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Drama for Life co-hosts the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival

When: Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - Saturday, 27 May 2017
Where: Off campus
Cape Town
Start time:8:00

Drama for life will co-host the first ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival in Africa for young people and children.

Drama for Life (DFL)will be co-hosting the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, the ‘Cradle of Creativity’ in collaboration with Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), The International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) and University of Cape Town. The World Congress which is going to be held for the first time ever on African soil will be taking place in Cape Town, South Africa from 16 – 27 May 2017.

The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival brings together theatre researchers, artists, educators and delegates from across the globe over 11 days. To contribute to conversations that chart the way forward and inspire future generations, DFL will host and facilitate focus days at the Theatre and Storytelling on 18 May at City Hall, Theatre for Social Change on 20 May at Guga S'thebe Cultural Hub in Langa, Theatre for Healing on 21 May at Guga S'thebe Cultural Hub and Theatre by Children for Children on 21 May at Vrygrond Cultural Hub.

DFL will also present papers, posters, workshops and theatre productions which addresses a range of issues that are specific to theatre for young audiences. The theatre productions to be showcased include:

Mainane! is a magical journey, a rite of passage, about a group of children who overcome seemingly insurmountable struggles in a land of on-going strife, anguish and outright conflict. This coming of age story, set against the backdrop of a contemporary South Africa, brings together a diverse group of young people who summon the courage to face extraordinary hardships against all odds.

It is the telling of a story of heroism embedded in vulnerability, a collective humanity and hope. Mainane! suitable for 7+ year olds, is directed by Warren Nebe in collaboration with the talented DFL Theatre Company members. Mainane! is presented by DFL Theatre Company in partnership with Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. Showing: 20 - 21 May, IThemba Labantu Cultural Hub in Phillipi at 14:00

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Insta-Grammar is a heart-wrenching story about speaking and keeping love in the whirlwind Instagram and SnapChat era.

Insta-Grammar is directed by Hamish Neill in collaboration with the DFL Theatre Company. Insta-Grammar is aimed at 13+ year old and is presented by DFL Theatre Company in partnership with Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. Showing: 20 – 21 May, Guga S’Thebe in Langa at 17:00.         

Space Rocks is a brand new play aimed at audiences between the ages of 4 and 8 years old. It combines science, technology and mythology to create an innovative and playful theatrical experience about early childhood development and emotional growth. Each planet has a gift and a lesson to help them defeat Void and Vortex, who lurk on the edges of the galaxy.

Will JoJo overcome his fear of the dark? Will his big sister let him take the controls? With a blend of mythology and science, this play is about how children learn through play, and find hidden strength within as they take their first steps towards independence. Space Rocks, written by Tamara Schulz and directed by Craig Morris is produced as a joint partnership between DFL and Flying House. Showing: 25 May, Magnet Theatre Observatory at 14:30.

“The Cradle of Creativity provides a unique opportunity for South Africa to share cutting edge theatre for children and young audiences with all our African and international colleagues. It is a significant moment for people who want to understand the power of theatre to educate children” says Warren Nebe, Director of DFL.

DFL’s participation at the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival will consolidate their position as a global leader in an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to arts for social transformation and healing. 

About DFL

DFL, based at the University of the Witwatersrand, is an arts centre for social transformation and healing. It is dedicated to transforming arts, culture and heritage research, education and practice in Africa. Our commitment toward South Africa is found in our academic, short course and community engagement programmes and projects throughout the country. This commitment is embedded in a belief that the performing arts have the ability to give voice, respect and dignity to all who live in our country. It is the arts that enable us to imagine new narratives and to experience a new consciousness. It is for this reason we are committed to making a meaningful contribution toward the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival.

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