ASSITEJ (the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) mourns the loss of Carlos Herans, Spain, who died Thursday morning, 22 June 2017.
Carlos Herans made an immense impact on the Spanish theatre scene, on cultural politics in Spain and on arts education globally. He also made a vital and lasting contribution to the creation and development of the Small Size network, which focuses on the rights of the youngest citizens to experience the highest quality arts especially made for them.
In 2016, the Small Size Network proposed him for the ASSITEJ Applause Award for Lifetime Achievement, and this honour was bestowed at the Cradle of Creativity, in Cape Town this May. Unfortunately, Carlos was unable to travel to the awards ceremony, having broken his leg just before being due to leave.
We send our deepest condolences to the family of Carlos Herans and to his broader family – the theatre family – who have all benefitted so much from his extraordinary gifts and humanity. We remember him with deep love and gratitude for all that he has contributed to the artistic life.
We quote here the nomination statement from Small Size, which is a fitting testimony to the extraordinary role he played in the world of theatre:
Carlos Herans, born in Madrid 1945, has a long career both in making theatre himself and making theatre accessible to children and adults. He has directed more than 50 plays, mostly for children. Carlos has taught physical theater and direction in different theatre schools in Spain.
For over 28 years he was the coordinator and organizer of the summer school on Drama for educators (2500 participants in Madrid area). During this time he was also responsible of the projects on theatre and visual arts in schools of greater Madrid.
From 1985 to 2009 (25 years) he was the Artistic Director of “Las Semanas Internacionales de Teatro Para Ninos y Ninas” which was a touring festival that provided a programme of performances and workshops for school children throughout the city of Madrid and then expanded to other cities in Spain in his quest to the provision and access to the arts for children in Spain. His passion and personal commitment to the development of education structures towards more creative pedagogy in Spanish schools led to the creation of important Spanish associations: Accion Educativa, Te Veo and Instituto psicopedagógica de las Artes.
Carlos Herans is one of the founders and unsung heroes of the Artistic international association, Small size. In the frame of the association he has worked tirelessly and without any fanfare as he published articles, directed and produced many films on the work of the association, planned and designed the Small size installation in ASSITEJ Congress in Malmö.
Carlos Herans created, together with Michel Van Loo and Roberto Frabetti, the first Small size project, helping it grow year after year, project after project, and involving in the artistic research addressed to Early Years more and more theatres in Europe, particularly in Spain. He gave a strong contribution to the growth of the project through his experience of author, director and producer of the festival “Semanas”, where he created -with the section dedicated to the youngest of children – one of the most important international showcases of theatre for early years.
He also participated in ASSITEJ activities: He directed The Crusade of Children (by B. Brecht) that was presented in ASSITEJ Congress and festival in Torremolinos and he participated in two ASSITEJ seminars for directors in 1988 and 1990.
The Artistic International Association Small Size asks that Carlos Herans would be one of the chosen nominees. He is one of those, who most of the time works in the curtains, making the impossible happen, and who has a big respect for children, their capacities and imagination.”
ASSITEJ salutes Carlos Herans, a pioneer for the arts for children and young people, who played a distinctive and inspiring role throughout his life to further the field.
For the ASSITEJ Applause Award for Lifetime Achievement there was produced a video about Carlos Herans that can be seen here.