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——Speech on ASSITEJ World Day of Theatre for Children

The gate of China Children’s Art Theatre opened again, on 15 August 2020…

The worst period of COVID-19 has gone already, yet the theatre still under 50% attendance. Our artists also prepared for a possibility that there might only be one or a couple of audiences. As we know, there’s no need for parents to run the risk of taking children to the theatre…However, when we started to perform again, we had a “full house”. At that moment, we felt our eyes running over with tears. Then we deeply recognized how much children need the company of theatre.

In the past one year, when we couldn’t have live shows, we interacted with children by on line audio and video productions. After we got back to normal live performance, we also did streaming for premiere of two new productions, in case children all over China could watch them. The virus didn’t separate us from children, in the opposite it made us be more intimate.

Today is ASSITEJ World Day of Theatre for Children. We organize 30 famous domestic theatres to send the message “World Day of Theatre for Children”, appealing to people that “Children’s theatre is about the future. there are more than 300 million children and teenagers in China, and we need more outstanding professionals to join us”. Also today, a bronze relievo about children’s theatre was completed in the Hall of China National Theatre for Children, which becomes a part of this century-old building. One week later on the World Theatre Day, we will launch a video album, “World Theatre Day – focus on children’s theatre in theatre”, with a number of famous artists, so as to draw the attention of the whole society.

ASSITEJ is a shared platform for the world children’s theatre workers, and ASSITEJ World Day of Theatre for Children is an anniversary of mutual encouragement. Here, salute all colleagues! Whether online or offline, we will be together.

This year during the ASSITEJ World Congress, our puppetry Yeh-Shen, will be performed online. Here, I would like to thank Mr. Hisashi Shimoyama and all the staff of the Japanese host for their efforts! I wish this congress a complete success!

Feng Li


China National Theatre for Children

20 March 2021

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