International Theatre for Children and Young People World Day, 20 March 2010

Published 20 March, 2010 by Kyla

Dear Friends,

What with Well Worn so often wearing its brightly coloured Activist Hat and making such an almighty noise about Climate Change and eco-social-awareness issues, I occasionally forget the reason for being of this company: to make theatre. That (to steal a phrase from Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s ‘Woman who run with the Wolves’)  is our Soul’s Work. Eco-consciousness may indeed be our subject matter, but Theatre is most certainly our language. It’s the way we communicate with the world, the way we share information and the way we reflect on what is real and what is not.

And so, with Well Worn about to dive head-first into the manic and exciting process of making, rehearsing and performing our new Climate Change Play for 150 Primary Schools in Gauteng throughout 2010, I thought it would be fitting to mark and honour the occasion of International Theatre for Children and Young People World Day.

Today recognises the importance of theatre in the lives of children and young people. The utterly irreplaceable role that it plays in shaping young hearts, minds, imagination and experience.  And yes, I know that sounds a little tired, that statement, but really, how else would you put it? Think back, if you were lucky enough to be exposed to any theatre when you were a kid, to the first play you saw.  Maybe the play and players came to your school? Maybe it was a puppet show or an entertainer of some kind? Maybe it was a pantomime, a musical or a Christmas show? Maybe your strongest memory, like mine, is of being IN a play? Whatever it is,  I would be surprised if that first experience or encounter did not pick you up right out of your seat, hold you in the air in some delightfully intangible space for about an hour, and then deposit you back down, bum cheeks firmly on the floor again! Did you not feel transported, invigorated, slightly hysterical, totally enlightened and changed somehow?  Ok, maybe I’m putting words in your mouth by describing how I felt after my childhood theatre experiences. Oh but come on! Didn’t you!?!

Theatre was the most formative element of my young life, my ultimate means of expression and joy and, while I know that’s not necessarily the case for everyone, I do feel that every child should at some point, cross paths with the intoxicating nature of theatre.

Well Worn is a member of  Acyta which is Assitej International in Africa.  Assitej is the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People. The Chairperson of Assitej South Africa is Yvette Hardie, a contagiously energetic and wonderful woman who believes that every child in South Africa, no matter where they live or what their circumstances, should see at least one play a year.

This year, Well Worn with our  Climate Change Play, commits to contributing to this vision. Furthermore, Kids of Gauteng, I  go on to promise you the following about our new piece:

  • the play will not be twee
  • the play will not be cheesy
  • the play will not underestimate your innate intelligence and youthful wit
  • the play will not be a ‘day job’ for out of work actors with nothing better to do
  • the play will not be a quick money-making scheme for Well Worn

The play WILL be:

  • Fun
  • Meaningful
  • Edifying
  • Intelligent
  • Engaging
  • Generous
  • Devised and performed especially for YOU.

Right. Now that the pressure is on, I may as well continue to put myself in the line of fire. I’m going to try and wrench my little brother away from his TV games and see if he’s interested in going to see something at The Festival of Fame. It’s the last day today. If you too do not mind the petulant glares, grab a kid and do the same….

In closing, go and visit the articles written for today on the Assitej International website: Certainly food for thought.

Thanks for reading and  have a lovely day.


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1 Comment

  1. Let we the theatre practioners of whole of the world to take theatre to children and ensure every child could be provided with the opportunity to see theatre atleast once a year
    Balwant Thakur
    Natrang, Jammu (INDIA)

    Published March 20, 2011 by Balwant Thakur

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