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‘BABEL or the Art of Listening in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA)’


European Large-Scale Cooperation project

‘Creative Europe’ Programme





‘Babel’ is a European Large scale Cooperation project (‘Creative Europe’ Programme) involving 14 Partners from 11 European countries, coordinated by Teatercentrum I Danmark – DK.  The partners are: ASSITEJ International, La Baracca – IT, Agora Theater – BE, Bronks Jeugdtheater – BE, Théâtre La Montagne Magique – BE, Stichting De Stilte – NL, Baboró International Children’s Festival – IE, Lutkovno Gledalisce Ljubljana – SI, Menu Spaustuve – LT, Rialles Espectacles Infantils I Juvenils – ES, Scènes d’enfance – ASSITEJ France – FR, ASSITEJ Serbia – SB, ASSITEJ Sweden – SE.

One of the main activities of the project will be training workshops for Performing Arts performers on the theme of ‘The Art of Listening, the sensitive relationship between performer and child/adolescent spectator during the performative act.

From January 2023 to November 2025, the project ‘BABEL or the Art of Listening in Theatre for Young Audiences’ organised and will organise 16 training workshops for Performing Arts performers divided into eight training Paths, based on participation in two successive workshops during two different ‘Babel’ Festivals.

The first Round with the first two training Paths was concluded in November 2023, and the next two training paths will conclude in September 2024. This call is launched to participate in the last four training paths (as detailed below).

  • Each selected performer commits to participate in both workshops of the Training Path.
  • The duration of each workshop will be five days.
  • Participation in the two workshops is free, and the ‘Babel’ project will provide accommodation and board for six days and six nights.
  • Travels will be reimbursed to a maximum of 350€. Whenever it is possible, please choose green travel.
  • No remuneration is foreseen.
  • The workshops will pursue two objectives: “The art of listening to the audience” and “The Art of Listening to the other performers, the fellow on-stage” (see later in detail).
  • The workshops will be led by highly experienced directors in Theatre for Young Audiences: Brigitte Dethier, together with Ives Thuwis and Alex Byrne, assisted by Gregory Hall (see after a brief introduction).
  • 12 performers will be selected for each Round in this way :
    • Eight from the Partners;
    • Three from the ASSITEJ International Professional Networks: Small Size, IIAN, and Young Dance Network;
    • 1 through this public call for young artists/under 35.
  • The workshops have taken and will take place during festivals organised by the project partners: International Theaterfest (Belgium), Festival Export (Belgium), Festival elPetit (Spain), Festival Lutke (Slovenia), Brik Festival (Netherlands), Festival Kitoks (Lithuania), April Festival (Denmark), Baborò Festival (Ireland), Festival Visioni di futuro, visioni di teatro (Italy).
    • Participants will then also have the opportunity to participate in the Festival’s activities when not engaged in the workshop and in the manner that will be communicated by the organising partner.
    • The relevant Rounds of this Call will take place during the following Festivals:

3rd  Round  – Path 5, led by Brigitte Dethier and Ives Thuwis

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia, Festival Lutke: 23-27 September 2024
  • Sabadell, Spain, Festival elPetit: 11-15 November 2024

3rd  Round  – Path 6, led by Alex Byrne, assisted by Gregory Hall

  • Galway, Ireland, Baborò Festival: 12 – 16 October 2024
  • Vilnius, Lithuania, Festival Kitoks: 13 – 17 January 2025

4th Round – Path 7 led by Alex Byrne, assisted by Gregory Hall

  • Bologna, Italy, Festival Visioni di futuro, visioni di teatro : first half of March 2025 (exact dates pending)
  • Galway, Ireland, Baborò Festival: 11 – 15 October (these dates might slightly change, so allow a longer period for availability)

4th Round – Path 8 led by Brigitte Dethier and Ives Thuwis

  • Denmark (city to be defined later), KLAP (AprilFest) Festival, dates of the festival: 30 March – 6 April 2025
  • Brussels, Belgium Export/Import Festival: 6 – 10 November 2025


  • Arrival is scheduled for the day before the workshop begins, and departure for the day after it ends.


       If you are interested in this offer, please send us the following information by 10 March 2024

  • Fill in the form, where you can explain your motivation towards this experience and confirm your intention to participate in the two workshops of the Babel Training path.
  • A short CV, focused on your experience in Theatre for Young Audience.



Please choose according to your experience and know-how: Brigitte and Ives will explore physical theatre, movement, and dance. Alex will explore the narrative of music and storytelling, so some knowledge of music is required.

  • Babel Training Objectives and Dramaturgy

The first objective is “The art of listening to the audience”.

This is perhaps an important objective for any type of audience, but it is even more necessary when there are children and adolescents in front of the artist, subjects with rhythms, sensitivities, perceptive and cognitive qualities that are extremely different from those of adults.

To meet this objective:

A specific training program for performers led by artistic facilitators, based on a dramaturgy in four successive steps, each of which will develop into two on-stage workshops of one week each.

Will be activated two parallel paths, to facilitate a comparison and a richer collection of data, so that during the 46 months of the project, the 16 editions of international festivals will host 16 workshops on stage of a week each.

The four steps that make up the dramaturgy are:

  • 1st step: Opening up

Bearing in mind the differences of languages between the audiences and the artists, the first step is about opening the door to the relationship between the artists and the children.

  • 2nd Step: Getting close and communicating.

The sensory-based connection will help enhance the intensity of the relationship between artists and children. To listen and to be open for mutual interchange and sharing.

To offer the audience and artists – strangers to one another before the artistic encounter takes place – the surprise of perceiving themselves as close and communicating.

  • 3rd step: Actions and reactions

As the artists make the proposals, and as these proposals entwine, different reactions take place: the reaction of the children/adolescent spectators and the reaction of the artists.

Reactions generate other reactions. The sensory-based involvement changes for both children/adolescents and artists.

Children change the quality of the expectancy, whereas artists will have to face the unexpected and be able to master their own emotions.

  • 4thstep: The balance

Balance is necessary for the artist to feel the sensory-based connection at its fullest, without losing control of the artistic proposal, so that they can measure out the inputs and avoid the easy “looking-for-approval” way.

The second objective is “The Art of Listening to the other performers, the fellow on-stage”.

It is focused on the sensitive relationship and professional exchange between the artists themselves. Although the theme is part of every shared staging experience, in the project, we will focus particularly on the difficulties of communication in sharing work between artists of different language communities within European cultural cooperation projects.  Therefore, it will investigate:

  • How to deal with the difficulties of multilingual communication between artists and the problems related to frequent misunderstandings, partial or total.
  • How to seek mutual understanding and build verbal and non-verbal relational bridges that allow a real sharing and osmosis of the different “know-hows”.
  • How to develop new and innovative approaches in the creation of artworks for children through transnational and interlinguistic collaboration.
  • How to really listen to the other person, to his or her personal and artistic subjectivity.

Babel hopes that the innovative process implemented in the project will feed the TYA cultural operators with new creative and generative ideas, and many critical questionings. It will provide the artists with original tools, reflections and inspirations to enhance the quality of their work both in terms of artistic productions and in the sensitive relationship with children and young people.

This artistic project believes that all children and young people have the right to participate in quality artistic and cultural events from an early age and to do so continuously and not just occasionally.

It is a project that wants to reaffirm that children and young people are not spectators of the future but spectators of today, human beings with the right to full cultural citizenship, regardless of their linguistic, cultural, economic and social background.

In submitting your interest in participating in Babel’s training programme, you declare that you have taken note of all the conditions of the Call, in particular, the one that says, “Each selected performer commits to participate in both workshops of the Training Path”.

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