ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence

Honorary Presidents’ Award 

The ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence is given every three years for noteworthy artistic achievement in the field of theater for children and young people, and is the most prestigious award given by the organization.
This award is given to an individual or to a company working in the field of Theater for Children and Young People, nominated by either their national ASSITEJ center or professional network.
It was to recognize emerging artists and innovation that the award was created by the late Dr. Nat Eek, Honorary President and former ASSITEJ World President (1972-75) in memory of his wife, Patricia Fulton Eek.The award is generously funded by the family of Nat Eek.

The award was named and presented in commemoration of all Honorary Presidents of ASSITEJ, those past and those yet to come.

Who can nominate?

Each full member of ASSITEJ (national centre or network) can put forward ONE candidate for this award in any three year period. 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 their nomination has received the Award.

Who can win the award? 

The Award is given to one or more individual creative artists or companies that has achieved noteworthy artistic excellence in Theatre for Children and Young People.
Only the creative work during the previous three years can be considered for the Award.
No individual artist or group may receive the Award more than once.

What is the nomination process?

Nominators should provide

  1. A Nomination Statement (2 pages) giving the motivation for why this person or company or theatre should receive the award.
  2. A list of items supporting the nominations (ex: Videos, photos, reviews, articles, etc.), maximum of six. 
  3. Nomination form. (The form will be made available in due course)

These items must be sent to the Secretary General: 

When must nominations be received?

The due date for nominations for this term (2021-2024) will be announced later.

How is the winner selected?

During the second year of each term, the President of ASSITEJ, with the approval of the Executive Committee (EC), selects and appoints the five-member Jury. Three members are chosen from the current EC, and two are appointed from among the National Centers not on the EC.
The Jury meets to review the nominations and to select the winner during the EC Meeting prior to the World Congress.
The Jury adjudicating the award will give special priority to emerging artists, new and exciting companies, although established individuals or theaters that begin working in a new and innovative way will also be considered.

What will Award winners receive?

The award carries a prize of $5,000. If there is more than one winner, the 5,000, will be divided between them.
Award winners will be celebrated at an Awards Ceremony during the ASSITEJ World Congress, and will have special acknowledgement on the website of ASSITEJ.

Past winners
  • 20th ASSITEJ World Congress – Tokyo, Japan (2021): Dalija Acin Thelander (Serbia) & Ellie Griffiths (UK)
  • 19th ASSITEJ World Congress – Cape Town, South Africa (2017): Johan De Smet (Belgium), Mattias Andersson (Sweden) & Nadezhda Alexeeva (Honorable Mention) – (Russia)
  • 18th ASSITEJ World Congress – Warsaw, Poland (2014): Liesbeth Coltof (Netherlands), Honourable mentions: 1. Lütz Hubner (Germany), 2. Tristek-p (Switzerland), 3. Company TPO (Italy), 4. Magnet Theatre (South Africa) 
  • 17th ASSITEJ World Congress – Copenhagen, Denmark & Malmö, Sweden (2011): Teatret Gruppe 38 (Denmark) & NIE, New International Encounters (Various)
  • 16th ASSITEJ World Congress – Adelaide, Australia (2008): La Baracca (Italy)
  • 15th ASSITEJ World Congress – Montreal, Canada (2005): The Zeal Theatre (Australia) & Kim Woo Ok (Korea)
  • 14th ASSITEJ World Congress – Seoul, Korea (2002): Suzanne Osten (Sweden)
  • 13th ASSITEJ World Congress – Tromsø, Norway (1999): Arena Theatre (Australia) & Eva Bergman (Honourable Mention) (Sweden)
  • 12th ASSITEJ World Congress – Rostov-on-Don, Russia (1996): Michael Bartenev (Russia), The Barking Gecko Theatre Company (Australia), Volker Ludwig (Germany) and Ray Nüsselein (Denmark)

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.


Questions can be sent to Louis Valente, Secretary-General: