ASSITEJ World Congress & MIRAI 2020: a blended physical & virtual event

🌏 Online + Tokyo, JPN
🗓 23 -31 March 2021

20th ASSITEJ CONGRESS to be a blended event

The 20th ASSITEJ World Congress & International Performing Arts Festival for Children and Young People / MIRAI 2020 will take place from 23-31 March 2021 as a blended physical (‘On Ground’) and virtual (‘Online’) event. This will mean that we will be able to provide our members with maximum accessibility to the event, whether they are able to travel in person to be with us in Japan, or whether they need to stay home and connect with us virtually.


At least 13 international productions have committed to attending the ‘On Ground’ festival and, along with a strong programme of 45 Japanese productions, this will form the heart of the local offering. In addition, workshops, symposia and other events will take place physically in Japan for those who are able to join us, as well as for the Japanese delegates and local audiences.

All productions will also be shared virtually through the ‘Online’ festival, which will feature the main programme, a fringe programme and an innovation programme, which will be available online from 23 March through to 11 April 2021.

Congress and Professional Exchange

The Congress will be shared through video and written reportage ahead of a series of scheduled discussion meetings which will occur live on ZOOM. Each day will see three to four sessions in different time zones, which will include workshops, symposia, discussions and social events, allowing for all to participate in elements of interest to them.


We are delighted to announce that we are working with two partners on the ‘Online’ Festival, Congress and Professional exchange programme; National Arts Festival in South Africa will be providing the technical and web platforms for the programme, while Performing Dialogue will be providing all contributor and attendee resources and support, including liaison, communication, and bridging the gap between the ‘On Ground’ and ‘Online’ events.

We believe that with this approach we will see an unprecedented participation in an ASSITEJ World Congress, since many people will be able to be part of the global virtual engagement, who did not previously have the opportunity, while simultaneously ensuring that for those who can, the magic of the live experience is protected and celebrated.

We look forward to meeting you in Japan in March 2021, whether in person or online.

LET’S TALK ABOUT EARLY YEARS THEATRE! Online Panel conversations 11 – 13 Dec.

LET’S TALK ABOUT EARLY YEARS THEATRE! Online Panel conversations 11 – 13 Dec.


1️⃣ International co-productions / panel discussion
date: 12.12
time: 12:00 (UTC/GMT +1 hour) / 20:00 (UTC/GMT +9 hours)
Language: English/Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)

As part of the discussion, we’ll look at some transcontinental co-productions for very young children. We will talk about the opportunities and obstacles faced by teams working in international groups. How sharing between cultures affects the creative process, the development of artists and – most importantly – the spectators. We will look at past productions and prospects that are built by the current global situation. Will such work still be possible? Is it worth fighting for?
Panelists: Akira Ota (Jienkyo, Japan), Maho Nakamichi (Baby Theatre Project, Japan), Alicja Morawska-Rubczak (Art Fraction Foundation, Poland), Barbara Kölling (Helios Theater, Germany), Anurupa Roy (Theatre Katkatha, India)Moderator: Cliodhna Noonan (Ireland)The panel will be accompanied by online presentations of performance:
⚪️ „KUUKI” by JIENKYO (directed by Alicja Morawska-Rubczak) – Poland/Japan
Japanese-Polish dance co-production focused on air. Dynamically, lightly, airy, elusively – Kuuki is a quest for energy. Can the wind be touched? How does the air smell? How does the breath sound? Each of us – the youngest and the older one – experiences it on a daily basis, yet the air constantly enraptures us with its elusiveness, under consciousness, enchants with the promise of going up, attracts the possibility of flight, spinning.

2️⃣ Set design and object in Early Years Theatre / panel discussiondate: 13.12.
time: 12:00 (UTC/GMT +1 hour) / 20:00 (UTC/GMT +9 hours)
Language: English (with simultaneous interpretation to Japanese)During the conversation, issues related to various aspects and perspectives of creating set design in performances aimed at families with very young children will be discussed. We will talk about the specifics of this field and the ideas behind the projects of specific artists. We will also deal with harmful myths related to this area. The youngest children learn the world – including the world of art – with all their senses, which is why the issue of set design created in the context of work for very young children seems to be a particularly interesting issue.
Panelists: Karel Van Ransbeeck (Theatre De Spiegel, Belgium), Barbara Małecka (Art Fraction Foundation, Poland), Pernille Bach and Christian Schrøder (Theatre Madam Bach, Denmark)Moderator: Gina Westbrook (UK)

▶️ The panel will be accompanied by on-line presentations of performances:
🟢 „Blisko / Close” by Children’s Art Centre (directed by Alicja Morawska-Rubczak, set design: Barbara Małecka) / Poland
Dance performance about creating bonds. Two dancers on a round stage – a circle of life and community, and in its centre a matrioshka – a symbol of motherhood, but at the same time an object hiding a lot of surprises inside. Traditional in its form, the doll gains a contemporary touch and can be creatively processed – by both artists and audience.🟤 „Beat the drum” by Theatre De Spiegel / Belgium (directed by Karel Van Ransbeeck, set design: Wim Van De Vyver)
Music theatre production filled with catchy rhythms and amazing shadow theatre. In an original set sporting lots of drumheads, we invite young children and their parents to join a percussionist, a saxophonist and a puppeteer for a unique experience. Musical improvisation and shadow play are used to create an authentic story.🟡 „JUNGLE” by Wrocławski Teatr Lalek / (directed by Alicja Morawska-Rubczak, set design: Barbara Małecka) / Poland
Puppet theatre production that arose from the fascination with the richness of the Amazon jungle – an area most unspoiled and threatened at the same time, home to thousands of species of insects, animals and plants, where the natural, primeval bonds between man and nature have been preserved. The creators of the show want to share with the viewers reflection on this beautiful relationship; seek together the roots of interpersonal closeness, based on rhythms, rituals of everyday life and harmony with the surrounding world.
We invite professionals, researchers, teachers, parents and all adults interested in EYT.Please note❗️❗️❗️
All presentations of performances are aimed at adults. We strongly believe that EYT should be presented live and that online presentations are harmful to the youngest children.The event is organized as part of the project “NAJNAJ.PL: teatr dla najmłodszych na ASSITEJ World Congress”The strategic goal of the program is to build and strengthen a positive image of Poland abroad through the presentation and promotion of Polish culture.Co-financed under the Multiannual Program NIEPODLEGŁA [INDEPENDENT] for 2017-2022, as part of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute grant program “Cultural bridges”.




We are a Polish non-governmental organization Art Fraction Foundation, which deals with international cooperation, promotion and development of art for the youngest children. We were planning to meet you at the ASSITEJ World Congress in Tokyo, but our joint plans had to be completely changed. At the end of this strange and frightening year, however, we found a way to share our work with you! We invite you to 3 days of watching online performances together and two ZOOM panel discussions devoted to Early Years Theatre issues.
The project is implemented in cooperation with JIENKYO (Japan Union of Theatre Companies for Children and Young People), ASSITEJ International and Small Size Network.

“The Curious Theatre” – an inspiring allegory by Goran Tomka

“The Curious Theatre” – an inspiring allegory by Goran Tomka

“Curious theatre is filled with talking trees,
self-doubting critics,
permeable borders,
welcoming smiles,
migrating plants,
inexplicable hopes,
never-ending deadlines (…)”

Video: Hear Goran Tomka read the full text including sign language interpretation.

European Theatre Forum

The Keynote was presented at the European Theatre Forum 2020 shaped by a consortium of performing arts networks including ASSITEJ & produced by European Theatre Convention.

About Goran Tomka

Goran Tomka is a researcher and lecturer in the field of audience studies, new media, cultural diversity and cultural policy and management. He is assistant professor at the TIMS Faculty from Novi Sad, and UNESCO Chair in cultural policy and management from Belgrade, Serbia.

He holds a doctoral degree in culture and media studies from the University of Arts in Belgrade. Outside academia he is active as consultant, trainer, critic and advocate: he was a trainer in Al Mawred Abbara programme for capacity building in the Arab region; a coordinator of long-term cultural planning of the city of the Novi Sad European capital of culture 2021 and a national author of European Council’s Compendium for cultural policies.

His latest book “Audience Explorations: Guidebook for Hopefully Seeking the Audience” was published in 2016 by international theatre network IETM, Brussels.

ASSITEJ invites you to take part in a new coffee session: Stress Management and Empowerment

ASSITEJ Executive committee invites you to take part in a new coffee session : Stress Management and Empowerment

Most of us – as artists and individuals – are in a difficult situation. We have to face fear and uncertainty, stress, disappointment and anger. In this Coffee Session we talk about ourselves with focus on strategies to cope with the crisis. Feel free to join!

We invite 4 experts to give impulses:

🇳🇬 Pamela Udoka, psychologist from Lagos / Nigeria talks about the strategies in Western Africa to manage the (permanent) crisis as individual.

🇩🇪 Dr. Birte Werner, head of department for performing arts at Bundesakademie Wolffenbüttel / Germany. She will introduce a creative and inspiring method to experience together in the Session: the “Circle of Influence”.

🇯🇵 Yukiko Kurokawa, Ph.D.Clinical Psychologist. Director of YUKIKO KUROKAWA Institute of Gerontology. Sophia University Professor Emeritus / Japan. Namita, Yoga expert / Japan. Asian perspectives on “dealing with a crisis”.

📆 Wednesday Nov. 25 on Zoom. 2 sessions depending on your time zone.

Read more and register

Scenekunst for børn & unge på landkortet i EU

Scenekunst for børn & unge på landkortet i EU

Scenekunstbranchen mødtes for første gang med hinanden og repræsentanter fra EU-kommissionen i sidste uge under European Theatre Forum.

ASSITEJ er en del af det konsortium, der shar skabt forummet. Konsortiet er delvist initieret af EU-kommissionen, som et blivende forum for kontinuerlig dialog internt i scenekunstbranchen og udad i relation til kommisionen og det politiske niveau i EU.

Mange teatre og kunstnere fra vores del af branchen har med success søgt midler fra Creative Europe, men Scenekunst for børn og unge har i hovedtræk været usynlig i samtalerne og politikudviklingen i EU. Herunder de særlige omstændigheder der produceres og turneres under, og det særlige kulturelle bidrag til Europas yngste borgere, som vores branche leverer. 

Det er der nu rådet bod på. Scenekunst for børn og unge var i kraft af ASSITEJ’s deltagelse meget synlig i de debatter der udspandt sig, og ASSITEJ har med sin deltagelse i konsortiet skabt blivende relationer til EU-kommisionen og de andre europæiske scenekunstnetværk.

“Dresden Declaration” 

Et af resultarne af European Theatre Forum er the “Dresden Declaration”.
Dokumentet peger på de konkrete punkter, der kræver udvikling på EU-niveau, og udgør et første skridt i et langsigtet arbejde. Indholdet modtog betydelig bevågenhed fra EU-kommissionen og Creative Europe, der har forpligtet sig til fortsat samarbejde.

Ny formand i ASSITEJ Danmark

Bestyrelsen i ASSITEJ har på sit konstituerende møde valgt Marion Vick fra Teater Apropos som formand. 

“Jeg synes det er et spændende og udfordrende tidspunkt at blive formand på. Støtten fra Statens Kunstfonds Projektstøtteudvalg er frafaldet, og jeg håber, at vi i den kommende tid kan finde nye og mere stabile finansieringsmuligheder, og i den proces skabe et ASSITEJ Danmark, der bygger på den gode historik, og samtidig skaber flere muligheder for de danske børne- og ungdomsteatre med udgangspunkt i det stærke internationale netværk ASSITEJ indeholder”, siger Marion Vick.

Marion Vick er leder af Teater Apropos og uddannet dramaturg fra Aarhus Universitet.

I samme åndedrag retter ASSITEJ en stor tak til Dirck Backer fra Teater Patrasket, der siden 2016 har varetaget formandsposten, og før det funktionen som sekretariatsleder.

Dirck bringer sin store erfaring og forståelse af ASSITEJ med sig ind i rollen som næstformand, og er dermed fortsat særdeles aktiv i ASSITEJ.

Vi søger dansk deltager til Directors in TYA 2021

“Directors in TYA” er et velrenommeret instruktørseminar for 20 deltagere fra hele verden. Det finder sted 20. – 27. juni i Braunschweig Tyskland. Arrangørerne dækker ophold, måltider og entreer.

Interesserede instruktører skal sende et kort CV og motivation til ASSITEJ Danmark senest 7. oktober:

Scenekunst for børn og unge bliver hørt i EU

Som generalsekretær for ASSITEJ International er Louis Valente fra ASSITEJ Danmark en del af et konsortium af scenekunstarrangører nedsat i rammen af den Europæiske Kommission og det tyske formandskab for EU-rådet.

Konsortiet bl.a. skal lede frem til ”European Theatre Forum” i november 2020, og er delvist initieret af EU-kommissionen for at udgøre et forum, hvor kommissionen kan have en kontinuerlig dialog med branchen.
Det er vigtigt at få sat vores betydningsfulde, men til tider usynlige branche ind på det kollektive mentale landkort i EU og hos vores søsterorganisationer i de andre dele af scenekunstfeltet, så fremtidige politiker og støtteprogrammer tilgodeser børns møde med scenekunst.

Hvem vil støtte ASSITEJ?

Hvem vil støtte ASSITEJ?

Dirck Backer skriver om ASSITEJs økonomiske situation efter at Projektstøtteudvalget for Scenekunst (PUS) har frataget organisationens mangeårige støtte:

Madam Bach er et af de mange teatre, der har tuneret internationalt i kraft af ASSITEJ’s netværk. Her er teatret i Japan.

I EN TID, hvor dansk teater for børn og unge er afskåret fra at turnere internationalt pga. pandemiens hærgen, og hvor betydningen af at fastholde det internationale netværk tegner sig vigtigere end nogensinde, står børneteatrets internationale organisation ASSITEJ i en graverende økonomisk situation, der truer organisationens fremtidige arbejde: 

FRA OG MED næste sæson har Kunstfondens Projektstøtteudvalg nemlig frataget ASSITEJ den driftsstøtte, som man har oppebåret fra skiftende kunstråd igennem de sidste 35 år, og som har sikret organisationens kontinuerte virke for international udveksling og samarbejde omkring teater for børn og unge.

Dermed ophører Rådets støtte også til ASSITEJ International, som Danmark i de seneste år har været Generalsekretariat for.

Kunstfondens begrundelse er, at man ser sig selv som et projektstøtteudvalg for scenekunsten, og at man derfor ikke ser det som sin opgave at støtte en medlemsorganisation som ASSITEJ, som ikke producerer teater.

Argumentet er principielt

Argumentet er principielt og generelt – og tager dermed ikke højde for ASSITEJs særlige situation, som er, at organisationen arbejder for børneteatrets fælles sag, og omfatter teatre som i det store billede må betragtes som scenekunst-branchens økonomiske letvægtere.

I KRAFT AF sin medlemsorganisation har ASSITEJ Danmark faktisk hele tiden bidraget betydeligt til sin egen økonomi via medlemmenes kontingenter, men der er en smertegrænse for, hvor meget små teatre kan lægge i støtte for organisationen.

Af den grund vil det i praksis ikke være muligt helt at selv-finansiere driften af ASSITEJs sekretariat – også selv om dette er beskedent i omfang og kun omfatter en enkelt ansat.

DERFOR HAR alle tidligere Råd – indtil det nuværende Projektstøtteudvalg – forstået betydningen af at støtte driften af ASSITEJ Danmark. 

De har gjort det, fordi netop ASSITEJs arbejde har været centralt i udviklingen af danske børneteatres internationale netværk, et arbejde, som igennem årene har åbnet for mangfoldige inspirationsgivende udvekslinger og internationale samarbejder. 

Det har skabt møder med kollegaer fra hele verden, givet internationalt udsyn og ført til øget forståelse af vores fælles kunst og virke. 

Enestående international succes

Under Dansk-tyrkisk udveksling opføres “Findes der Gribbe på Grønland” af Det Menneskelige Teater. Et eksempel på de mange internationale projekter ASSITEJ Danmark har skabt igennem årene og fortsat ønsker at have muligheden for at skabe.

Og så har det – som vi gerne bryster os af – åbnet for en helt enestående eksport af dansk teater for børn og unge ud i verden igennem de sidste 25 år.

MAN SKAL IKKE tro, at denne succes bare er opstået af sig selv, den er resultatet af et langt og vedholdende sejt træk, som har taget udgangspunkt i ASSITEJs netværk: 

Med at deltage i festivaler og arrangementer ude i verden, invitere folk til Aprilfestival, arrangere møder, samarbejdsprojekter, gæstespil, workshops og udvekslingsinitiativer igennem alle år. 

Det er et arbejde, som man i princippet aldrig bliver færdig med, hvor vi som medlemsorganisation udnytter dynamikken fra en stor, aktiv bestyrelse og medlemsskare – og hvor betydningen af at have en ansat, der kan stå for kontinuitet, repræsentation og udvikling af organisationen i det daglige har vist sig helt central.

Et fyrtårn i teaterbranchen

NÅR DER I andre dele af teaterbranchen snakkes om betydningen af internationalt arbejde og når Projektstøtteudvalget finder de store penge frem til at støtte et – for øvrigt ikke-producerende – initiativ som Udviklingsplatformen for Scenekunst til bl.a. at stå for udviklingen af internationalt arbejde – så må vi sige, at det jo er lige det arbejde ASSITEJ hele tiden har gjort, og faktisk er lykkedes med!

Men som vi nu får frataget midlerne til at kunne udføre – med uforudsigelige konsekvenser for organisationens virke i fremtiden.

VI MÅ i ASSITEJ Danmarks bestyrelse erkende, at vores økonomi med støtte-afhængigheden af PUShar hvilet på et skrøbeligt fundament, når det – som det nu har vist sig – kan fjernes på et enkelt møde.

ASSITEJ repræsenterer vigtig viden, repræsentation, erfaringer og netværk, som også Kunstfonden og Projektudvalget til tider gør brug af, og den vedholdende aktivitet i ASSITEJ er på den lange bane en vigtig forudsætning for danske børneteatres interaktion med resten af verden.

SÅ SPØRGSMÅLET er nu: Hvis ikke der er plads til ASSITEJ hos PUS, hvor skal organisationen så finde sin faste støtte? 

Dirck Backer – Formand for ASSITEJ Danmark

Udveksling i en coronatid. Seneste internationale aktivitet fandt sted i September 2020 i form af et dansk-tysk seminar arrangeret i samarbejde ASSITEJ Tyskland og Teatercentrum. Endnu et projekt, hvor det globale ASSITEJ netværk er en vigtig forudsætning.



– a tool for theaters and other presenters with an international audience

• Are you a touring theater?
• Do you translate your texts?
• Do you display translations on stage or would you like to?
• Do you perform for deaf people or hearing impaired?

If you can answer yes to some of these questions, you can benefit by using the free and easy-to-use SubTitles3 sub/surtitle system.

SubTitles3 supports the translation process as well as the stage performance.

The system produces a protected version of your manuscript to send to your translator.
The translator enters the translations in dedicated fields adjacent to the text to be translated without being able to change the original text (Word documents supported).

The system produces a script version for to use for your performance.
This version holds both the original and the translated text. Both are shown on the controlling PC. Final last-minute changes can be done using your normal word processing software.

The system manages the display of the translated text during performance.
The text can be displayed using a projector, a screen or on the individual smart phones of the audience.

SubTitles3 is a fast, free and easy way of handling and displaying translated texts as sub/surtitles for theaters and presenters.

If you would like to try/use this free system, please write a mail for download instructions and further documentation.


note: The system runs on PCs as well as Macs with a simulated PC environment (Mono etc.)

SubTitles3 is developed and supported in Denmark as an aid to the performing arts.