ASSITEJ South Africa is proud to present a season of Theatre for Young Audiences in partnership with UJ Arts & Culture, from 29 November to 9 December 2018.
Under the banner of the University of Johannesburg, UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art Design and Architecture (FADA), has partnered with ASSITEJ SA to offer a dynamic and age-appropriate programme of theatrical experiences for younger audiences. Head of UJ Arts & Culture, Pieter Jacobs explains “UJ Arts & Culture values an opportunity to make connections and engage with those who will one day become consumers of art and this partnership with ASSITEJ presents exactly that. It works tirelessly to better understand the urgent need to create space both for those creating sensory storytelling experiences for children and for the young audiences experiencing them; and we are honoured to be able to help create the kind of supportive environment in which this can take place.”
UJ Arts & Culture’s Con Cowan Theatre will be transformed into a space where young audience members and their caregivers can experience a range of carefully curated theatrical experiences, appropriate for the developmental range of specific ages. President of ASSITEJ International and Director of ASSITEJ SA, Yvette Hardie, explains: “All children deserve access to artistic experiences especially created for them. By honouring their innate creativity and curiosity, we promote the impulses to learn and to empathise. In a context where so many children do not enjoy this right and where funding for the work is scarce, partnerships are vital to make more things possible. ASSITEJ SA is delighted to partner with UJ Arts & Culture on this programme of artistic development in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) with the hopes that by offering artists space to experiment, develop their skills and a season in which to showcase their work, TYA as a field can be strengthened in South Africa. This partnership is an investment in ensuring the resilience of the arts ecosystem,” she explains, “which both identifies and creates new audiences today and builds the audiences and artists of tomorrow.”
Productions for the forthcoming season include ‘Babah’ – a multi-sensory experience for babies under a year; and ‘Chiffonnade’ – a dance performance specifically made for toddlers and young children, using fabrics that can be touched, crumpled, felt and folded, worn or used as a disguise… ‘Night Light’ uses live music, video projection, shadows, light-play and live performance to explore a night in the life of Nina, a young girl trying to deal with the thoughts and feelings which haunt her as she lies in bed; while three best friends bravely embark on a project to make their town´s drinking water safe again in ‘Galela’.
The ASSITEJ season of Theatre for Young Audiences is set to take place at the Con Cowan Theatre on the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road Campus from 29 November to 9 December 2018. Tickets range between R50 and R130. To book or for more information on upcoming events at UJ Arts & Culture, please visit www.uj.ac.za/arts.
29 November – 10:00 Night Light; 12:00 Galela
30 November – 10:00 Chiffonade; 14:00 Night Light
1 December – 10:00 Chiffonade; 14:00 Night Light
2 December – 12:00 Galela
5 December – 11:00 Babah; 12:00 Galela
6 December – 10:00 Galela; 12:00 Babah
7 December – 10:00 Babah
8 December – 10:00 Chiffonade; 14:00 Night Light
9 December – 10:00 Babah; 12:00 Chiffonade
Blank Canvas Kollective in partnership with ASSITEJ and UJ Arts & Culture (45 mins); R50 – R80
Nov 29 at 10:00, Nov 30, Dec 08 at 14:00
Recommended age range: 9 – 12 year olds
Nina has just woken from a bad dream. Or was it a dream? Either way, she can’t fall back asleep in case it comes back. But it’s bedtime now and the dark is making her feel strange, too… How is she going to navigate through this dark night and the nightmare stuck in her head?
Night Light uses live music, video projection, shadows, light-play and live performance to explore a night in the life of Nina, a young girl trying to deal with the thoughts and feelings which are haunting her as she lies in bed. The play evokes those moments when we feel alone: afraid of the dark, or going through life changes and unable to express ourselves. Aimed at 9-12 year olds who are at a delicate time, caught between the expectations of growing up and still haunted by childhood fears, this magical and mysterious piece encourages children to listen to their inner voice.
Well Worn Theatre Co. in partnership with ASSITEJ and UJ Arts & Culture (45 mins); R50 – R80
Nov 29, Dec 05 at 12:00, Dec 06 at 10:00
Recommended age range: 9 – 12 years
Splash! Splutter! Then shhhhhh… Only ripples left. Would you dive in next?
Three best friends bravely embark on a project to make their town´s drinking water safe again. They soon discover, however, that they have waded into hot water and that the problems affecting the town dam are deeper and murkier than at first glance. Still determined to make a difference and to secure the future of their friends and family, the trio dive in to fix the mess, proving in spectacular fashion that children with the biggest imaginations will save the world.
Lulu Mhlangeni in partnership with ASSITEJ and UJ Arts & Culture (30 min); R50 – R80
Nov 30, Dec 08 at 10:00, Dec 09 at 12:00
Recommended age range: 1 – 5 years
Chiffonnade is a dance performance specifically made for toddlers and young children. The piece was created by established French choreographer Michelle Dhallu of Carré Blanc Cie and has toured extensively in Europe and to acclaimed festivals around the globe receiving glowing reviews. Chiffonnade unfolds with fabrics as its raw materials – fabrics you can touch, crumple up, feel and fold, fabrics you can wear or disguise yourself in and which condition the way other people see us. But Chiffonnade also evokes emancipation, with the chrysalis of a child growing and growing until they become an adult.
Puppetrix in partnership with ASSITEJ and UJ Arts & Culture (35 mins); R50 – R130
Dec 05 at 11:00, Dec 06 at 12:00, Dec 07, Dec 09 at 10:00
Recommended age range: 4-12 months
Babah is a multi-sensory experience for babies (4-12 months) and their caregivers. Objects and music capture the imagination of the little ones according to their own developmental milestones. Baby will meet African animals, hear African sounds and even see, feel and smell a beautiful African Sunrise. With this very first theatre encounter, the babies’ reactions reveal an everlasting truth: theatre is important for all ages. Babah won the Special Development Award at the Free State Arts Festival 2018.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
About UJ Arts & Culture
UJ ARTS & CULTURE, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni, and the general public, to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts. In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA (www.uj.ac.za/fada) offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.
About ASSITEJ SA
ASSITEJ South Africa is a registered NPO (066-875), which operates as a networking platform for people working with or interested in theatre for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high quality theatre for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to be an advocate for the right of every child to arts education in schools, and to build relationships within the sector locally, nationally, across the continent and globally.
Members present in all provinces include: actors, musicians, dancers, directors, choreographers, theatre educators, stage designers and dramatists, as well as theatre companies, organisations and institutions, critics and cultural journalists, cultural officers, amateur drama groups, organizers, societies and other networks.
ASSITEJ South Africa works to promote international awareness of South African theatre for children and young people, through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts. Members are given access to a global network of information about festivals, performances, courses and seminars all over the world, with the potential to participate in these activities. ASSITEJ SA was the proud host of the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, Cradle of Creativity, in 2017.