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Usually when I put a pen in my hand, it runs and dances on the piece of paper as if to catch up with a dream envisioned in the head. But these days, as soon as I sit at my desk and put the pen in my hand, it starts moving awkwardly and instead of writing sentences with thoughts, it sketches words so randomly as if one word calls for another, and then I realize, I’m looking out the window searching for spaces for thoughts and ideas.

If “that” didn’t occur, we would have met, enjoyed conversations, and exchanged our future plans for performing arts for children and young people here in Tokyo, under our strategic theme, “Towards the Unknown.”

Luckily, the technology was ready in time so that we were able to meet online in the ASSITEJ Coffee Sessions and carry on such fruitful conversations both regionally and thematically. 

I’d say the conversations were fruitful because we were able to share our experiences and to speak about each other’s current situations, which for most of us, brought such relief. 

At the same time, they were also confrontational, hearing the situations for theatres for young audiences that cannot reach their audiences….

Most probably (here in Tokyo for sure!), there have been so many online conversations among practitioners that are fruitful and confrontational, severe and depressing, learning and exhausting.

Or should I say, “a bit overloaded”?

I do believe we have faced the situation in every way we can, not knowing what may come in future, but making full use of the technology, and yes, my brain is full of words so scattered and scratched as if they were the ruins of thoughts, searching for certainty for the future! But the future is so uncertain and it is now even more unknown, so that now when I realize I’m looking out the window I am searching for opportunities to hear the voiceless voices of children and young people because they are the future. 

So, let’s admit that the future is uncertain and it will always be. But we do know that we are here, available to listen to the voices of those who live in the future and together with them, we are here to create the imaginative world of so-called theatre, in order to construct the future to come, taking steps towards the unknown.

We are all looking forward to meeting you here in Tokyo in March 2021 for the postponed ASSITEJ World Congress. Until then, hang in there!