World Day Message is written by UK based Jenny Sealey (MBE) who co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and who is Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company which creates world-class inclusive theatre, championing the work of deaf and disabled artists.
3) World Day Video
You can see all World Day videos on the ASSITEJ YouTube Channel alongside other National Centre activity: http://www.youtube.com/user/ASSITEJINTERNATIONAL?feature=watch
Members are invited to create their own short videos and digital media using the languages of their country or region, ASSITEJ will then share these with the rest of the Membership.
For 2016, the World Day video has been created in Nigeria by Jeremiah Ikongio. This will be promoted on the ASSITEJ Website and through social media from early February.
4) Social Media
By using social media (twitter, Facebook, vine, Instagram etc), individuals can promote the message ‘Take A Child to the Theatre Today’ and link this to the ASSITEJ site and other platforms (YouTube), which will host the media mentioned above.
A campaign around SMS (texts) could also be created to promote the message. Please use the hashtag #takeachildtothetheatre.
Some countries use the campaign as a rallying call to ask for donations to ensure that children and young people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to theatre get an opportunity to do so on this day.
The ASSITEJ Facebook page exists as a communication tool, which Facebook friends can link to and also post on, which admins can then share through the ASSITEJ newsfeed. We want all our members to keep us updated about what they are doing for the campaign. https://www.facebook.com/ASSITEJ.International
5) Press Releases
Where possible, individuals, organizations and institutions should connect to local and national media through a press release. This could then be connected to activity within each region and be used to endorse theatre activity for young audiences.
In addition, interviews, testimonials and statements from VIPS, artists, politicians, as well as cultural decision makers, child specialists could be a good way to promote the message and establish why it is important to take children to the theatre.
OTHER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
National Centre’s promote World Day in different ways around the world with some Centre’s running workshops, performances and special events, which are widely acknowledged.
Here are some possible activities and events which could be created to promote World Day by National Centre’s and organisations:
- Award events/ceremonies highlighting good practice and special achievements in the field of theatre for young audiences
- Conferences, forums, round tables, seminars or workshop events which focus on a particular theme
- Performances including street theatre, script readings, dance performances, monologues.
- Festivals of performances
- Distribution of flyers/ printed materials with the message Take a Child to the Theatre Today – connected to schools or theatres.
- Other advertising opportunities potentially supported by sponsors
- Film projects linking with schools and universities where students can engage with the World Day campaign
- Drama activity/workshop in schools and theatres
- Special Fundraisers or gala occasions to raise funds to ensure that children and young people get access to the theatre.