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By Ernie Nolan, Member of the Executive Committee

Feeling Connected when Being Apart is Imperative

Unprecedented. Unheard-of. Extraordinary. These are just a few of the words that have been
used to describe the past few weeks, but I would use another word… BUSY! As I practice being
“safer at home,” it seems like there is always something to do to help my theatre get through
this difficult, difficult time. Scrolling through Facebook while drinking my morning coffee, I can’t
relate to those who write about being bored stuck at home. For those of us who run theatre
companies, it feels like the work is never ending and crucial decisions for survival need to be
made every day.
A colleague of mine with Disaster Management experience recently put out a message with
suggestions on how to lead during these challenging times. “Gather, consolidate, and clarify
information,” was her first recommendation. “Spend time listening,” was her second. Her
advice has certainly proven helpful. Whether talking to staff, reporting to my board, or
commiserating with colleagues, never has communication been so needed and important.
Is it just me, or does it seem like there are now more platforms to communicate and meet on
than ever before? Whether Zoom, Teams, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting, RingCentral, and
good old FaceTime, those are just the business options, not to mention SnapChat, Marco Polo,
and House Party.
One of the positive things to come out of this demanding time, is the way my essential work
communications have inspired personal ones. While isolated, I feel lucky enough to have
reconnected with friends across the country and globe. It’s never felt easier and more
necessary. (Especially once I figured out multiple global time zones correctly.) In fact, every late
Monday afternoon I’m able to walk away from my desk and stop working to participate in a
standing Zoom “Happy Hour” with four other ASSITEJ friends. There’s a lot of listening (and
laughing) going on during those catch ups. They are also a wonderful opportunity to explore the
third and final point shared by my Disaster Management colleague, “Assume no one is
experiencing this like you are.”
The reports and updates you are about to read from other ASSITEJ centers are also following
the principles that I described above. I hope that you will spend time reading about these
multiple perspectives and come away feeling connected when being apart is imperative.

ASSITEJ Japan / ASSITEJ International
POSTPONEMENT of the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress & Performing Arts Festival / MIRAI 2020

>>Read the announcement here<<

COVID-19 & TYA: A global snapshot
Minister for Hope for the Future


A Letter to the Danish Minister for Culture:
"...Joy Mogensen – you are Minister (...) for Hope for the Future. You are Minister for The Art of Creating Identity. You are Minister for The Art of Dreaming the Impossible.

You have said that culture cannot be put into a spreadsheet. And yet you seem to struggle a bit with definitions.

The RETURN ON INVESTMENT in culture cannot be put into a spreadsheet. What is the cost of hope for the future? Probably many millions, if you ask me. But what does it cost TO CREATE hope for the future? It costs money. It costs funding for theatres, education of artists. It costs printed song sheets for community singing. And much more..."

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The second crisis affecting TYA in Zambia


Zambia has not been spared by the coronavirus pandemic which is currently ravaging the world. The country has however not been affected so much as we so far have had only thirty-nine cases recorded with one death. It is worth noting that our health care system is quite limited and the detection of the virus may not be as accurate.

The Zambian situation has been made worse by the fact that two months ago, the country witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon never seen before in the history of the country where there was some mysterious poisoning and gassing of people’s homes and some public places by some unknown people.

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A Postcard from Lockdown UK


Many children and their adults are embarking on a new adventure: home-schooling. Humans love to learn, and none more than children. Some parents are trying to recreate the school environment in their houses, others are finding less formal, more creative ways to support their children's natural curiosities. Creativity in lockdown is inspiring. (...)

But we must not forget the many children who are in precarious places right now in the UK, with no access to the internet and less than stable family conditions without so much as a local park to let off steam in. These are the children who will be needing us the most on the other side, if we can but reach them.

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Theatre in Times of Coronavirus


They say the artist is the person who is firstly in touch with himself, in touch with humanity and grooms the closest relationship with nature. Therefore, this is even a sadder moment for all art makers around the world as its shaking and tearing apart the humane, social and cultural fabric we have managed to sew and knit together after many years of war, violence, bigotry, separatism, terrorism, apartheid etc.

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Extraordinary vitality and creativity


Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Serbian art scene is facing extraordinary circumstances. Just as during the 1990’s war in the region, or catastrophic floods of 2014, artists in Serbia were among the first to react to events that plague society. In addition to affirming the value of this sector as an important subject in society, professional theatre and dance scene for children and young people demonstrate their extraordinary vitality and creativity.

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As the whole world works now virtually it is not easy to reach the small children

Small Size Network

As the whole world works now virtually it is not easy to reach the small children. This was revealed also in the big Small size zoom, organized 3.4.The meeting was long, we spoke for more than four hours and at one moment there were 40 members online! There is a big need of connecting now.

Photo: Corona monster bird by Haddah, 4 years old

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Be strong, be brave, be steadfast

ASSITEJ New Zealand 

“...I too felt pressure to produce and perform. I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing enough, that I wasn’t using my platform to be of great service right away. But then I realized — I don’t know how to do that yet. There was a real possibility I might burn myself out producing something mediocre instead of figuring out what might be most useful. So I gave myself permission to slow down.”  

So slow down. Take time to think about your values and your audiences. Nourish yourself and your ecosystem. Connect and collaborate.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui. Be strong, be brave, be steadfast.

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The situation is worse for TYA artists, as they depend on schools


Germany is a federal country with 16 states that are each responsible for funding arts and culture. This means that artists are confronted with very different situations depending on where they are based. Some federal states have acted fast and set aside funds for artists in need. The situation is, of course, most difficult for those working on a freelance basis.

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A loss of 1.75 million USD

ASSITEJ Korea has lead a survey on the damage cases of the TYA sector caused by Covid-19.

Around 184 cancellations and up to 117 postponements of the shows and the educational programs have resulted in a loss of 1.75 million dollars (estimated) over the past two months due to Covid-19 outbreak.

(photo: A major performing arts district, Daehak-ro, no longer on the move )

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The Norwegian Dugnad

In Norway we have this great word – dugnad – which means a joint voluntary effort to make it work based on what you can contribute with. This is what is happening right now in Norway - everyone is doing their fair share to avoid that the Corona-virus situation will be the downfall of our industries, including the arts. The Norwegian government, funding institutions – public and private – have all decided to join in on the Dugnad. Here is how….

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The Arts Community is Amazing

ASSITEJ Australia

The Arts community is amazing – so much kindness and sharing of anything from food and toilet paper (!) to resources and grant opportunities. Children are at home and there are lots of resources to help parents entertain and keep kids occupied. But vulnerable children are very much at risk.

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The Irish government reacted fast


The Irish government reacted fast and with a good awareness of the impact on the private sector in Ireland. More than 230,000 people applied for the Covid19 emergency payment of 350 euro per week for 12 weeks. Most artists were eligible for the emergency payment and the Arts Council honoured any contracts affected by the lockdown itself.

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The federal government has been awfully inconsistent


The situation of Covid-19 in Brazil brings a lot of concern. The federal government has been awfully inconsistent in the way it faces the pandemic. Although a week ago the Congress approved emergency measures to offer financial support to informal workers – most theatre people included – the president and the Ministry of Economy have sat on them based on supposed legal matters.

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COVID-19: Initatives & Resources


COLORAVIRUS aims to be a meeting point or, like a festival, a place to enlighten the importance of our sector and to maximise the impact of all the qualitative projects that are going to be produced even in this period. If theatres are in lockdown, our creativity is still alive.

If you are an artist or you run a company, a festival or a theatre, if you are doing any activity on the web, and you'd like to be part of COLORAVIRUS' special programme, you can send us your proposal, such as a piece of your artistic work, a reading, a creative tutorial or the link to the event you are programming. This might be included in the next #COLORAVIRUS episodes.

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Resources & inspiration from TYA/USA

TYA/USA is working to support the national field of TYA in the US through emergency webinars, peer-to-peer exchange calls, and resource sharing. 

All of our resources in response to COVID-19 will be posted here: http://www.tyausa.org/covid19/

We've launched a new weekly publication called TYA@Home, sharing all of the content that TYA theatres are creating or sharing online. All of the issues can be found here: http://www.tyausa.org/publications/tyahome/

Here is the series of webinars we're offering this week, with recordings that we will make available to the international community: https://madmimi.com/p/2449701/preview

ASSITEJ Spain offers dramatic texts for free download

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In response to the current pandemic crisis that has led to the confinement of citizens in towns and cities, several entities have generously offered a part of their work in a virtual way.

ASSITEJ Spain offers, in its web page, different texts published in its Theatre Collection, for free download.

This is an invitation to enjoy playwriting for children and young people, from home.


Share your online activities

Upside Down World Day of Theatre is still running

A group of ASSITEJ Centres have created "Upside Down World Day of Theatre for Young Audiences". The slogan is "Take the THEATRE to a CHILD, Today!" The campaign on Facebook is an open space for all members to share the online resources. Due to the unprecedented state of crisis in the world, we are going to continue to run this event for the foreseeable future.

View all open calls

Discover various open calls concerning TYA!

NEXT GENERATION RESIDENCY 2020 at Schöne Aussicht/ Bright View 2020: Call for applications


Schöne Aussicht/ Bright View 2020 invites 10 people (18-35 years), living and working in Europe, to participate in the NEXT GENERATION RESIDENCY 2020.

⏰ Deadline: 3 May 2020

🗓 Dates: 20 - 27 June 2020
🌍 Stuttgart, Germany

Read the call >>>

Post doctoral position in Norway in performances for early years


The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a 2 year Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the field of Performing Arts and Aesthetics at the Faculty of Art and Education Department of Early Childhood Education.

⏰ Deadline: 27 April
🗓 August 2020 - 2022

🌍 Stavanger, Norway 

Read the call >>>

Arts for Good Fellowship 2020: call for applications


Are you passionate about using the arts for good? Join the Singapore International Foundation’s Arts for Good Fellowship 2020 today and join a community of international arts practitioners for positive social change.

⏰ Deadline: 26 April 2020
🌍 Singapore

Read the call >>>

Call for papers: 6th. International Theatre for Children & Young People Research and Critics Forum

The goal of these Forums is to make a theoretical contribution to TYA professionals, to promote the development of new trends, and to reflect on TYA challenges in the 21st. Century. During the meeting different theoretical frameworks on critical approaches will be proposed and the role of theory in practice and practice in theory will be discussed. The 6th FORUM expects to be a platform for exchange.

The topic of this 6th Forum will be:

“The politically correct issues in TYA today”

The program includes conferences, paper readings, plenary sessions, round tables, and debates presented by TYA researchers and professionals from different countries and continents.

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