March 20
World Day of the Performing Arts for children and youth

Do you remember the first time you went to the theater?

The lights dimmed, the curtain rose, and the life outside the room disappeared. You laughed, you dreamed, you were amazed at that adventure that arose before your eyes. You remember?

From ASSITEJ Spain we have created this small piece to remind us of the magic of this experience.

Share this audio in your living room, at your function, with your friends and allow today's boys, girls and young people to have that magnificent experience. Imagine the sparkle in their eyes, share the magic. Defends your right to access the performing arts.

Authors: Lola Fernández from Seville and Jokin Oregi
Interpreters: Ruth Omossfe Osagie and Nayeli Riera Jiménez.
Production: Companyia de Comediants La Baldufa.
Recording: Music school and conservatori L'interpret.
Music: Oscar Roig
Gratitude: Magí Morera School.

We want this day to be a celebration of all the people who, in one way or another, are linked to the performing arts, professionals in the sector, but also teachers and, of course, the public. We want each one to celebrate it in their own way, but that, in a certain way, we all celebrate it together, that is why we ask you to share your messages and celebrations through the hasthags #takeachildtothetheatre. #takeachildtothetheatre.

We are more than 90 countries celebrating this day, join the celebration!

Official message World Day of the Performing Arts for Children and Youth

Take a child to the theater OR bring the theater to the child!

The objective of this campaign is to facilitate access to theater and the performing arts for all children and young people. By recognizing the role of the adult in this sense, we have a double focus: that of the adult who cares for the child or young person, who enables their access to culture; and that of the artists who create works that can reach children and youth wherever they are.

This day – March 20, 2024 – is a time for our members around the world to analyze what is happening in our sector, in our societies and in our audiences. As a global association that works for the unification of professionals and for the rights of children and youth to arts and culture, we must ask ourselves the questions that affect us all. Advocacy means looking beyond our own circle of influence and personal concern. It is a way of opening ourselves to broader issues related to human rights and the value of children and youth in our own contexts and in relation to the world. What do we have in common in all contexts?

We believe in the power of theater and performance. It allows us to explore ideas that extend what we see and understand to other parts of the brain, heart, and spirit. It offers us a human connection. It inspires fantasy and imagination and deals with impossible themes with joy and heart. It involves young people in an empathetic exchange that allows individual and collective transformation. Use all your intelligence. It uses all the senses to create wonder and stimulates thinking. This is what we do, around the world, wherever our members gather and we do it with knowledge, skill and ingenuity. We do it in the streets and in the great theaters, in schools, in homes and on stages. We make theater for, with, by and about childhood and youth, wherever they are. Children and young people need theater and spectacle and, due to their lack of power, they need adults to help them experience it.

As this World Theater Day approaches we are deeply aware of the work being done in our sector for and with young people and families who are victims of war, terror, political and domestic conflict, poverty, violence , displacement and homelessness, discrimination. Some have asked: “How can we continue talking about the future of theater and performing arts in this world? What does it matter next to the tragedy and injustice that surrounds us?” I believe that by making theater and shows for and with children and youth we are continually engaged in an act of hope. Our art form offers interpretation and direct connection to themes and situations that children face in their daily lives and that can speak to them with a voice that listens and understands. Reflection on your own situation is aided by what we can safely open up, offering truth alongside possibility and imagining a future or path that can spark ideas in young people about what could be different. The act of creating is hopeful.

For us, as artists, and for us, as adults who facilitate children and youth's access to art, culture and creativity, it is important to ask ourselves questions. If we do not realize and validate their experience in play and in the realms of the imagination, without the stories and the possibility of escape, fun and joy, without the exploration of goodness and humanity that accompanies this audience, can we understand ourselves? Without the development of the real capacity for action and participation of children and youth, can we maintain our own hope?

Perhaps now we should realize that not everything depends on us, and by walking alongside children and young people we can recognize and draw strength from the power of their imagination and their innate and instinctive sense of possibility.

Sue Giles AM

President ASSITEJ International

Messages from the children of Cuba for World Day 2024

(From May 24 to June 2, the World Congress of ASSITEJ International is held in Cuba)

On our Planet, where the candles of Peace, Faith and Love are barely extinguished in a dark present, between loss of values, climate crises, extreme poverty and fratricidal wars, the voices of children emerge as a light of the hope. For the friends and colleagues of the performing arts of the world, from a small and supportive archipelago of the Latin American Caribbean, these are the voices that give us, with a smile to the future, these messages of love on this Day of Theater for Children and Youth . They are children and adolescents, who from school, arts and theater have been a seed in their educational and social formation, from different communities, towns and cities in Cuba, where educators, art instructors and stage professionals have arrived. In their voices, they give us faith in Martí's preaching as a work guide: “-We work for children, because children are the ones who know how to love, because children are the hope of the world.-” (ASSITEJ Cuba)

Massiel Amalia Wilson De Armas (Remedios, Cuba, 8 years old)

I was born into a family of artists, art has always surrounded me. My great-grandfather, a great singer who, without attending school, learned to play the guitar in a great way. He made them himself and also sang. My grandmother was a composer capable of creating any feeling in song. My mother is a professional dancer. And so, always full of art, every day of my life passes. My mother always tells me the funny story of the day she discovered me in front of the mirror making different faces. At that moment he says he thought, without a doubt this girl will be an actress. I grew up seeing in my city the best children's theater group that exists for me. The Guiñol Fidel Galván theater of my beautiful Remedios. And I always wanted to be there like them, giving joy to everyone. I have the joy of being part of a children's theater, musician, dance company that makes me very, very happy. Doing theater for me is giving life to the different stories we see every day. I can show joy, sadness, anger, wonder and many many more feelings. I have been able to fulfill my dream of being an artist and make this part of my daily life

My favorite workshops are theater ones, I really enjoy them. Each character allows me to be a new girl, from each one I learn something new. But without a doubt the most important thing I have learned is that, as mom says, theater is the most complete of all arts.

Patricia de la Caridad Bricuyet Aguilar (Bayamo, Cuba, 7 years old)


Letter from a Cuban girl

My name is Patricia de la Caridad Bricuyet Aguilar, I am 7 years old and I have been in the theater since I was 3 years old, I love acting.

Theater for me is like another family, because it teaches me things that I didn't know, for example, not to give up the first time. It means children and parents being together. That there are more opportunities in life, it taught me to be a better person, to express myself in different ways, using my body and many other things. I have acted in works of the Children's Theater project “Los Andantinos”. They are: “The Dancing Flowers”, “The Little Prince”, “Fantastic Clowns”, “Tribute to Charles Chaplin”, “The Witch's Monologue”. It has been good to be in the theater, because I learn about the plays, I make friends, I feel better, I know other places outside of my house. The plays that I have seen are: “The Model”, “At Three at Once”, “Why Alice”, “Faro”. I understood that Faro is our country, and that our country is important, we must love it. From the play Why Alice, I understood that Alice wants to change her world and make it better. Well, the others do not want to change the bad things in their world and the queen mistreated the other characters.

Without theater there would be no plays, no culture, no performance.


Sofía Díaz Rodríguez (Havana, Cuba, 14 years old)

For me the theater is a refuge. One, in which people can put aside our identity and transform into the least thought-out characters that the mind of a playwright can devise. It is a world parallel to ours in which, both on stage and in the audience, we can enjoy a perfect mix of the arts.

I began my connection with the theater thanks to my mother, a children's theater actress-puppeteer. Since I was little I have lived a large part of my life mixed with the audience, or being one of the people who goes on stage to represent a character. I feel my familiarity and my love for him, thanks to the fact that outside I am someone who is sometimes consumed by introversion; On the other hand, when acting I feel the mobility and the need to feel like another person, someone who only wants to make his art reach others, I feel that my true self was left off the stage and that in that moment I live for what I do. Today, I see this art as a fundamental part of my life, and I feel that without the show I would not be me.

When entering a theater we feel the need to join the staging, from knowing the plot to becoming familiar with the characters. Theater is a life enterprise, where the actor takes over the way of speaking, dressing, moving and even takes over the character's thoughts. It gives us a second home in which we feel able to laugh or even cry.

That is its great importance. Its ability to make us cultured people and, above all, to let ourselves be carried away a little by human sensations, and forget that something else exists outside the stage that is not art. That's why I insist on the need to escape from reality and go to the theater.

Cristian Manuel Artola Rodríguez (Isle of Youth, Cuba, 12 years old)

Mom always tells me that when she was still in her tummy, she already took me to the theater.

I think that's why I like it so much. She has allowed me to perform with her many times and during the COVID-19 pandemic we and my little brother Cristofer also recorded funny videos at home to have fun and share on social networks. I think that without theater life would be very boring.

Saharis Borges López (Isle of Youth, Cuba, 17 years old)

Theater is my life. I have been acting since I was little and I have been told that I look very pretty. With theater I have learned many things; to speak better, to make new friends. I thank my teachers Teresita and Meilim for teaching me and helping me move forward. Acting makes me happy, that's why I'm going to live to act in theaters and make children very happy.

Share your messages and programming on networks with the hastag #takeachildtothetheatre #takeachildtothetheatre