Skip to main content

“Thinking About the Artistic Creation for Early Years “

Small Size Network invites you to watch together three pre-selected performances for early years in a group led by Karel van Ransbeeck, artistic director of De Spiegel theatre from Antwerp, Belgium. The masterclass includes one introductory session (21 November), three shows watched together on the same day, and the final discussion the next day.

We start with an introductory session in which van Ransbeek will offer his views on early years’ theatre, based on his 30-year expertise, followed by a first group discussion.

The following performances will be watched on the same day:

Forest of Songs by Kus Kus, Slovenia and Children’s Theatre Dubrava, Croatia

The main idea of the performance is to create a sound forest theatre built from materials derived from nature. In this theatre forest plants, trees, fruits, and other things from the forest come to life in the form of musical instruments or stage sets. The main thread of the performance is the tale of a hedgehog and his best friend, the bear, based on children’s tales from Russian author Sergei Kozlov (1940 – 2010). The hedgehog and the bear live in the forest and explore it together; they meet other animals, observe nature and the changes the seasons bring to their forest. Through their relationship, the tales reveal topics such as friendship, trust, loneliness, tolerance, sensitivity, bewilderment for the world that surrounds them, and the joy of life. Together with the hedgehog and the bear, the children are set for an adventure in lessons of life, its troubles, secrets, and joys.

The Forest of Sounds is a musical-puppet fairytale for children. It is a sound “forest” theatre where the forest plats, tree branches, roots, and forest fruits become musical instruments, puppets, or parts of the stage set.

Sound Bird by Kolibri Theatre for Children and Youth, Hungary

How wonderful it is to create and receive sounds! Every living thing produces a sound – singing, squeaking, laughing, stomping, rustling. Now, it is our turn to make music together! The play is built up of sounds, colours and images. The SoundBird and the Storyteller invite us on a magical journey. The interactivity of the performance is made possible by a unique and innovative audio technology. Everything happens in real-time, thus enabling the performer to time interactions based on the audience’s reactions – just like a chorus master.

The performance was made in the framework of MAPPING – A Map on the Aesthetics of Performing Arts for Early Years funded by the ‘Creative Europe’ programme of the European Commission.

The Wind by Theatre for Children and Young, Kragujevac, Serbia

What does a tree look like when the wind is blowing, and what does it look like when there is no wind? How many children in the world right now feel that same wind caressing their faces? Are there other important things or phenomena that we cannot easily see – but feel? The Wind talks about the unbreakable connection of a human with other humans and with nature, about the balance that brings us a lot of good and joy but is sensitive and easily disturbed. Freed from the precision of words, this play addresses the youngest and young audience with images and sounds that everyone freely assembles into their own story about the wind.

The masterclass is aimed at theatre practitioners and students of performing arts or applied theatre who want to understand better the specificities and conditions of performance-making for the youngest children (0-6).

The working language will be English, and the introductory and final sessions will be held in the OPENS – Community Centre room in Novi Sad, Bulevar Despota Stefana 5.

The number of participants is limited thus, the applications for the masterclass in the form of a short motivation letter (max. 5 sentences) are to be sent by 10 October at the latest to

The Masterclass is part of the “’Theatre & Performing Arts for Young Audiences: Building Collective Resilience’” project supported by the European Union.

Please note that participants of the Small Size Network masterclass are expected to register for the Gathering in line with the Registration Fees Announcement, which will soon be published. You can choose: daily attendance, full programme attendance, student fee, low-income country delegate fee, group discount, etc.

About Karel van Ransbeeck

About Small Size

ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering 2023 “Turning Point” is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Tourism and Youth, Swedish Institute through “Creative Partnerships”, City of Belgrade, City of Novi Sad, French Institute through Teatroscop and other funders. The event is held as part of the projects ‘Babel or The Art of Listening in Theatre for Young Audiences’ and ‘Theatre & Performing Arts for Young Audiences: Building Collective Resilience’, funded by the European Union through “Creative Europe” programme.

You may now browse the website in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, or Russian by using the button on the top-right of the page.

Please note that these are AI translations that have not yet been manually checked.