Honorary Presidents’ Award


In 1990 at the Stockholm World Congress, Dr. Nat Eek (USA) realized that ASSITEJ International had no official Award to give to its members that honored their artistic excellence in theatre for young audiences. Wishing to honor the memory of his wife Patricia Fulton Eek who died in 1989, and who was a lighting designer and an ardent advocate of theatre for young people as well as ASSITEJ, he established the Honorary Presidents Award of ASSITEJ.

It is named and presented on behalf of all the Honorary Presidents of ASSITEJ International – Gerald Tyler (Great Britain), Konstantin Shak-Azizov (Russia), Nat Eek (USA), Vladimir Adamek (Czech Republic), Ilse Rodenberg (Germany), Michael Fitzgerald (Australia), Wolfgang Schneider (Germany), those past and those yet to come.

This ASSITEJ Award was established and accepted by the Executive Committee at the 1993 World Congress in Cuba.

Those who have received the Award in the past are:

2017 – 19th ASSITEJ World Congress – Cape Town, South Africa

Johan De Smet – Belgium
Mattias Andersson – Sweden
(Honorable Mention) Nadezhda Alexeeva – Russia

2014 – 18th ASSITEJ World Congress – Warsaw, Poland

Liesbeth Coltof – Netherlands

The Award was $5,000.

2011 – 17th ASSITEJ World Congress – Copenhagen, Denmark & Malmoe, Sweden

NIE (New International Encounters) – Norway & Germany
Teatret Gruppe 38 – Denmark

The Award was $2,500 each, a total of $5,000

2008 – 16th ASSITEJ World Congress – Adelaide, Australia

La Baracca – Italy

The Award was $5,000.



2005 – 15th ASSITEJ World Congress – Montreal, Canada

The Zeal Theatre – Australia
Kim Woo-Ok – Korea

The Award was $2,500 each, a total of $5,000


2002 – 14th ASSITEJ World Congress – Seoul, Korea

Suzanne Osten, director & playwright – Sweden

The Award was $5,000


1999 – 13th ASSITEJ World Congress – Trömso, Norway

Arena Theatre Company – Australia
Eva Bergman, regiseur – Sweden – Honorable Mention

The Award was $2,000


1996 – 12th ASSITEJ World Congress – Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Michael Bartenev, playwright – Russia
The Barking Gecko Theatre Company – Australia
Volker Ludwig, performing artist – Germany
Ray Nüsselein, performing artist – Denmark

The Award was $250 each winner, a total of $1,000

Definition and Criteria

The initial purpose of the Award is to encourage membership in the international organization among all national centers, to bring recognition to the younger artists in the field in those national centers, and to give them some financial assistance in their work. It was not intended to honor those artists well established in their field, many of whom have already been well honored by their associates and their governments. A financial reward can mean much more to a younger or emerging artist.

However, the 2005 Committee felt that "young" did not apply to age, but to the newness of the artistic work of the individual or theatre. They also recognized that this newness must be represented in the past three (3) years of artistic work.

The criteria for the winning of the Honorary Presidents Award are:

  1. The Award is given every three years in an appropriate ceremony at the current World Congress.
  2. The Award is given to an individual creative artist or company that has achieved noteworthy artistic excellence in theatre for children and young people.
  3. Only the creative work during the previous three years by an individual artist or group can be considered for the Award.
  4. Once a member of a national center has won the Award, that center may not make a nomination again until six years later, or the second World Congress after receiving the Award.
  5. No individual artist or group may receive the Award more than once.

The Award

The Honorary Presidents Award of ASSITEJ consists of:

  1. A check for $5,000 US.
  2. A printed Certificate attesting to the winning of the Award.
  3. An engraved goblet along with a bottle of champagne for appropriate celebration.
  4. The donor hopes in 2008 to increase the Award to $10,000 U.S.

Each of the Nominees for the Award receives a printed Certificate which declares the following:

[Name] was nominated by [his or her] National Center for ASSITEJ
for the [Year] Honorary Presidents Award of ASSITEJ
for excellence in the profession of Theatre for Children and Youth
and is due congratulations and high commendation for that nomination.

Nomination Process

  1. During Year II the Secretary-General sends to all national centers via e-mail and/or regular mail the Announcement of the Award for the next Congress, a list of the history, rules, and regulations, along with a Nomination Form. All this information is also made available for down-loading from the ASSITEJ Web-Site.
  2. The Nomination Form Here.

  3. All completed Nomination Forms must be received by the Secretariat by the deadline date indicated on the Form, usually in Year III six months prior to the date of the next World Congress.

Jury Selection

  1. During Year II the President of ASSITEJ, with the approval of the EXCOM, selects and appoints the five-member Jury. Three members are chosen from the current EXCOM, and two are appointed from among the national centers not on the EXCOM.
  2. The Jury meets to review the Nominations and to select an Awardee during the EXCOM Meeting just prior to the next World Congress in Year III. This is normally three to six months prior to the meeting of the World Congress.
  3. If necessary ASSITEJ will assist in the financial costs of getting the two non-EXCOM members to the meeting of the Jury.

Jury Deliberation Process

[Provided by Klaus Eggert, Chair of the 2005 Jury]

  1. Prior to the meeting, all Members of the Jury receive copies of the nomination forms as well as the enclosures attached to each nomination.
  2. Upon meeting, the Jury first reviews all the Nominees to see if there is any conflict of interest between the Nominees and their Centers, and a member of the Jury. Examples are: a Jury member from the nominating country, or a Jury member from a neighboring country. This has usually been resolved by the Jury member in conflict excusing himself or herself from voting on that Nomination. However, they are expected to participate freely in the discussion.
  3. After reviewing all the submitted materials, the Jury discusses the merits of each Nominee based on the submitted materials, and each Juror's personal experience and knowledge of the candidates and their artistic work.
  4. The Jury narrows the Nominees down to two or three of the most meritorious.
  5. The Jury then votes or agrees on the Awardee, and in the past this has usually been unanimous. In the event of their inability to choose only one Awardee, the Jury in the past has divided the Award.
  6. Once a decision has been reached, the Jury forwards their decision and recommendation to the EXCOM for their final approval.
  7. Once the EXCOM has approved the Awardee, the Secretary-General notifies all concerned of the decision.


1. Once an Awardee has been selected, it is the responsibility of the Chair of the
Jury to send the Report of their Selection to:

a. The Secretary-General
b. The President

2. It is then the responsibility of the Secretary-General to notify:

a. The Donor
b. The Awardee

of this decision.

The Donor's Responsibilities

  1. To provide the money for the cash Award to be given to the Awardee.
  2. To provide the engraved goblet and the bottle of champagne for the Awardee.
  3. To provide the appropriate Certificates of Nomination and Awarding for all the Nominees.
  4. To be present at the Award Ceremony to make the presentation of the Award, or to appoint an appropriate person to make the presentation.

ASSITEJ's Responsibility to the Donor

  1. To send a copy of the Award Announcement and Nomination Form to the donor at the time of their issue.
  2. To send a copy of the Jury's Selection Report to the donor after the time of the Jury's deliberation.
  3. To request the donor's approval of the recommendation, only in terms of fulfilling the criteria of the Award, not whether the Awardee is to be approved or not.
  4. To notify the donor of the time and place of the Awards Ceremony, and to request his presence.

Time Table Following the Previous World Congress

Year I – [no activity]

Year II – Notification of the Award and Nomination Form is sent to all National Centers by the Secretary-General from the Secretariat, with a date certain for the return of all nominations and materials. The President with the approval of the EXCOM selects the five-person Jury.

Year III – The Jury meets for deliberation and selection of the Awardee. The meeting is held in conjunction with the regular EXCOM meeting held just prior to the next World Congress.

The Jury notifies the EXCOM of their selection, and the EXCOM approves it.

The Secretary-General notifies the Donor only for his approval in relation to the rules of the Award. It is not within the purview of the Jury to change the rules of the Award. If the Jury desires changes, those changes can only be made with the approval of the EXCOM and the Donor.

The Secretary-General notifies the winner of the Award.

The Award and Certificates to all the nominees are presented to the winners at an appropriate ceremony during the next World Congress.