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“Theatre and performance that make us happy”
Thank you for visiting the ASSITEJ Korea website.
I am Sookhee Kim, the 12th, 13th President of ASSITEJ Korea.
It has been more than thirty years since ASSITEJ Korea was founded in 1982, thanks to the efforts of senior thespians interested in arts for children and young people. Looking back on the considerable, thirty year history of our organization, I feel that there is still much to be done.
ASSITEJ Korea is an organization that holds a unique position and value. Domestically, it is an association of 111 Theatre companies for Young Audiences and 34 individual members (as of Feb.2015); internationally, it is one of national center of ASSITEJ International and ATYA (Asia Alliance of Theatre for Young Audience) representing Korea. There is an unspoken understanding that is formed between people who make a TYA performance and the young audiences that attend that performance. Perhaps such empathy is based on understanding that to grow up; one must go through a period of growing pains.
ASSITEJ Korea will continue to act on our belief that theatre can make children and young people happy, and will strive to become a beloved organization for the arts. Gamsahabnida [Thank you].
Sookhee Kim holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Ewha Women’s University. Dr.Kim has studied at Braunshweig in Germany, and attended the graduate program at Sorbonne Nouvelle in France. She was a visiting faculty member at the University of Virginia Department of Drama and faculty member at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. Dr.Kim is currently faculty member of Theatre at Far East University, a member of Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education policy committee, Vice President of Korea Culture and Arts Policy Forum, and a member of Seoul Junggu Office Women’s Committee. She previously served as President of Korea Association for Drama/Theatre and Education, Judiciary member of Asia Culture City, and Board Member of CFAF (Association des etudes de la culture francaise et de arts en France).
Introduction of ASSITEJ Korea
ASSITEJ stands for International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People. It was established in 1965 to enrich the lives of children and young people. It unites individuals, professional theatres and theatre organizations in order to raise the artistic standards of theatre for children and young people.
ASSITEJ is the architect of an international network that links thousands of theatre and individuals across nearly 70 countries. From Korea, Japan, China to Zimbabwe, from Australia to France, from Russia to India, the Americas, the Middle East, ASSITEJ recognizes the right of all children to enrichment through the arts.
ASSITEJ has the objectives of promoting peace, equality, tolerance and education, of furthering the professional development of the field of theatre for children and young people and of recognizing the potential of children and their capacity to contribute in the future to the development of society. ASSITEJ Korea was founded in 1982 in order to develop Korean theatre for children and young people, to guide and cultivate educational theatre companies, and to promote international and cultural exchange of arts for children.
In June 1999, at the 13th ASSITEJ Congress in Norway, Dr. KIM Woo Ok, the former president of Korean Center, was elected as Vice President of ASSITEJ International. Since, then he has been the leading force to extend and expand the activities of ASSITEJ International to Asia and other parts of the world, other than Europe where the main focus used to be. This effort gained a lot of support from other country members, and finally has led ASSITEJ Korea to be the first in Asia to host such an event: the 14th ASSITEJ Congress and Performing Arts Festival in Seoul, 2002.
ASSITEJ Korea founded and has hosted Seoul Children’s Theatre Awards since 1992, in order to create a solid ground for developing children’s theatre. From 1993, ASSITEJ Korea has organized Seoul Children’s Theatre Festival along the Awards. The Festival consists of four best productions chosen by the jury of the Awards, and from 1995, the Festival invites and introduces outstanding foreign theatre companies to Seoul. In 2001, the Festival changed its name into Seoul Performing Arts Festival for Young Audiences. With the new title, it includes other genres of performing arts for children such as music and dance as parts as well as theatre.
In 2007, ASSITEJ Korea organizes the 1st Asian Children’s Theatre Festival 2007, Seoul under the auspices of Asian Children’s Theatre Alliance (ACTA), a network which was formed in 2005 with 4 children’s theatre festivals in Asian cities including Seoul, Okinawa, Taiwan and Shanghai (Osaka joined in 2006).
ASSITEJ Korea also organizes annual symposium and theatre workshops for children and youth, publishes the annual journal Education and Theatre, and organizes children’s theatre tours to culturally alienated areas. ASSITEJ Korea always tries to increase its efforts to create an environment where the artistic standards for children and young people could be challenged and improve, and to continually foster them.