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Honorary Members

An Honorary Member is someone who has served ASSITEJ International in an outstanding manner through participating in and contributing towards international activities and leadership over a long period, fulfilling the mission of the Association.

This honorary status is bestowed as a mark of respect and recognition, signifying the recipient’s exceptional contributions or achievements, and therefore, their significant impact or influence within theatre and performing arts for children and young people.

Our Honorary Memberships are listed below according to the year in which they were awarded.

Asaya Fujita - Japan

Asaya was an EC member from 2011 to 2014 and the Vice President from 2014 to 2017. Born in 1934, he continues to be involved in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) at age of 87 years old and his dedication and commitment to theatre for children and young people are tremendous as a playwright and director.

Among those who dedicated themselves to TYA and activities of ASSITEJ, it is he who has actualised to bring the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress to Tokyo, Japan, and who has made the dream come true.

Those who know him probably agree that he had the best sense of finding good food wherever we were in the same way he had the best quality of creating theatre for children and young people.

Diana Kržanić Tepavac - Serbia

Diana graduated​ ​from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts​ of the University of ​​Belgrade, in the Acting Department. Along with theatre, TV, and film engagements as a professional actress, she was engaged in the founding of the first informal theater and art groups in Yugoslavia, in progressive research projects in the field of ​fine ​art theater​ as well as interdisciplinary works in performing, video art, and art actions with her husband, Milan Tepavac. In the 90’s​ ​due to time disintegration of the country she started exploring how art can help children in their growth and development, particularly in times of crises and suffering. As a ​theatre pedagogue and ​director she was particularly interested in work with teenagers, directed and developed several theatre plays using the process-based approach dealing with challenging teenage as well as social topics.

Diana was invited to join ASSITEJ Serbia two years after this National Centre was re-established in Belgrade (2003). She was elected as ASSITEJ Serbia president in 2008 and re-elected​ four ​times​ and served as ASSITEJ International Executive Committee member form 2011-2017. ​She initiated and realised a large number of educational and development programs of the domestic professional theater scene for children and youth​​ and continuously strived to raise the visibility and affirmation of ASSITEJ in the international and domestic framework. She has been very supportive in helping centres in the Balkan’s region improve to the next level and is particularly proud of establishing the cooperation of ASSITEJ centres in the region of Southeastern Europe through the​ platform​ Europe 8+ ​that she initiated, as well as a series of programs aimed specifically at empowering​ and connecting ​emerging professionals, artists, and ​culture ​creators in TYA​ in Serbia and region.

Etoundi Zeyang - Cameroon

Etoundi is a passionate and dedicated Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) practitioner, playwright, director, and producer.

He is the leader of Theàtre Du Chocolat and has founded and successfully produced the Festival Africain de Theatre pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse (FATEJ) in Yaounde since 1996 – often under very challenging conditions.

In ASSITEJ International he has spearheaded the African participation in the global association and inspired the creation of many National Centres of ASSITEJ in African countries. This has been done through his work in the African Children and Youth Theatre Arena, where he is a founding member and has been the driver of many activities over the years, and as member of the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International from 2011-2014.

Nina Hajiyianni - UK

Nina was part of the inaugural ‘Next Generation’ group at the 16th ASSITEJ World Congress in 2008 in Adelaide. When she stood for the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ in 2011, she was one of the younger candidates, but was elected to the committee with one of the highest votes. From the first, she stood out as a leader, and she worked incredibly hard on the promotions of the organisation, bringing her social media skills to the table, and supporting the development of new networks including Next Generation and IIAN.

Nina also led TYA UK (ASSITEJ UK) for two terms as Chair and was able to build the organisation’s membership and ensure that it hosted a superb ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering, in partnership with TYA Ireland, which took place in Birmingham in 2016.

Nina has also engaged in a number of international collaborations within ASSITEJ over the years. While Nina stepped down from the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ in 2017 in Cape Town, she has not stopped working for the association, by continuing to champion the ‘Next Generation Programme’, leading workshops for Next Generation participants in other parts of the world and introducing new and younger members to the association.

Sookhee Kim - South Korea

Sookhee has been passionate about the development of Korean TYA for the last three decades. She is the founding and acting Artistic Director of the Jongno Children’s Theatre, which is the first Korean TYA theatre venue fully funded by a local government.

Alongside working for Jongno Children’s Theatre, she served as the president of ASSITEJ Korea for seven years. During her tenure, she re-built the Korean centre and made it stable organisationally and financially, as well as making it a solid ground for the Korean TYA to come back to the international stage again after hosting the ASSITEJ World Congress in 2002. She has hosted many international events like the ASSITEJ Asian Meeting, ASSITEJ EC Meeting, and launched the ‘K-PAP’ programme, which is an international market platform for TYA. Under her leadership, all these things were interwoven into the re-organised Summer and Winter festivals of ASSITEJ Korea, which have been widely regarded as successful, both domestically and internationally.

As a leader and influencer, she is one of the major people who has made ASSITEJ Korea what it is now. She may still be the most internationally well-known Korean TYA person at the moment, and she continues to spearhead Korean TYA globally.

Tülin Sağlam - Turkey

Tülin studied at the Theatre Department at Ankara University and did her PhD on Turkish Children’s Ritualistic Games and Drama in Education. She focused on anthropological approach in theatre and drama. She has been teaching at the same department 1988 – January 2017. She is a board member of ASSITEJ Turkey since 1990, an ASSITEJ Executive Board member from 2005 to 2011 and a founding board member of ITYARN since 2006. She wrote two books for teachers on creating performances by means of drama as a teaching tool, co-edited an ITYARN book in 2014 published in English and Turkish.

Vigdís Jakobsdóttir - Iceland

Vigdís was elected to the EC in 2011 and was Vice President from 2014-17.

Vigdís is an Icelandic director and educator. Since 2016 she has been Artistic Director and CEO of Reykjavik Arts Festival. She got involved in ASSITEJ in 2008 when she took part in a workshop called ‘Taboos in TYA’ which took place in Venezuela. And she became part of a collective giving similar workshops around the world – through the global network of ASSITEJ. In only 6 years, her engagement had a huge impact on the organisation. Her thoughts, empathy, passion, friendliness but also straightness and wisdom are immense. Vigdís is able to listen and to make others look better.

The empty “red chair” in the suitcase for the future – this idea comes from her. Vígdis remind us that we always think about those who are not in the room and whose voices cannot be heard. Vigdís has left deep marks in this organisation. We are honoured to have had such a remarkable person in the EC.

Katariina Metsälampi - Finland

Katariina has been active in ASSITEJ for almost three decades. She has been an influential and deeply committed board member and later chairperson of ASSITEJ Finland from 2000-2007.

She was on the international Executive Committee from 2005-2011. She is Honorary President of ASSITEJ Finland.

Katariina currently leads the rapidly growing Small Size Network which she has supported from the very start with her enthusiasm and professionalism.

Katariina’s approach to all she does is full of heart and soul. She is an initiator, a brilliant networker, and a facilitator – which is a powerful combination. She is for example one of the godmothers of the very successful ASSITEJ ‘Taboo Workshops’.

Kim Peter Kovac - USA

Kim Peter is a poet, theatre educator, and the Artistic Director for the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, where he has worked since 1983 .

He has been involved in ASSITEJ for over 19 years through his service on the board of TYA/USA, where he was international representative to ASSITEJ for 15 years (2002-2017), then in the executive committee of ASSITEJ International for 12 years, including 6 years as Vice President.

In 2011, he co-founded the ASSITEJ TYA playwrights’ network, Write Local/Play Global. The network today is a member of ASSITEJ and is present in over 50 countries across 6 continents. The network is a great source of scripts in TYA globally and is connecting Playwrights and theatre companies across the globe.

Kim Peter helped in the development of the International Inclusive Arts Network (IIAN) and co-created the ‘New Visions/New Voices’ program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (1991) where many young playwrights have been mentored every year from across the globe.

Kim Peter has been an extraordinary advocate, leader, and ambassador of ASSITEJ and has mentored many young people, connecting people, and creating opportunities for people wherever he could.

Marisa Gimenez Cacho - Mexico

Marisa served three terms on the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International and during that time she became a global leader of the association. Her dedicated work as Secretary General saw the secretariat move out of Europe for the very first time to be housed in Mexico.

Her career as a cultural manager and artistic director, and her work on various publications reflecting the Mexican arts scene, gave her the experience and knowledge to ensure that ASSITEJ publications reached a new level of professionalism. She led the Publications Committee for much of her term in office and developed a new concept for ASSITEJ annual magazines which ensured greater representation and excellence of both content, language, and design. Her keen eye for design was also seen in the many World Day logos and brochures that were put out by ASSITEJ International, and under her watch the magazine and newsletter became a more beautiful and functional tool.

Her meticulous attention to detail and her interest in research has been seen in the careful keeping of records, and her interest in preserving and promoting the archives of ASSITEJ International, she has ensured that the work of our association is better documented. She worked with her young team to ensure that the Mexican office was responsive and methodical in its approach to all members and non-members alike, and that Ibero-American participation in the association increased.

Marisa Gimenez Cacho is a dedicated and committed arts manager who has served ASSITEJ International with distinction.

Young Ai Choi - Korea

Ai Choi is Professor for Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) at Korea National University of Arts. She has worked as Director of TYA Research Center at the National Theatre Company of Korea (2011-2015). She served ASSITEJ International on the Executive Committee (2005-2011) and Vice President (2008-2011). She was one of the founding Members of ITYARN in 2006 and served on the ITYARN board until 2017. She has been instrumental in bringing her students to ITYARN and ASSITEJ events, and organised exchanges with other universities. Currently she is working as Education Director for TYA productions, especially for teenagers. Besides teaching and directing, she has presented papers, workshops and panel discussions in International Conferences in Italy, Austria, Japan, Hong Kong, Poland, and other countries, always representing ASSITEJ or ITYARN.

Ivica Simic - Croatia

Ivica was engaged as an actor in the Youth Theatre of Zagreb from 1983-1989. He founded the Theatre Mala Scena with Vitomira Loncar where he was Artistic Director as well as Director and Actor.

He has worked as a director of international projects.

He became a member of the ASSITEJ International EC in 1999 representing Croatia at the XIII ASSITEJ World Congress in Tromso, Norway. He was elected Secretary General of ASSITEJ International in 2008 and re-elected in 2011.

He is the founder of Theatre Epicentre.

María Inés Falconi - Argentina

María was first elected as ASSITEJ International EC member at the XV ASSITEJ World Congress in Montreal in 2005. She served as Vice President for two terms: 2008-2011 and 2011-2014.

María Inés is a playwright and writer for children and adolescents, TYA director and drama and playwriting professor.

She helped build a very active centre in Argentina, the Association of Theatre for Children and Young People Independent Practitioners (ATINA) and promote the work of ASSITEJ in Latin American countries through various collaborative projects such as the ‘Taboo Workshops’, the project ‘School Yard Stories’, and the ‘International Theatre for Children and Young People Researchers and Critics Forum’ in collaboration with ITYARN and the IberoAmerican Network. She is founder member of IberoAmerican Theater for Children and Young People Network from ASSITEJ.

Peter Manscher - Denmark

Peter has worked in the field of professional performing arts for young audiences since 1977.

As a member of Teatercentrum’s staff (1988-1995, 1998-2009, 2011-2017). As a member of the staff in the Nordic Council of Ministers, Committee for Performing Arts (1995-96). As a counsellor for the ASSITEJ International EC (1998-2002). As a board member of ASSITEJ Denmark (1994-2000). As secretary general of ASSITEJ Denmark (2000-2009, 2012-2013). As Secretary General of the ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival (Copenhagen / Malmö 2008-2011). Peter started working for ASSITEJ Denmark during the re-forming of the centre in the mid-80s.

The Danish ASSITEJ office shared premises with Teatercentrum and thus became an active part of the network. The Danish centre hosted the International EC-meeting in Odense in 1988 – and soon after it was decided to play a more active part in the international work though becoming a candidate for the General Secretariat at the Congress in Stockholm in 1990.

The Secretariat moved to Copenhagen, and Peter became a board member of the Danish centre. A few years later he was appointed counsellor for the EC and took his part in the development of the internet and the communication in the organisation.

Peter became one of the two secretary generals for the ASSITEJ World Congress in Copenhagen and Malmö in 2011.

Stephan Rabl - Austria

Stephan was elected to the ASSITEJ International EC at the XIV ASSITEJ World Congress in Seoul in 2002 as the Austrian representative, after having taken over the reins of ASSITEJ Austria. He was appointed as Counsellor to the EC from 2011-2014.

As a member of the Executive Committee, he contributed greatly to revitalise the association through his ideas regarding festivals, dance, and various collaborative projects. He promoted important changes within ASSITEJ International making the association more active, inclusive, and modern.

One of his most important contributions was to make evident the need of bringing ASSITEJ community members together more than once at the congress every three years. This ultimately resulted in the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering. He was also a great supporter of the ‘Next Generation Programme’.

Tony Mack - Australia

Tony worked as an actor with companies such as Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne’s Playbox Theatre, State Theatre Company, Harvest Theatre, Patch Theatre Company, Stage Company, and Vitalstatistix.

He founded the Boulevard Theatre in the 1990’s and was its Artistic Director.

From 2002-2008 he was Vice President of ASSITEJ International. He co-edited three ASSITEJ Year Books with Wolfgang Schneider. Mack was the Australian International representative of YPAA / ASSITEJ Australia from 2002-2008. He was Chair of the ASSITEJ EC’s Congress Working Group from 2005-2008 and was responsible to the EC for the delivery of the XVI ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival in Adelaide. He co-founded the ASSITEJ playwright network Write Local, Play Global along with Kim Peter Kovac and Deidre Lavrakas, and developed the first ASSITEJ ‘Next Generation Programme’ in conjunction with Kovac and the 2008 Adelaide Congress organisers.

He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship from 2008-2010 and in 2014 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to performing arts, particularly theatre for children and youth.

Vicky Ireland - UK

Vicky trained at Central School as an actress and drama teacher, she worked in various Theatre-in-Education teams, starting at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. She has written plays for stage, TV and radio and created original children’s productions for the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

From 1989-2002 she was Artistic Director of the Polka Theatre for Children where she directed and produced over 60 productions.

From 1996-2002 she was International Representative of TYA UK and member of the ASSITEJ International EC. She served as international Treasurer from 199-2002. She is a dedicated and vastly experienced writer and director in the UK and very active through her advocacy work both with TYA UK and Action for Children’s Arts, a voluntary organisation which promotes art for children.

She was awarded the Member of the British Empire medal in Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list 2002 for her services to children’s drama and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in 2008.

She is Vice Chair of Action for Children’s Arts, Co-Director of A Thousand Cranes Theatre, Patron of Polka Theatre for Children, a member of TYA England and Secretary of IIAN, the International Inclusive Arts Network.

Paul Harman - UK

Paul joined the pioneering Theatre in Education (TIE) team at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in 1966 and since then has created and directed over 100 plays for young audiences. He founded and became Artistic Director of Merseyside Young People’s Theatre from 1978-1989, where he commissioned Willy Russell to write the musical Blood Brothers. From 1994-2008 he was Artistic Director of Cleveland Theatre Company (now Theatre Hullabaloo) in Darlington, Northeast England.

From 1990 to 2008 he directed the annual Takeoff Festival of professional theatre for young audiences to celebrate the best of TYA in the UK and overseas.

He served ASSITEJ International as Treasurer from 1989-1993 and was elected to the EC for 2008-2011.

As Chairman of TYA-UK Centre of ASSITEJ he compiled a Guide to UK TYA and edited regular newsletters.

Galina Kolosova - Russia

In 1969 she worked for the Soviet Women’s Committee at the Pan-Russian Theatrical Society and functioned as Secretary and Translator for the Soviet Center of ASSITEJ. She organised and coordinated the committee responsible for the VIII and XII ASSITEJ World Congresses in Moscow and Rostov-on-Don, respectively.

She initiated and coordinated the first Russian International Theatre Festivals for Children and Young People (MINIFEST) in Rostov-on-Don (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996). She organised the first ‘International Seminar for Theatre Managers’ in Russia, with her Netherlands counterparts.

In 1996 she created a special volume of the theatre magazine Theatre Life (Teatralnaya Zhizn) dedicated to problems of survival of theatres for young spectators in new Russia and to ASSITEJ activities.

From 1996-2000 she was member of the Advisor’s Council of Theatre Life Magazine, the George Soros Foundation, and the editorial Board of the new Moscow Quarterly Theatre for Children and Young People.

She was Advisor to the ASSITEJ International EC from 1996-2002 and jury member for the Honorary President’s Award.

Since 2000 she is member of ASSITEJ Russia, the Theatre Association of Russia, and the Russian Author’s Society.

Kim Woo Ok - Korea

He was Professor at the Seoul Institute of the Arts and Artistic Director of the Dong Rang Repertory Company. In 1985 he founded the Dong Rang Theatre for Young Audiences, the first professional theatre company for youth in Korea.

He is Founder and Director of the Seoul Children’s Theatre Festival.

He is a co-opted ASSITEJ International EC member and has been working as a member of the Artistic Commission since 1991. He was President of ASSITEJ Korea from 1986-1993 and from 1998-2006.

From 1993-2006 he served as Artistic Director of the Seoul Performing Arts Festival for Young Audiences and as Dean of the School of Drama at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul from 1994-2000.

He organised the 14th ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival in Seoul in 2002.

Maurice Yendt - France

In 1960 he founded the Théâtre des Jeunes Années in Lyon as its playwright and director. In 1968 he created the new Théâtre du Huitième with Marcel Maréchal.

In 1971 he was named technical advisor in the dramatic arts to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. He founded the Rencontres Internationales Theátre Enfance Jeunesse (RITEJ) in 1980 with Michel Dieuaide, which became the Biennale du Théâtre jeunes Publics / Lyon. Yendt was named Director of the National Drama Center by the French Minister of Culture.

Starting in 1993 Yendt was President of ATEJ. He was Advisor to the ASSITEJ International EC from 1981-1993 and Vice President from 1993-1999.

He became Co-Artistic Director of the Biennale du Théâtre jeunes Publics / Lyon in 2004.

Niclas Malmcrona - Sweden

From 1985-1987 he worked as Production Manager at the Wästswänska Teatern in Uddevalla and as Producer at the TURteatern from 1987-1999. He was instrumental in the establishment of -the Swedish National Performing Arts Biennial for Children and Youth.

He worked as Media Officer with the 10th ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival in Stockholm and was elected to the ASSITEJ Sweden Board as Treasurer and later Vice Chairman. He was asked to be ASSITEJ International Executive Officer in 1998 and was elected Secretary General in 1999; he was re-elected twice to that position in 2002 and 2005. He established and managed an African ASSITEJ Network together with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which brought various African countries into ASSITEJ.

He was appointed Secretary General with Peter Manscher for the Swedish / Danish Secretariat for the XVII World Congress of ASSITEJ.

He is now General Manager of ASSITEJ Sweden.

Ann Shaw - USA

She taught creative dramatics in public schools and universities since 1952. She is author of many publications on children’s theatre and, theatre and the handicapped, which have been translated into many languages.

For the American Theatre Association (ATA) she served on their Board of Directors, key committees, organised two national conferences and founded their handicapped program (ATD).

Shaw’s honours include a CTAA Special Citation, Kennedy Center’s Outstanding Educator Award, Northwestern University’s Award of Merit, a Medallion from the Children’s Theatre Foundation, and TYA/USA named the Ann M. Shaw Fellowship Awards in her honour.

She attended her first ASSITEJ meeting at the IV ASSITEJ World Congress in Canada and USA where she programmed the Creative Drama sessions.

She was the USA representative to the ASSITEJ International EC from 1978-1987. In 1981 she created the new US Centre for ASSITEJ and was President until 1987.

Dr. Shaw directed the World Theatre Festival for Young Audiences and Symposium at the New Orleans World’s Fair in 1984.

She was twice elected ASSITEJ International Vice President (1981 and 1984) and served as USA voting delegate at eight Congresses.

Kazuto Kurihara - Japan

He established the Association of Children’s Playwrights in 1948, which later became known as the Japan Children’s Theatre Association, Inc.

In 1955 he was appointed a Judging Committeeman for the Art Festival sponsored by the Governmental Agency for Cultural Affairs and in 1974 was appointed a Project Commissioner for its Children’s Art Theatre.

He was the first President of the Japan Center for ASSITEJ and in 1984 was elected Member of the ASSITEJ International EC.

In 1984 he also became member of the Board of Directors for ITI.

He became Head of the Japan Children’s Performing Arts Festival.

Orna Porat - Israel

She was a permanent member of the Cameri Theatre in Tel-Aviv since 1948. She was the founder and director of the National Theatre for Children and Youth from 1970 on, with the Cameri Theatre. She was appointed Lecturer to the Faculty of Drama at Tel-Aviv University in 1973. She attended the Constitutional Conference in Paris, 1965 and was member of the ASSITEJ International EC from 1970-1975.

With her great vision, in 1970 Mrs. Porat founded the first professional repertory theatre for children in Israel, (which today has become named after her). After she convinced the cultural establishment in Israel to recognise the rights for children and youth to have a theatre “just like adults”.

Through her vision many other theatres were founded and developed original Israeli drama as well as a new generation of artists dedicated to theatre for children and youth grew and flourished.

Throughout these same years the Israel branch of ASSITEJ was established becoming a leading centre, guiding the Art of Theatre for Children in Israel, Orna was the living spirit, whose vision and inspiration led the way throughout all these years, for the creation of theatre for young audiences.

Rose Marie Moudouès - France

She first worked with Léon Chancerel (1945-1965) and then with Louis Jouvet (1945-1951) at the resumption of the Society of the History of Theatre which had been interrupted during WWII. From 1948 she served as Engineer to the C.N.S.R. for Theatrical Sciences.

She became director of the Documentation Center of the Library of the Society of the History of Theatre and the Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ATEJ). She participated in the creation of the Review d’Histoire du Théâtre and was author and translator of programs on theatre for the radio titled Prestige du Théâtre.

She was involved in the founding of the International Federation of Theatrical Research (FIRT) and the Institute for Theatrical Research in Venice, Italy.

From 1980-2000 she headed the Commission to help with the creation of dramatic works and to promote the production of unpublished works, under the Ministry of Culture.

She participated in the founding of the French Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ATEJ), as well as ASSITEJ International. Moudoués drew up the Constitution of ASSITEJ (based on that of ATEJ) for discussion, amendment, and adoption by the Constitutional Congress in Paris organised by ATEJ in 1965. She was member of the ASSITEJ International EC from 1965-1990. In 1966 she established the French National Center for ASSITEJ.

She was Secretary General for 25 years.

Michael Ramløse - Denmark

He was member of Banden, a theatre company for children, from 1976-1984. He served as head of Teatercentrum from 1987-1996, organiser of the large annual Danish Children’s Theatre Festival in April.

He was one of the key persons in re-organising the Danish Centre for ASSITEJ in 1983. He was elected as the first new Secretary General of ASSITEJ International after Mme. Rose-Marie Moudoués; he served for two terms as Secretary General. The National Centre became ASSITEJ Denmark / Teatercentrum.

His new approach to the administration of ASSITEJ International improved administrative practice and procedures, improved communication among centres, implemented a new subscription system and changed ASSITEJ International from a Euro-centric organisation to a global one.

In 1997 he became Administrative Director of Fair Play. He was Chair of the Children’s Theatres’ Association of Denmark and the Regional Theatre Council of West Zealand County. He was director of the international children’s theatre festival Caravanen.

He received the 25th Anniversary Prize of the Children’s Theatre Association, the Cultural Prize of FTF, and the Children’s Theatre Award of the City of Horsens.

Zvjezdana Ladika - Croatia

She was Director and Theatrical Educator at the Zagreb Theatre for Young People, where she staged more than a hundred performances for and with children and young people. She published a large number of writings on children’s dramatic creativity, in professional periodicals and publications in Croatia and abroad.

She was a long-standing member of the ASSITEJ International EC.

She was one of the founders of the Mala Scena Theatre in 1989, where she was director, writer, and head of its drama studio.

She received the awards: Young Generation in 1972 for direction of the play Tomcat Genghis Khan and Miki Trasi; direction award from the Dramatic Artists’ Society in 1984; Dubravko Dujsin Award in 1988 for her long productive theatrical work with children and young people at the Zagreb Theatre; and the Vladimir Nazor Life Achievement Award.

María Nieves Sunyer Roig - Spain

Founder of ASSITEJ Spain, and first president of the association. She starts her links with the theatre for children in 1942, through the “Femenine Section” in FET and JONS, the only entity that, in the 40s, was working in activities of this kind. In 1960, the Company Los Títeres (puppets), was created with her as Director. It was the first professional company working for children, from the end of the civil war.

During the 60s and 70s, she attended many national and international congresses and meetings about theatre for children, as a responsible of “Theatre for youngsters” in the Ministry Tourism and Information. In 1965, Spain became part of ASSITEJ, as a founder, participating in the Congress where first statutes were approved. It was defended the quality of theatre for children, done by professionals, just as theatre for adults.

Being the president of AETIJ (the first name for ASSITEJ Spain), she was in charge of getting information from Spanish-speaking countries and spreading it between ASSITEJ members. The Boletín Iberoamericano de Teatro para la Infancia y la Juventud was created. After half century, this publication still is on. During her presidency, the theatre texts prize was created, and the workshops and meetings between puppeteers were organised. UNIMA Spanish Centre was born thanks to this initiative.

Hans Snoek - Netherlands

She was Founder, Dancer, Choreographer, and Artistic Leader of the Scapino Ballet Amsterdam from 1945-1970. She founded the Jeugdtheater Amsterdam in 1971 and was founder and member of the board for the Individual Secondary and Art Education Schools of Amsterdam. She was Board Member of the Netherlands Councils and Committees on the Arts as well as ITI and the Netherlands Dance Council.

She was appointed a member of the ASSITEJ Preparatory Committee from 1964-1965, was EC member from 1965-1975 and founder and Chair of the Netherlands National Center from 1967-1975.

The Netherlands theatre for children and youth honour her annually by awarding a prize given in her name.

Caryl Jenner - Great Britain

Studied at Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art in London. Actress and director. Formed Mobile Theatre Ltd in 1951 performing plays for young people on tour. Launched Caryl Jenner Productions Ltd and the Unicorn Theatre for Young People. She was member of the Young People’s Theatre Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain.

She represented Great Britain in the EC from 1968-1972.

Hans Rodenberg - GDR

The son of Jewish parents was named Hans Rudolph Rosenberg, but adopted a number of pseudonyms during his political career. After school he completed his education at the acting school of Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater in Berlin. He was a volunteer of the First World War, joined the labour movement and became a member of the communist party. Until his emigration he worked as actor and director. Between 1932 and 1948 he was employed in the culture business of the Soviet Union. Back in what was to become the German Democratic Republik (GDR) he became a well-connected member of the society. He assumed several influential positions in the cultural and political system of the GDR. In 1949 he founded the Theater der Freundschaft in Berlin and was the first artistic director of this important component of the socialist educational policy. Later his wife Ilse Rodenberg took over this theatre and established the theatre of the GDR as a role model of the theatre for children and young people worldwide. In 1978 Hans Rodenberg was honoured with the Honorary Membership of ASSITEJ.

Sara Spencer - USA

She founded the Children’s Theatre of Charleston, West Virginia in 1932 and in 1935 the Children’s Theatre Press in Kentucky (later The Anchorage Press, Inc.) that has published over 100 plays. She founded and sustained the Children’s Theatre of Anchorage, Kentucky, Stage One of Louisville, Kentucky, and the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.

She was member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre Association, and for two years was Director of the Children’s Theatre Conference. She was also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, Inc.

She was advocate of the founding of ASSITEJ International, served as member of the Preparatory Committee from 1964-1965, was EC member from 1965-1967 and served as advisor to the EC from 1972-1975.

Miss Spencer was a founding member of the US Centre for ASSITEJ in 1965 and served on its first board.

Alexander Bryantsev - USSR - Awarded Posthumously

Russian theatre director, public figure, outstanding practitioner, and theoretician of artistic and pedagogical theatre for children.

From 1905 to 1920, he was an actor and director of the Traveling theatre where he produced more than 60 shows. Some of them were meant for children. In 1921, he headed commission on setting up a repertory theatre for children. The theatre was opened on February 23, 1922, and he was running it till the end of his life.

Bryantsev had worked out the idea of special theatre for young spectators and called it “a theatre of special assignment”. Such theatre was based on alliance of artists with pedagogical way of thinking and pedagogues with artists’ feeling. Numerous conceptions he stated in his books and articles on theatre for children are relevant up to now.

The Leningrad Theatre for Young Spectators, which he had run all his life, was named after him.

Nowadays the Bryantsev Theatre for Young Spectators in Saint-Petersburg is one of the major, oldest, and respected companies for children and young people in Russia.

He died in 1961.

Charlotte Chorpenning - USA - Awarded Posthumously

Chorpenning served as a playwright-in-residence for community theatres in Minnesota. Her article, “Putting on a Community Play” in the Quarterly Journal of Speech Education in 1919, led to her national prominence and requests for her services throughout the United States.

Chorpenning joined Northwestern University’s School of Speech as an instructor of dramatics and worked with recreational drama and on university theatre productions.

In the spring of 1932, she was offered the job of Director of the Goodman Children’s Theatre, part of the Chicago Art Institute, at the age of 60.

Chorpenning wrote at least 55 children’s plays, many of which were published by Coach House Press, Samuel French, Children’s Theatre Press (later named Anchorage Press) and Dramatists’ Play Service.

She died in 1952.

Leon Chancerel - France - Awarded Posthumously

Established la Compagnie des Comédiens Routiers in 1929. Established a Center of Studies and Dramatic Presentations in 1933. He created le Théâtre de l’Oncle Sébastien in 1935, an artistic theatre for children. Artistic Director of Festival de Sarlat.

Founded ATEJ in France in 1957.

Worked on creation of ASSITEJ International and delivered welcoming address in first General Assembly. Co-founder of ASSITEJ International; died in 1965.

Mila Milanova - Czechoslovakia - Awarded Posthumously

Founder of the Czechoslovakian Children’s Theatre; died in 1964.

Victor Ion Popa - Romania - Awarded Posthumously

Author of children’s plays of high quality; died in 1946.




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