Fenêtre des enfants – ASSITEJ Haiti is mobilizing for the 1st of June of playwriting. Read an interview with Jonathan Registre, one of the founders of this recently founded national center
What have you organized for June 1, 2021?
We are proposing a staged reading, “Le Bleu des abeilles”, a text by Laura Alcoba, whom I met in Reims, within the framework of M’Auteurs. An actress will read the text for us at the Alliance Française in Jacmel. Afterwards, we will have a reading workshop and a theater workshop. And then a talk with the author C. Bernard Sérant, with whom we inaugurated the project “Être acteur (e) de jeunesse en Haϊti” (Being an actor for youth in Haïti). We would also like to launch an awareness campaign for early childhood activities, around the theme of cultural health, inspired by the work of Sophie Marinopoulos.
Are you helped, for this June 1st edition?
No, still not. We work without means, in a completely voluntary way. It is difficult for the actors, who work with us out of friendship. We don’t even have enough to contribute to their expenses, so that they can continue to work. I promise them that one day there will be subsidies, but in the meantime, we have to keep working, even without money. The French Institute has not answered our messages.
ASSITEJ Haiti has managed, in spite of everything, to operate on a permanent basis. How do you manage to do this?
There is a core group of five people, but, depending on the needs, there are other professionals who are interested in working with us, for example for the video. A new person will soon be in charge of international communication, among others with ASSITEJ and its Ibero-American network. The poster of June 1st was designed by a graphic designer I met at the Barak Festival in Belgium, Hubert de Jamblinne.
We have service partnerships. For example, associations that work in the audiovisual field, that take care of the photos, others that do mediation. Some of them offer us spaces to host activities, like the Pyepoudre Cultural Center.
What do you need the most?
The most difficult thing is that we don’t have an office. We can find the material, but it is difficult to work without internet, with power cuts. We also have a great need for children’s books, plays, scientific and educational documents.
Beyond that, we are looking for ways to develop our activities, through partnerships with other countries. The “jackpot” would be to produce shows in cooperation, and to bring people from France, Belgium, Canada, the United States, and Cuba to conduct workshops. We work with people who lack experience. How do you write a play for young audiences? We have writers, but they write novels, short stories… Writing for a show is something else. In October 2022, we are creating the International Festival of Performances for Young Audiences and Young Children in Haiti, which we would like to be preceded by a residency entitled “Season of writing and youth creations”.
We have the stories, we have the audience, and we know how to work with the minimum of means.