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World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People – March 20, 2023

The World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People is an annual event that takes place on March 20 across the World. It is an initiative led by the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) with the purpose to communicate and promote the phrase: “Take a child to the theater, today.” The goal of ASSITEJ is to unite theatres, organizations, and individuals throughout the world who make theatre for children and young people. Every year the ASSITEJ Centres around the world host activities like conferences, performances, workshops, and special media events, connected to #takeachildtothetheatre.

History of World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People

The World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People was first celebrated on March 20, 2001. It is a campaign belonging to The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People. It is the only association connecting thousands of theatre-makers, artists, educators, and producers dedicated to theatre for children worldwide.

There is a members in over 80 countries across the globe, including 75 National Centers. The goal is to encourage children to reconnect with live performance, ideas, emotions, and the human-to-human connection. It aims to uphold the rights of children and young people to arts and culture and the freedom of self-expression. Every year there are special world day messages written and all members are invited to promote them as well as share the ASSITEJ film.

Sue Giles AM who has been an ASSITEJ International Vice President since 2017, wrote a note to mark the day in 2021 that highlighted the message and idea that the rights of children to the arts and culture should remain a focus and is something that everyone should champion for. She believes that the role of both artists and participants in societies are central to identity and social cohesion. ASSITEJ hosts a World Congress and Performing Arts Festival every three years. Some of these international locations where this was held were Warsaw, Prague, Lyon, Madrid, Adelaide, Seoul, Rostov on Don, Tromsø, and Albany.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People timeline

1965
ASSITEJ is Created With Member Countries

It comprises an Executive Committee and a Secretary-General and it has a constitution, congresses, and conferences.

1989
The Children's and Youth Theater Center Opens

The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People set up The Children's and Youth Theater Center in 1989.

2008
The Most Significant Event in Australia

In 2008 ASSITEJ hosted the biggest and most significant event for schools, children, teenagers, and their families in Australia.

2020

August 9, 2021
ASSITEJ organizes Cradle of Creativity

ASSITEJ South Africa, inspired by the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress & Performing Arts Festival, creates a new festival of theatre for children and young people, Cradle of Creativity.

2021
From Offline to Online

ASSITEJ win the “Best Digital Transformation: From Offline to Online” Category at the Culture Online International Awards.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People FAQs

Why do we celebrate World Theatre Day?

The aim is to raise the importance of theatre arts, to enhance and appreciate their role in the field of entertainment and one’s life.

What is the purpose of theatre for children?

Theatre teaches good communication practices and is an educational and safe way to teach kids about difficult situations and how to navigate them.

What is the importance of theater in education?

It helps to break down stereotypes, generate empathy, stimulate cooperation, reasoning, and the ability to be critical.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People Activities

  1. Promote and share

    Use your social media handles to promote this special day. You could also share the ASSITEJ film.

  2. Attend an event

    You will never lack something to participate in as each year ASSITEJ offers different activities. These range from conferences, performances, workshops, and special media events connected to #takeachildtothetheatre.

  3. Visit the theater

    Take your child to your local theatre and watch a production. This should be a fun time for both you and your child.

5 Facts About Theatre

  1. Theatre has been around for a while

    Traditions of theatre have flourished in cultures across the world since the 6th Century B.C.

  2. Theatre is a Greek word

    The word theatre is from ancient Greek and means a ‘place for seeing.’

  3. There is a World Theatre Day

    In 1961 the International Theatre Institute started World Theatre Day.

  4. The oldest theatre in London is haunted

    The oldest and most haunted theatre in London is Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

  5. It was illegal for women to act

    The first woman to appear in a Shakespeare play was in 1660, it was previously illegal in England for a woman to act on stage.

Why We Love World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People

  1. It involves educating our children

    We love that we can spend the day teaching our children about theatre and the arts. Anything that involves spending time with our children is well-liked.

  2. It involves a field trip

    Children love exploring new things. Visiting the theatre is an adventure for young and old alike!

  3. It is celebrated internationally

    The community events are run all over the world and are accessible to many people. We love something that brings people together.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People dates

YearDateDay
2023March 20Monday
2024March 20Wednesday
2025March 20Thursday
2026March 20Friday
2027March 20Saturday

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