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Sue Giles – President
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Sue Giles has worked for Theatre for Young Audiences for over 40 years. Until recently she was Artistic Director and co CEO of Polyglot Theatre for 22 years, leaving the company at the end of 2022 to focus on advocacy and experimentation in TYA.
While at Polyglot Sue established an international reputation for contemporary theatre works that engage with children to create experiences that combine theatre, play and visual spectacle. Her works have been performed in 20 countries on five continents in five different languages. Sue has been an advocate and leader in the TYA sector since 2003 and is currently a board member of Theatre Network Australia, as ASSITEJ Australia. She was elected onto the Executive Committee of ASSSITEJ International in Warsaw 2014.
Sue was appointed one of the Vice Presidents of ASSITEJ International after re-election in Cape Town 2017 and was elected President In Tokyo 2021. In 2018 she received the Australian Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award and authored Young People and the Arts: An Agenda for Change. In 2019 Sue was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for significant service as an Artistic Director and to children’s theatre and was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Theatre Fellowship for her work in advocacy.
Louis Valente – Secretary General
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Louis Valente Sørensen was elected Secretary General of ASSITEJ in 2017 & again in 2021. He is also the Executive Director of ASSITEJ Denmark and responsible for the international relations at the Danish Aprilfestival by Teatercentrum.
The secretariat in Copenhagen is funded by ASSITEJ Denmark, the Danish Arts Foundation and Teatercentrum.
Louis’ educational background consists of a masters’ degree in philosophy and cultural encounters. He is raised in the world of TYA and has been involved as translator and tour manager before entering ASSITEJ. Louis is married to a Cuban actress with whom he has two children. He speaks, reads and writes – besides his Danish mother tongue – Spanish and English.
Bebê de Soares – Vice President
In 1994, after a successful international career in dance, Bebê de Soares started to work as an actress, director and producer, co-founding T4G – Teatro 4Garoupas with the Austrian director Arno Kleinofen in Cologne, Germany. Their collaboration was awarded and critically acclaimed in Brazil and in Germany.
In 2002 she created AMAZONAS NETWORK- office for cultural exchange creating projects that promote international exchange in the field of theater for young audiences and dance.
Since 2017 she has been a member of the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International as well as International Coordinator of Te Veo Assitej Chile, co-producer and program director of FITA CHILE, the biennial Ibero-American showcase for children and young audiences.
In 2018 she became a board member of IPAY – International Performing Arts for Young Audiences in the US.
She is co-curator of the MOSTRA ESPETACULAR! in Curitiba, Brazil.
In February 2019 she moved back to Cologne, Germany after 8 years in Santiago, Chile.
Seok-hong Kim – Vice president
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Seok-hong Kim has been passionate about the performing arts for his entire adult life, both as an arts manager and an administrator. During this time Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) has also been an important part of his career, as he has had a deep relationship with ASSITEJ Korea, working as a board member for over a decade.
He is currently working for the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS), while still staying active in ASSITEJ Korea as a board member for international exchanges. KAMS is a government agency which puts great focus on the sustainability of arts companies in this harsh market arena. KAMS has been organizing PAMS, the Performing Arts Market in Seoul, for about 15 years. It has become one of the most dynamic and creative arts markets in the world.
Before joining KAMS he was in charge of programming for several years at a local arts centre in Seoul, Korea. He also worked as a production manager at the KNUA, the National Conservatoire School for Drama, where he focused on linking students with professional artists in their productions.
He studied theatre and arts administration at university.
Pamela Udoka – Vice President
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Pamela has multi-disciplinary competencies: President, ASSITEJ Nigeria; Artistic Director, Children’s Arts Development Initiative, Lead Therapist Family Wellness Therapy Centre. Theatre Administrator, Festival Producer, Pioneer Coordinator, Children’s Theatre Workshop, and presently Director, Production and Technical Services, National Troupe of Nigeria.
She has been in children’s theatre practice since 1991.
A Published Playwright, with Clash of the Ants, I Dream a Christmas and The Rejected Blessing.
She presented papers at the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture, Melbourne, Australia, 21st Festival of Children’s Theatres in Subotica, Serbia, ITYARN conference in Malmoe, Sweden, and in Cape Town, South Africa. She has earned B.A.(Hons,) M.Sc., M. Phil in Clinical Psychology, and a in Ph.D. in view.
She holds memberships of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, Nigerian Psychological Association and Nigerian Association of Clinical Psychologists. She brings the synergy of the Arts and Mental health to bear in her work as a TYA practitioner.
Ernie Nolan – Treasurer
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Ernie Nolan, Executive Artistic Director of Nashville Children’s Theatre, the oldest professional theatre for TYA in the United States, is an award winning, internationally recognized director and playwright.
He has directed and choreographed world premieres by such Tony-nominated artists as Willy and Rob Reale, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and Bill Russell and Henry Krieger. In his tenure at NCT, he has commissioned world premieres from Idris Goodwin, Marisela Trevino Orta, Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich, Dave Deveau, Anton Lipovetsky, and Tim McDonald.
His playwrighting has been featured both nationally and internationally at such theatres as The Coterie, First Stage, Walnut Street, Orlando Rep, South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Stage One,and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. He has also received commissions from Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD, La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, The Milwaukee Zoological Society, and Circle Theatre in Omaha, NE in partnership with the Institute for Holocaust Education.
Strastnoy Bulvar, 10 Moscow 107031 Russia
Tatiana Bobriva is a chief coordinator of International Theatre Kingfestival; manager of Novgorod theatre for children and youth “Mali” (Velikiy Novgorod, Russia). Composer, working in Russia and abroad. Journalist, focusing on culture and theatre; from 2015 she is a Vice President of ASSITEJ Russia, from 2017 – EC member of ASSITEJ International.
Graduated from Faculty of Journalism in Saint-Petersburg University. Member of the Theatre Union of Russia. From 2017 as EC member of ASSITEJ worked in Publications and Promotion group and group of editors ASSITEJ magazines, she has also been appointed to many workshops and artistic encounters. Organizer and programmer of International Theatre Kingfestival, devoted to drama, puppetry and dance for young audience from Russia, Europe and Asia.
From 2007 she created International laboratory “Young critics is a future of theatre” for young theatre researchers; as producer she programed projects “French Focus” , “Swiss Step”, “Danish Focus” ets. From 2017 she initiated project “Theatre Volunteers” as program for young students. She is active and energetic member of ASSITEJ projects, participant of festivals and workshops in Russia and abroad.
Selloane (Lalu) MOKUKU
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I am an experienced theatre maker, storyteller, academic, writer, and performer. I have worked with/for young people internationally, through organizations such as UNICEF and Save the Children UK, including the build up to 2001 UN Special Session on Children that led to the children’s declaration with child participation.
I was a coordinator of an innovative School Support Programme, using the arts to teach Science, English and Mathematics, called ShakeXperience. I chaired the task force that produced the 2005 Lesotho National Cultural Policy. I currently facilitate teaching and learning at Rhodes University, focusing on theatre for social transformation. Research include Applied Drama/Theatre, Translanguaging; TYA. I co-produced an adaptation of Orwell’s Animal Farm, directed by Neil Coppen. During the 2017 ASSITEJ Congress, I had the privilege of interacting with international audiences and met Ginni Manning (UK). This led to co-writing a play, DIPALO, that subsequently won the 2019 ASSITEJ Africa Playwriting competition. I also directed Mosali Eo U ’Neileng Eena (Market theatre).
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General Manager and Creative Producer of Compagnie de la Casquette – Theatre for young audience – Brussels, (BE – French-speaking community – since 2007). My main tasks are to produce and bring on tour the productions of the company, while coordinating the overall activities and budget of the company. With the company, we have also developed several partnerships – from local schools to a company/cultural center based in Senegal.
Co-founder and board member of Assitej Belgium (since 2015), President of the board since 2017. In a country divided in three linguistic communities, Assitej Belgium has contributed to tighten bonds between those communities; even though we still have a long way to go, bridges are being built. I am really proud of the work we have done so far.
Member of ASSITEJ International Fundraising group since January 2018, I have participated in many sessions regarding the potentiality of funding for Assitej International.
External expert, lead and quality check expert for EACEA (Creative Europe Programme) : evaluating applications, coaching and supervising experts (since 2015).
Previously: administrator of the technical department THEATRE DU ROND-POINT (Paris 2002-2007), Production and Administrative Coordinator PENICHE OPERA – Paris 2002, and Production Coordinator (Foreign Productions 1998-2001) – WARSAW NATIONAL THEATRE
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Cristina Cazzola is a cultural producer with experience in theatre for young audiences, audience development and engagement methodologies, strategic networking, mentoring and fund raising for public institutions, private foundations, enterprises to foster internationalization and cooperation processes.
From 2006 she is founder and artistic director of Mantua’s Segni d’infanzia festival (SEGNI New Generations Festival), around 300 meetings for over 30,000 spectators, from 18 months up to 18 years old, artists and delegates from all over the world. http://www.segnidinfanzia.org/it/festival?lang=en
In 2012 she founded and heads as project manager the teenager’s engagement methodology T.E.E.N., financed twice by the Creative Europe program http://teentheatrenetwork.eu.
As dramaturg and director, she has created over 15 shows in 20 years.
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I trained as a musician in Scotland, UK. Upon returning to Wales, I transitioned into theatre. I have always focused on inclusion and creating opportunities for those who benefit from creative experiences but do not have the opportunity.
I am Head of Participation for Wales-based Hijinx Theatre; developing opportunities for learning disabled and neurodivergent young people as audiences and performers. This includes the award-winning programme for Hijinx actors role playing medical school exams and developing a collaboration of a new piece for young audiences with professional learning-disabled performers.
Since 2016, I have worked with organisations in Lesotho (Africa) and a group of learning-disabled performers from Wales to explore the aspirations of disabled (and non-disabled) children and young people, and challenging societies views of them. This project contributed heavily to winning International Award from The Stage, UK.
For Music Theatre Wales, I am consulting with young Welsh audiences. Engaging as audiences and participative practice, young people are challenging the work that is created for them and will deliver recommendations for the companies future work
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Iranian artist (actress, theater teacher, voice actor, director) and a member of ASSITEJ Iran.
Bachelor of Arts in theater from Sooreh University, Tehran.
Worked as Iran’s envoy in the International gatherings of Assitej in Poland, Germany, England, South Africa.
Have been awarded many times as best actress in national and International Theater festivals.
Has played in more than 20 theaters as an actress and took role in three movies.
Emilie Robert graduated from a Business School and studied cultural management. She worked for compagnies and theater as a financial manager for a while.
In 2007, she became the Executive Director of Théâtre du Périscope in Nîmes. Since 2013, she has been the Head of the Théâtre Massalia, one of the major TYA houses in France (Marseille).
She is as well one of the three co-presidents of Scènes d’enfance – ASSITEJ France, the french national center for ASSITEJ and member of the board of la Friche la Belle de Mai, the cultural multifaceted public space where the Théâtre Massalia is situated.
Shoaib Iqbal is an arts manager who has worked as curator, director and arts educator of arts projects since 2000. He founded The Little Art, a non-profit arts education organization that uses art to promote positive social values through innovative learning opportunities among children and young adults, especially marginalised. Shoaib also serves as President ASSITEJ Pakistan and has been instrumental in delivering center’s success of setting up bi-annual Tamasha Festival For Young Audiences and hosting annual International Next Generation. Tamasha engages nearly 15,000 audiences in each audition.
Shoaib post-graduated from DeVos Institute of Arts Management (Kennedy Centre, Washington D.C.), 2013 Asia21 fellow with Asia Society, an Acumen 2015 fellow, 2015 ArtThink Southasia fellow and 2020 ISPA fellow International Society of Performing Arts. Shoaib also worked with Sharjah Government as consultant for 5 years and with British Council as Head of Arts, Pakistan in 2016-18.
Shoaib travels very frequently to various festivals and exchange program. He is also setting up two international performing arts projects for children and youth in New Zealand and Qatar.
|Julia Dina Hesse
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Julia Dina Hesse, dramaturg, director and scholar in TYA based in Germany (Wiesbaden) studied German philology, philosophy and communication & cultural management in Germany and France.
At present Julia Hesse works internationally as a freelance dramaturg and director in TYA. She holds workshops for children, teenager and adults and has published articles and papers in TYA related books and magazines. Since 2014 she is a lecturer at the theatre department of the University of Muenster. She recently received a post graduate scholarship and is researching about theatre and transformation processes.