Skip to main content

Executive Committee

As per the ASSITEJ International constitution, the governing body of this Association consists of:

• The General Assembly
• The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee comprises a maximum of fifteen members with the right to vote, including the President, three Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, and the Treasurer.

Elections for the Executive Committee of the Association are held at a meeting of the General Assembly once every three calendar years. The General Assembly shall elect the members of the Executive Committee as representatives of the ASSITEJ National Centres or Professional Networks. Each National Centre or Professional Network may have only one representative on the Executive Committee. 

Each elected Executive Committee member must come from a different country, with the exception of two members only, provided that one has been proposed by an ASSITEJ National Centre and one by a Professional Network. 

The General Assembly shall elect the President and Secretary General from those standing for the Executive Committee. From amongst the members of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly shall elect the Vice Presidents and Treasurer, who shall be nominated in a meeting of the new Executive Committee. They shall be elected in their personal capacity. The officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be chosen to represent, as fairly as possible, the interests of the organisation and the diversity of all the ASSITEJ National Centres and Professional Networks, taking into account such factors as geography, ethnic origin, gender,  and cultural identity. They should also reflect strengths that serve the concerns and priorities of the ASSITEJ International Working Plan for the elected term.

2021 – 2024 Executive Committee Members

Sue Giles AM – President
ASSITEJ Australia (Theatre Network Australia)
Email Sue

Sue has a life time career in the theatre arts in Australia, much of this with the creation and production of works for young audiences. After working in communities, schools and theatres across the nation and internationally, from the year 2000 she was Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the now acclaimed children’s theatre company Polyglot Theatre, introducing participatory, immersive works and the interrogation of play in the company’s theatrical offerings for children.  Sue created and co-created over 40 works for the company in her 22 year term as Artistic Director, including several international collaborations and cross cultural processes within Australia. Her distinct process centring children as co-creators and participants has been the subject of conferences and Industry discussions and workshops nationally and internationally. Her award-winning works have been performed in 20 countries on five continents. Sue left the company after 22 years as its artistic leader in 2022 and now concentrates on working with artists to develop new work for young audiences, directing, writing theory, strategic planning and global advocacy and continuing her passion for furthering the performing arts practice in the field of children’s theatre in Australia.

She is an advocate for Theatre for Young Audiences in Australia as a board member and co-Deputy Chair of Theatre Network Australia – the National Centre of ASSITEJ International – and internationally as President of ASSITEJ International – the global association of theatre and performing arts for young audiences.

In 2018, Sue received the Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award and authored a Platform Paper titled Young People and The Arts: An Agenda for Change. In 2019, she was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the performing arts as an artistic director, and to theatre for children. In the same year, Sue was granted an Australia Council Theatre Fellowship for her writing and advocacy work.

Louis Valente Sørensen – Secretary General
Email Louis

Louis Valente Sørensen was elected Secretary General of ASSITEJ International in 2017 and again in 2021. He is also the Executive Director of ASSITEJ Denmark and is responsible for international relations at the Danish Aprilfestival, which Teatercentrum produces.

The ASSITEJ International Secretariat in Copenhagen is funded by ASSITEJ Denmark, the Danish Arts Foundation, and Teatercentrum.

Louis’ educational background includes an MA in Philosophy and Cultural Encounters. He was raised in the world of TYA and was involved as a translator and tour manager for Teatergruppen Batida before entering ASSITEJ. Louis is married to a Cuban actress with whom he has two children. He speaks, reads and writes Danish, Spanish, and English.

Bebê de Soares – Vice President
ASSITEJ Chile (Te Veo)
Email Bebê

In 1994, after a successful international career in dance, Bebê de Soares started to work as an actress, director, and producer. She co-founded T4G – Teatro 4Garoupas with the Austrian director Arno Kleinofen in Cologne, Germany. Their collaboration was awarded and critically acclaimed in Brazil and Germany.

In 2002, she created the AMAZONAS NETWORK, an office for cultural exchange that promotes international collaboration in the field of TYA. It is also an international management platform for selected companies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Since 2017, she has been a member of the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International and the International Coordinator of ASSITEJ Chile (Te Veo). She is also co-producer and programme director of FITA Chile, the biennial Ibero-American showcase for children and young audiences.

In 2018, she became a board member of IPAY – International Performing Arts for Young Audiences in the US.

She is co-curator of the MOSTRA ESPETACULAR! in Curitiba, Brazil.

In February 2019, she moved back to Cologne, Germany, after eight years in Santiago, Chile.

Pamela Udoka – Vice President
Email Pamela

Pamela has multi-disciplinary competencies: she is President of ASSITEJ Nigeria, Artistic Director of the Children’s Arts Development Initiative, and Lead Therapist of the Family Wellness Therapy Centre. She is also a Theatre Administrator, Festival Producer, Pioneer Coordinator, and Children’s Theatre Workshop Leader. She is also the Director of Production and Technical Services for the National Troupe of Nigeria.

She has been in children’s theatre practice since 1991. A published playwright, her works include: Clash of the AntsI Dream a Christmas, and The Rejected Blessing. She presented papers at: the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture (Melbourne, Australia), the 21st Festival of Children’s Theatres (Subotica, Serbia), and the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network’s (ITYARN) conferences in Malmö, Sweden, and in Cape Town, South Africa. She has a BA (Hons), MSc, MPhil, and a PhD.

She holds memberships of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, the Nigerian Psychological Association, and the Nigerian Association of Clinical Psychologists. She brings the synergy of the arts and mental health to bear in her work as a TYA practitioner.

Seok-hong Kim – Vice President
Email Seok-hong

Seok-hong Kim has been passionate about the performing arts for his entire adult life, both as an arts manager and as an administrator. During this time, Theatre & Performing Arts for Children & Young People has been an important part of his career, as he has had a close relationship with ASSITEJ Korea, working as a board member for over a decade.

Seok-hong works for the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) while remaining active in ASSITEJ Korea as a board member for international exchanges. KAMS is a government agency that focuses significantly on the sustainability of arts companies within the harsh market arena. KAMS has been organising the Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) for about 15 years, during which time it has become one of the world’s most dynamic and creative arts markets.

Before joining KAMS, Seok-hong oversaw programming for several years at a local arts centre in Seoul, Korea. He also worked as Production Manager at the National Conservatoire School for Drama (KNUA), where he focused on linking students with professional artists in their productions.

He studied Theatre and Arts Administration at university.

Ernie Nolan – Treasurer
Email Ernie

Ernie Nolan, Executive Artistic Director of Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT), the oldest professional theatre for Theatre & Performing Arts for Children & Young People in the United States, is an award-winning, internationally recognised director and playwright.

He has directed and choreographed world premieres by Tony-nominated artists such as Willy and Rob Reale, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and Bill Russell and Henry Krieger. At NCT, he has commissioned world premieres from Idris Goodwin, Marisela Trevino Orta, Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich, Dave Deveau, Anton Lipovetsky, and Tim McDonald.

His playwriting has been featured nationally and internationally at theatres such as The Coterie, First Stage, Walnut Street, Orlando Rep, South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Stage One, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. He has also received commissions from Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, MD, La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, The Milwaukee Zoological Society, and Circle Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska, in partnership with the Institute for Holocaust Education.

Cristina Cazzola
Email Cristina

Cristina Cazzola is a cultural producer with experience in theatre and performing arts for children and young people (TYA), audience development and engagement methodologies, strategic networking, mentoring and fundraising for public institutions / private foundations / enterprises, and fostering internationalisation and cooperation processes.

Since 2006, she has been the Founder and Artistic Director of Mantova’s Segni d’infanzia Festival (SEGNI New Generations Festival). This involves around 300 event sessions for over 30,000 audience members aged from 18 months up to 18 years old as well as creative professionals and festival delegates from all over the world.

In 2012, she founded a project focused on teenage audience engagement called TEEN, a project financed twice by the ‘Creative Europe’ programme of the European Commission.

Since 2018, she has run, a social enterprise with the aim of promoting and supporting the internationalisation of the performing arts sector.

She has been the Vice President of ASSITEJ Italy for six years and founded the ‘Chain Reaction’ project to improve the internationalisation of artists and the skills of producers in TYA.

As a dramaturg and director, she has created over 15 productions in the past 20 years.

Émilie Robert
Email Émilie

Émilie Robert graduated from a business school where she studied Cultural Management. She worked for companies and theatres as a financial manager for a while.

In 2007, she became the Executive Director of Théâtre du Périscope in Nîmes. Since 2013, she has been the Head of Théâtre Massalia, one of the significant TYA houses in France (Marseille).

She is one of the three Co-Presidents of ASSITEJ France (Scènes d’enfance), the French National Centre of ASSITEJ International and a member of the board of la Friche la Belle de Mai, the cultural multifaceted public space where Théâtre Massalia is situated.

Jon Dafydd-Kidd
Email Jon

Jon trained as a musician in Scotland, United Kingdom. Upon returning to Wales, he transitioned into theatre. He has always focused on inclusion and creating opportunities for those who benefit from creative experiences but do not have the opportunity.

He is Head of Participation for the Wales-based Hijinx Theatre, developing opportunities for learning-disabled and neurodivergent young people as audiences and performers. This includes the award-winning programme for Hijinx actors role-playing medical school exams and developing a new piece for young audiences with professional learning-disabled performers.

Since 2016, he has worked with organisations in Lesotho and a group of learning-disabled performers from Wales to explore the aspirations of disabled (and non-disabled) children and young people and to challenge society’s views of them. This project contributed heavily to winning an International Award from The Stage in the United Kingdom.

For Music Theatre Wales, he is consulting with young Welsh audiences. Engaging through participatory practice, young people are challenging the work created for them and will deliver recommendations for the company’s future work.

Julia Dina Heße
Email Julia

Julia Dina Heße is a dramaturg, director, and scholar of TYA based in Wiesbaden, Germany. She studied German Philology, Philosophy, and Communication & Cultural Management in Germany and France.

From 2008 to 2012, she worked as a dramaturg for TYA and Young Opera at the National Theatre Mannheim where she was in charge of Marketing and Public Relations. From 2012 to 2018, she was the Artistic Director of the Young Theatre Muenster, where among other projects, she directed two plays for toddlers which were both invited to international festivals (in Austria, France, India, Sri Lanka, and Senegal). In 2018, she was a dramaturg for a production in Okinawa at the International Theatre Festival ricca ricca fest. At present, Julia Heße works internationally as a freelance dramaturg and director in TYA. She holds workshops for children, teenagers, and adults and has published articles and papers in TYA-related books and magazines. Since 2014 she has been a lecturer at the Theatre Department of the University of Muenster. She recently received a post-graduate scholarship and is researching theatre and transformation processes.

She has been on the board of ASSITEJ Germany (Das Netzwerk der Kinder- und Jugendtheater in Deutschland) since 2015, now serving as its Vice President.

Minoovash Rahimian
Email Minoovash

Iranian artist (actress, theatre teacher, voice actor, and director).

Minnoovash has a BA in Theatre from Sooreh University, Tehran. She has been working in theatre for 13 years. She has played in more than 20 theatres as an actress and has had roles in three movies. She also has experience in directing, puppetry, voice acting, journalism, etc.

She worked as Iran’s envoy in the ASSITEJ Artistic Gatherings in Poland, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and at the ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children & Young People in South Africa.

She has often been recognised as ‘Best Actress’ in national and international theatre awards.

Selloane (Lalu) Mokuku
ASSITEJ South Africa
Email Lalu

Lalu is an experienced theatremaker, storyteller, academic, writer, and performer. She has worked with / for young people internationally through organisations such as UNICEF and Save the Children UK, including during the build-up to the 2001 ‘UN Special Session on Children’ that led to the children’s declaration with child participation.

She was a coordinator of an innovative school support programme, using the Arts to teach Science, English and Mathematics, called ‘ShakeXperience’. She chaired the task force that produced the 2005 Lesotho National Cultural Policy. She currently facilitates teaching and learning at Rhodes University, focusing on theatre for social transformation. Her research includes topics around applied drama / theatre, translanguaging, and TYA. She co-produced an adaptation of Orwell’s Animal Farm, directed by Neil Coppen. During the 2017 ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children & Young People, she had the privilege of interacting with international audiences and met Ginni Manning (United Kingdom). This led to co-writing a play, DIPALO, that subsequently won the 2019 ASSITEJ Africa Playwriting Competition. She also directed Mosali Eo U’ Neileng Eena (Market Theatre). She is an Executive Committee Member of ASSITEJ International and a Board Member of ASSITEJ South Africa.

Shoaib Iqbal
ASSITEJ Pakistan
Email Shoaib

Shoaib Iqbal is an arts manager who has worked as a curator, director, and arts educator on a variety of arts projects since 2000. He founded The Little Art, a non-profit arts education organisation that uses art to promote positive social values through innovative learning opportunities among children and young adults, especially the marginalised. Shoaib also serves as President of ASSITEJ Pakistan. He has been instrumental in delivering the centre’s successful bi-annual Tamasha Festival For Young Audiences (Tamasha engages nearly 15,000 audience members in each edition) and hosting the international ‘Next Generation Programme’ annually.

Shoaib graduated from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management (Kennedy Centre, Washington DC). He is an Asia21 2013 fellow with the Asia Society, an Acumen 2015 fellow, an ArtThink Southasia 2015 fellow and an International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA) fellow. Shoaib also worked with the Sharjah Government as a consultant for five years and with the British Council as Head of Arts in Pakistan from 2016 to 2018.

Shoaib travels very frequently to various festivals and exchange programmes. He is also setting up two international performing arts projects for children and young people in New Zealand and Qatar.

Tatiana Bobrova
Email Tatiana

Tatiana Bobrova is the Chief Coordinator of the International Theatre Kingfestival which is devoted to drama, puppetry, and dance for young audiences from Russia, Europe, and Asia. She is also the Manager of the “Mali” Novgorod Theatre for Children & Young People in Velikiy Novgorod, Russia. She is a composer and a journalist focusing on culture and theatre in Russia and abroad. Since 2015, she has been a Vice President of ASSITEJ Russia and, since 2017, has been an Executive Committee member of ASSITEJ International.

Tatiana studied Journalism at St Petersburg University and is a member of the Theatre Union of Russia. In 2007, she created the international ‘Young Critics are the Future of Theatre’ laboratory for young theatre researchers. As a producer, she has programmed projects such as ‘French Focus’, ‘Swiss Step’, and ‘Danish Focus’. In 2017, she initiated the ‘Theatre Volunteers’ project as a programme for young students. She is an active and energetic member of ASSITEJ projects and participates in festivals and workshops in Russia and abroad.

Yannick Boudeau
Email Yannick

Since 2007, Yannick has been General Manager and Creative Producer of Compagnie de la Casquette, a Theatre for Young Audience company in Brussels, Belgium. His main tasks are to produce and tour the company’s productions while coordinating the overall activities and budget. He also works on developing company partnerships and has worked with a wide range of partners – from local schools to a company / cultural centre based in Senegal.

Yannick is also a co-founder and board member of ASSITEJ Belgium (since 2015) and has been board President since 2017. In a country divided into three linguistic communities, ASSITEJ Belgium has contributed to tightening bonds between those communities – even though there is still a long way to go, bridges are being built. He is very proud of the work they have done so far.

As a member of the ASSITEJ International fundraising group since 2018, he has participated in many sessions to generate funding for ASSITEJ International.

Since 2015 he has acted as an external expert for EACEA, particularly the ‘Creative Europe’ programme of the European Commission, evaluating applications as well as coaching and supervising experts.

Previously he has been Administrator of the Technical Department at Theatre Du Rond-Point (2002-2007, Paris, France), Production and Administrative Coordinator of Peniche Opera (2002, Paris, France), and Production Coordinator, Foreign Productions at Warsaw National Theatre (1998-2001, Warsaw, Poland).

2021 – 2024 Counsellor to the Executive Committee

Paulo Merisio
Email Paulo

Paulo Merisio holds a PhD in Theatre from the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro / UNIRIO. He is an Associate Professor of Theatre in the Graduate and Postgraduate Programmes in Performing Arts (PPGAC) and Theatre Education at UNIRIO (Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro). He is a Counsellor to the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International and is a board member of the International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN).

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.