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It is in the frame of the African Festival of Theatre for Children and Youth (Fatej), which will celebrate its 20th anniversary from November 11 to 18, 2016, that will take place the first session of “Shaping stories – Construire une histoire”, a Laboratory in French-speaking contemporary playwriting for young people, designed by Scènes d’enfance – ASSITEJ France as part of the Regional workshops of ASSITEJ International.

Starting from an aknowledgment, the weak representation of French-speaking Africa in applications for the Festival “The Cradle of Creativity”, which will host ASSITEJ’s Congress in May 2017, we developed the project of training sessions and exchanges, led by high level speakers, and proposed to artists interested in young audiences, and living in Africa. The theme, drama, or “How to build a story”, will allow the gathering of professionals from different disciplines. The program of the session in Yaounde, designed collectively by Karin Serres (author), Gustave Akakpo (author, associated artist with the Tarmac, French international theatre for francophonia) and Pascale Grillandini (Postures Association) includes several events : round table, dramaturgical and playwiting workshops, feedback and reflection on consistency.

With the support of the five main French-speaking TYA publishers (Espaces 34, Actes-Sud Heyoka, l’Ecole des loisirs, Editions théâtrales and Lansman Editions), participants will be also given a suitcase of contemporary plays for all ages, and the possibilities of future uses, especially for projects in French-speaking schools and cultural institutions, will be addressed during the workshops.

The session that will take place at FATEJ will bring together artists participating in the festival, with the support of the French Institute in Cameroon. A second session,  open to 15-20 participants, is being prepared. It would take place between 20 and 27 May 2017, as part of the Festival “The cradle of creativity,” 19th Congress of ASSITEJ, and would be preceded by an international call for applications. Subsequent meetings could be considered in 2018 and 2019. Depending on the desire of the participants, we would like theses workshops to be a platform to foster exchanges for French-speaking TYA artists and managers, and, why not, a seed for the development of a permanent network, in the frame WLPG and ASSITEJ International.

Scènes d’enfance – ASSITEJ France is supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication for this project.

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