ASSITEJ’s Next Generation Programme offers new opportunities for learning and collaboration to emerging Practitioners interested in Theatre for Young Audiences. Their final session at the Cradle of Creativity was held on Friday, May 26th, 2017 and aimed to reflect on all of their activities in Cape Town, as well as to create a space for questions and projections for the future of the cohort.
The key question for Cohort Members was ‘what happens when a Next Generation member’s time is up on the programme?’ Discussions ranged from the possibility of subsidising costs for Next Generation Alumni who wish to continue their participation in ASSITEJ events to how Alumni may be able to participate in ASSITEJ fora as longer-term Delegates. Another focus of the discussions was on increasing the number of performances by Next Generation Practitioners in future ASSITEJ Festivals.
Below are a few quotes about the benefits of the Next Generation Programme, taken from the participants themselves:
“[I really valued…] having the space to make connections with people in the programme. The personal connection is the key driver in wanting to collaborate with an artist.”
“[It is] important to have eyes opened to African culture and cultures so far away from Western lives.”
“It has made me broaden my thinking about TYA [Theatre for Young Audiences] and opening my mind to new possibilities.”
“I got a package that not many people in my country get. So I will take everything I’ve learned here and I am excited to share it back home and use it to progress children’s Theatre in Zimbabwe.”
“I’m taking this to my country. Not only [skills in] Theatre for Young Children, but [also an understanding of] how to manage festivals.”
“It has been really great to share a room with someone from a different culture. You learn a lot about the world.”
“I want to go back to Switzerland and tell them how big ASSITEJ is all over the world. And this has been a motivation to push for it in my country.”
“[The Next Generation Programme] has made me a person who now feels like I really can make an impact on the world of Theatre for Young People.”
“I thought we would have clashes of ego, especially with such big personalities of different artists but it wasn’t like that.”
“I didn’t know anything about Theatre for Young People. But, from this experience, I now believe in it. Now, I want to be ready for my three-year-old when she asks for a story.”
“There is no cultural exchange in Russia so it was important for me to make these connections here.”
“[The Programme provided…] social benefits that create a holistic platform for collaboration as opposed to simply gaining business cards that I throw away anyway.”