The ASSITEJ International Artistic Gathering will be held in China for the first time this month, hosted by the National Children’s Theatre of China in Beijing. Artists working in Theatre for Young Audiences all around the world have been invited to discover, exchange and explore the theme ‘Imagining The Future’. ASSITEJ is the global association of people who work in the Theatre for Young Audiences sector, and members come from over 90 countries across six continents. There are 14 Australian delegates from four states attending the 2018 event, including a large Victorian contingent whose travel is supported in part by Creative Victoria and the City of Melbourne.
As one of the Vice Presidents of ASSITEJ International, Polyglot’s Artistic Director Sue Giles will be leading the delegation of Australians, and will be involved in the business of the Association with her Committee colleagues. Executive Director Viv Rosman will also be attending, and will use the opportunity to meet with potential presenters from across the region. China’s keen interest in Polyglot’s work demonstrates a growing demand in the country for non-traditional, experiential theatre.
Polyglot is thrilled that its core artists Mischa Long and Stefanie Robinson will be also be attending, presenting a professional development workshop for artists about creating theatrical spaces for children with disability and neuro-diversity. Sue writes, “One of the key focus areas of the event is inclusivity; an ever-growing area of great importance for all of us. Where access is not granted, children are denied the experience of others. When inclusion is at the basis of everything you do, the modes of creation are shifted and expanded. Inclusion is deeply influential in the way we can imagine our future.” Mischa and Stefanie have both worked with children who have special needs, and this is the second time that they are delivering this workshop.
Following the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering, Mischa and Stefanie will be presenting Polyglot workshops for primary school children in Chongqing, Chengdu, and Beijing during the school holiday period. The Chongqing and Chengdu workshops will be presented in collaboration with Yinzi Theater.
In early September, core Polyglot artists Dan Goronszy and David Pidd will be travelling to Singapore to present a two-week residency at United World College South East Asia. The school engages an international company each year to work with the drama students and introduce them to a range of theatre practices from around the world. This then informs all performance-making activities for the rest of the semester. The school approached Polyglot this year as the two organisations share a very similar philosophy to working with children. The residency will focus on how Polyglot creates its unique work, and Dan and David have developed a series of targeted performance-making workshops based on Polyglot’s Paper and Tape and Theatre Craft models, their own practice, and the Drama curriculum of the school.
David writes, “We are very excited to be given this opportunity. It gives us time and space to forensically explore the Polyglot workshop structure. To be taking a series of workshops, three to four a day, over two weeks, gives us as artists a chance to hone our craft. Similar to the run of a theatre show, we know we have the chance to improve as facilitators and also evolve our processes. We can’t wait to see how the students respond.”
18-24 August: 2018 ASSITEJ International Artistic Gathering, Beijing, China
24 August: Everywhere is a doorway – workshop for artists, ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering
26-31 August: Workshops for children – Chongqing, Chengdu, Beijing
1-15 September: School residency – United World College South East Asia, Singapore
Polyglot’s tour to China is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Victorian delegation to the 2018 ASSITEJ International Artistic Gathering in Beijing is supported by Creative Victoria and the City of Melbourne.