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 connected to #takeachildtothetheatre.
World Day Video
2022 World Day Message from Sue Giles
World Day of Theatre is a vital marker in the ASSITEJ Year and ASSITEJ urges everyone to “Take a Child to the Theatre today” – a reminder of the responsibility of the adults around children and young people to enable their arts experiences as much as they can.
Taking a child to the theatre means re-connecting with live performance, with ideas and emotions, with human to human connection and it means upholding the rights of children and young people to arts and culture and to freedom of self-expression. Listening to children and young people is terribly important – hearing them and accepting the need for change is even more so.
To quote the Manifesto of ASSITEJ, we believe that much more needs to be done to meet all countries’ obligations with respect to Articles 13 and 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This is especially true in light of the current pandemic, the crisis of conflict that plays out in so many countries around the world, and the urgent need for equity and equal opportunities for every child to live in a sustainable, safe and healthy world. Arts and culture allow us to imagine the world we wish to create for and with our children and young people, and are therefore crucial as we take action to ensure better conditions for our societies.
Now is the time when live theatre and performance is most needed as a reassurance that imagination can conquer fear. This is a time when the courage and conviction of artists who make Theatre and performance for Young Audiences all around the world can help to create space for release, catharsis, and the expression of joy in children and young people everywhere. We have seen such inventive, determined creation, such commitment, and we know by examples from all our members, the dedication to keep making theatre and performance for the very youngest through to young adults has not faded. We are a community that has become stronger.
Children and young people have felt the impact of loss of socialisation, of confidence and hope and this has deeply affected their mental health; decision-makers everywhere are sitting up and take notice. Our young audiences and participants are more in need of art, culture, theatre and performance than ever before; those essential experiences that provide openings, broader points of view, the possibility of impossibility, fun and wonder, beauty and emotion; experiences that give meaning to a chaotic world and remind us of the bonds of humanity.
The World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People urges adults to “take a child to the theatre today” – wherever it can happen: in the street, in a building, on the screen, in your own rooms, through radio and texts, through play and pretend, through creation and making. We will be there, with whatever we can, to provide the magic that we have all been missing.
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Share your messages on our page!
ASSITEJ invites all its members to contribute to the WDT 2022 by giving a voice to children and young people!
1° Ask a young theatre maker or theatre lover why theatre is important
2° Post his / her response on
ASSITEJ Fundraising campaign
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.
Last year ASSITEJ Italy raised 1400 euros from the campaign, through asking audiences to add a small donation to their ticket price. The money was collected and then donated to Jacaranda Theatre Arts Festival Festival in Zambia, and to SAFE (Southern African Festival for Children and Young People) in Zimbabwe, to aid
audience access to these events. The determination for the funding was made by ASSITEJ Executive Committee after an open call.
Should you wish to contribute in this way, please contact the Secretary-General of ASSITEJ.
We hope that as many members as possible will get behind the campaign for 2020 so that we can make as big an impact as possible which supports the rights of children and young people to engage with theatre.
World Performance Week is a concept initiated by ASSITEJ, in collaboration
with other international associations involved with different art forms related to live performance, which celebrate their World Days between March 20th and March 27th.
We invite you to build partnerships with these associations in your own country and to participate in World Performance Week where this is possible. The week includes March 20th, ASSITEJ World Day of theatre for children and young people (and the campaign “Take a child to the theatre”), March 21st, UNIMA’s World Puppetry Day, March 22nd, World Mime Organisation’s World Mime Day, and March 27th, ITI’s World Theatre Day, which is also celebrated by other associations, such as IATC, IDEA, AITA/IATA and others. Use the unifying logo, as well as the ASSITEJ logo and the Take a Child to the Theatre Today logo, if you wish to promote the week.