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ASSITEJ Korea held the ceremony of “World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People” at the Multipurpose Hall of Marronnier Park in Daehangno, the theatre district in Seoul, at 4pm on March 21, 2016.

Use the link to see the video. (

Every year, most of our members including our first generation gather to join the Celebration. And we celebrated the Day with messages by Jenny Sealey, Yvette Hardie and by Mr. YOON Jo-byung, the former President of ASSITEJ Korea.

This year, ASSITEJ Korea created the 1st Best Actor Awards for those who deserve to be recognized for their devotion to the field, Theatre for Children and Young People.

Also, ASSITEJ Korea underlined the significance of the Day with the ASSITEJ Korea award-ceremony. This year the 13th recipient was Mr. MENG Oan-ho, a Cultural officer of Goethe-Institut Korea, who got credit for contributing to develop contents and cultural exchanges for children and young people.

Please find the ASSITEJ Korea’s message for the 2016 World Day below.

You are artists of the world.

 I was walking along the street. I saw mostly kindergarten and grade school children, some teachers and parents, and occasionally grandmas and grandpas. I saw several middle school students in tidy school uniforms, and some children with different nationalities or ethnicities. There were also some children with disabilities walking slowly ahead. All these people, who were not part of a group, were actually moving towards the same place, the theatre where the ASSITEJ festival was taking place. There was a big sign in front of the theatre. A simple picture was printed on it.

“Mom, what is that?”

A child asks.

“It’s an exclamation mark.”

The child asks once more.

“What’s an exclamation mark?”

“Hmmm… An exclamation mark is….”

The mother has seen a lot and learned a lot, but she cannot find the words to explain. But that moment she was whisked back to memories: There was an exclamation mark next to the blooming spring flowers; it was there when the petals flew off during summer storms; it was there when the mountains turned red and gold in the autumn; and it was there when she looked at her college sweetheart from afar. It used to be everywhere, but now she rarely sees it, perhaps that is why she cannot explain.

“Don’t you know what it is?”

The child asks.

“No, I know.”

The mother says she knows, and hurries the next lines. “When you were born, when you entered kindergarten, my heart choked up. There was an exclamation mark right there.” The child did not pry further. The mother saw that other people were talking about the exclamation mark, too. She realized that people regardless of age or nationality all yearned for the exclamation mark. The child told her that it was time, and they entered the theatre. The curtains when up, and after what seemed like a very short dream, they came down. The child marveled that they flew on a drone, and the mother marveled that a silkworm flew like a helicopter. People leaving the theatre felt the exclamation mark flying towards them like a tremolo.

You are who made this beautiful transformation happen. The growth of ASSITEJ Korea was possible because of our members, companies, and staff who continuously tried to bring exclamation marks to the playground of imagination.

You broadened the horizon of TYA, and found new stories and forms.

You defeated the monster called reality and let the audiences fly to the dreamlike world.

You let the theatrical language, sentiments, actions, and structures come alive.

You were patient enough to work with the deficient and crowded spaces.

You realized the Humanism that enriches life, and enlivened cultural education in an organic and concrete way through TYA. In a country that still lacks a theatre reserved for TYA, you are the artists of the world who cultivate young people into true cultural citizens of the future.

Article_April_the 13th ASSITEJ Korea Awards

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