Children and young people messages for the World Day of TYA

ASSITEJ invites all its members to contribute to the World Day of TYA 2021 by giving a voice to children and young people!
Our recipe:
1. Ask a young theatre maker or theatre lover why theatre is important
2. Post his*her response online
Today we present World Day Messages from Malaika (14 yrs, South Africa), Luisa (20 yrs, São Paulo), Suzanne (23 yrs, Brussels) and Hinata (10 yrs, Kanagawa prefecture)
.


Message from Malaika Hlatshwayo:
Why is Theatre important in young people’s lives? Firstly, Theatre is a mixture of most forms of entertainment. For example there’s acting, dancing, music, poetry. All of these heal the soul in a different way for each audience member and for the performers. They also define theatre. Theatre helps us to realise the things that are happening in real life in the most calm and interesting way. What I’m saying is that people are interested in different things. One can be interested in music and might find dancing „boring“. The other can be interested in acting and finds poetry complicated and difficult to understand. But when they all come to the THEATRE, each person can relate and relax, because Theatre isn’t just about one thing, it is about all of them. So Theatre considers everybody’s interests. Coming to the youth, we all have strengths and weaknesses. When someone speaks, everybody listens. When someone moves, everybody wants to see. When someone tells a story, everybody wants to hear. Theatre helps the young ones heal from old wounds and traumatic situations. Theatre can also help us escape the new reality that is Covid-19. Theatre can help the young to see their mistakes and fix them. THEATRE shouts ART and is the best way to help people realise and relate. Theatre helps us to escape the horror of the streets and everything that comes with the streets like violence and drugs etc. THEATRE is the voice for children who feel like they are not heard or their views don’t matter. THEATRE is a way of connecting.

T – Together
H – Healing
E – Experience
A – Ambition
T – Timeless
R – Relating
E – Escape

Malaika Hlatshwayo, a 14-year-old South African, who loves theatre, is a performer and has just published her first book, The Belly Button.


Message from Luisa Crobelatti:
The theater is the place where we are seen, where we scream and are heard, where dreaming and being dreamed becomes a habit of our day to day (daily life?). We young people yearn for the world and, in addition to the theater supplying the need for life, it is through it that we look inside, into the mirror that is offered to us, and we recognize our environment, our self and the other, both deeply and critically. 

Sometimes, last year, the theater was the escape valve of a world that is on the edge of the precipice, but at the same time, it was through it that we managed to see the thread of hope, even though it may be the last, and we use it to show our cry for love, help and, even, to warn us of that which our president was unable to warn us about – the real situation of this pandemic. 

Art has saved us from a lot, including insanity in the midst of the declared chaos.
Only in theater can we narrate the past, dialogue in the present and build the future with our own voice and body.
The future belongs to us.

Luísa Crobelatti is 20 years old and lives in São Paulo.
She is a member of Paideia since 2014 and dreams of being an actress performing in the world!


Message from Suzanne Versele:
Time to look.
I can press pause, rewind, fast-forward.
Performances become moving pixels. I devour them.
Time to look for stories out of my window.
The neighbor, the neighbor’s wife, the neighbor’s dog.
The world gets small.
We’re floundering. Over curves.
We make up stories for later.

Summer. The crisis takes a break. We breathe with it.
October. I’m just getting started. Return home!
My mask starts to itch.  My stomach starts to itch.
The theater floor lies empty and we burst from ideas.
We hold them. Playing, what was it again?

I want to sit back next to you in a red chair. To be indignant.
Culture is the best way to shout.
But what if it is given a face mask to wear?
We desire more than ever.
We recreate alternatives. On-line, on-the-streets.
We recreate hope. Longer than lockdown measures.
Yet another council report becomes a piece of music.
Culture! Celebration! A bottle of champagne.
The cork is coming off. We are bubbling.
Ready to spit. 

Suzanne Versele is a 23 year old student at the director’s school of arts in Brussels. Last year she performed in DROP BY DROP, a play about their experiences during their trip to Israel and Palestina. 


Message from Hinata Sakai:
私は、演劇が大好きです。演じるのも、観るのも楽しいからです。演じている時は、無意識のうちに、心と身体が弾みます。観ている時は、話に入り込めて、登場人物の気持ちが伝わってきます。演劇がなくなったら、私の人生の4分の3がなくなってしまい、力が入らなくなります。だから、私にとって、演劇は、生きる力で、なくてはならないものです!

I love theatre so much because it is so much fun to act and to watch plays. When I am acting, my body and my heart bound unconsciously. When I am watching a play, I get myself into the story and the characters’ feelings get across to me. If theatre were gone, I would lose three-quarters of my life and be discouraged; therefore, for me, theatre is the power for life and indispensable!

Hinata Sakai is 10 years old and lives in Kanagawa prefecture in Japan.
She is a member of th regional theatre company Our Town. She first appeared on stage when she was four, acting Spot-billed Duck with all her strength.

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