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The Croatian ASSITEJ Center this year will celebrate 20 years since its establishment in 1996 and the activities of the center, as well as its members, all painted in these celebratory colors.

The Croatian ASSITEJ Center consists of 25 professional theaters for children and youth. These include public institutions, municipal theaters, cultural centers, private theaters, and artistic organizations. Additionally, our members include 10 individuals, artists who regularly work in theaters for children and youth.

Every year, and now for the 19th time, the HC ASSITEJ has organized national meetings of professional theaters for children and young people, for the 16th time in ?akovec, where the best Croatian theater, artists, critics, and guests from the region and the world gather to share knowledge and experiences in theaters for children and youth.

As the program is extensive, and the annual production is large, for the last few years a selector chooses the top 10 of the performances from last year at the festival. This year the selector was the theater director Drazen Feren?ina. The performances were evaluated by a professional jury composed of Jasminka Mesari?, theater producer, Jasmin Novljakovi?, theater director, and Morana Dolenc, theater director, actress, and puppeteer.

In addition to performances, a workshop was held on “Theatre and schools – new tendencies in the development of relations”, designed for theater and drama teachers and the promotion and popularity of theater. The workshop was led by Prof. Gerd Taube, PhD, a prominent theater teacher and the director of the Kinder & Jugendtheatarzentrum in Frankfurt, the president of the German alliance for the cultural education of youth, and a member of the advisory board for theater and dance at the Goethe Institute.

During the festival we set up and opened an exhibition on puppet works with students of the Art Academy in Osijek, Department of Theatre Design, “Theatre Design @ UAOS”. On the 22nd of October the activities of our members and colleagues were presented; the upcoming Festival of Dance and Movement in theaters for children and youth as organized by the KLIKER platform in Varaždin from the 24th to the 30th October 2016, a documentary video projection of the tour by the Japanese group “Dora” with the presentation of Ayanasu (“Woven”) under the auspices of the Japanese Foundation of the Performing Arts and the Tokyo Arts Council, which was carried out with the associate partner Assitej in Serbia in the Branko Mihaljevi? Theater in Osijek, the Virovitica Theater, and the Cultural Centre of Cakovec, the presentation of Croatian representatives at this year’s INTERPLAY in Sweden, the young writer Beatrica Kurbel, and the promotion of two books by Teodor Vigato; “Mile Gatara and Zadar Puppetry” and “All the Puppeteers of Zadar – contributions to the history of the Zadar Puppet Theatre”.

At the awards ceremony at the end of the festival, the third concert reading took place of the text of Milica Lukši?; “The Expulsion of Wicked Animals”, directed by Lovro Krsnik and organized by the Theater Epicenter from Zagreb.

At the 19th meeting of professional theaters for children and youth of the Croatian Assitej Center, for the first time two equal awards were awarded for the Best Overall performance; for children and young people.

  1. The award for the best overall presentation for children was awarded to the play “Pumpkin Soup” – the Puppet Theatre Zadar – Helen Cooper / Ana Proli?.
  2. The prize for the best overall presentation for young people was awarded to the play “2.14 h” by the Virovitica Theater David Paquet.
  3. The prize for the best direction was awarded to Robert Raponja for the direction of the performance of “2,14 h” by the Virovitica Theater.
  4. The prize for the best dramatic text was awarded to Maja Kati? for the dramatization of the performance “Love, Only Love” of the Poco Loco Theater.
  5. The prize for set design was awarded to Jasmina Pacek for the scenography of the performance “2,14 h” by the Virovitica Theater.
  6. The prize for best costume design was awarded to Hana Letica for the costume design for the performance “Pumpkin Soup” by the Zadar Puppet Theater.
  7. The prize for the best music was awarded to Davorka Horvat for the music in “Love, Only Love” by the Poco Loco Theater.


Best acting achievements:

  1. Female role: Vjera Vidov for the role of Patka in the presentation “Pumpkin Soup” by the Zadar Puppet Theater.
  2. Male role: Bruno Kontrec for the role of Puža in the presentation “Love, Only Love”, by the Poco Loco Theater.
  3. Award for the best collective acting achievement: the ensemble of the performance “2,14 h” for the Virovitica Theater.

A special award was granted for the presentation:

  1. “Searching for a Diamond Tear” by the City Theater of Pozega for fostering the puppet technique – Guignol.

Leo Vukeli?, HC ASSITEJ, president