The Czech ASSITEJ centre endeavoured primarily to promote information on the declaration of the Theatre for Children and Young People World Day 2001 among the broad theatrical public. An appeal was sent out to all members of ASSITEJ as well as to all state theatres, agencies and selected cultural establishments for children and young people, to include suitable titles for children and young people in their repertoire on the given date, March 20, 2001. The reaction to our appeal was surprisingly great: 53 ensembles from 14 towns with a total of 74 performances were staged (see review of theatres, ensembles and cultural events including the names of their production). Some establishments even decided to present small reviews of works for children on their own – as ASSITEJ could not offer them any financial support – (House of Culture Prague 9, Pidivadlo Prague, DDM Ostrava and Club Atlantik, Ostrava. ASSITEJ Centre sent all groups a note of thanks for having joined the celebrations along with publicity gifts (balloons and decals) and a translation of the proclamation by Mrs. Suzanne Osten (Unga Klara Stockholm).
The ASSITEJ Centre prepared a press release on the occasion of the Theatre for Children and Young People World Day and on March 15, 2001 held a press conference. This newly declared international theatre holiday and its celebration was reported in the most important Czech dailies (Lidove noviny, MF Dnes, Pravo, Zemske noviny), as well as on Czech Radio 3 – Vltava which had a special broadcast (which included an interview with the chairman of the centre, Vladimir Hulec). At the occasion of the World Day of Theatre the theatre newspaper (Divadelni noviny) had an extensive coverage on important personalities of the theatre for children and young people in the Czech Republic -Jan Born, Daniela Fischerova, Iva Perinova.
The comittee of ASSITEJ, with the support of the Theatre Institute, celebrated the Theatre for Children and Young People World Day on Tuesday March 20, 2001 at the Theatre on Celetna street in Prague by a programme composed of representatives of the amateur theatre for children, the theatre for children performed by children and the professional theatre.
Performances by the Theatre Group Tyl of Rakovnik (From the Diary of Tomcat Blue-eyes), the ensemble HOP-HOP of Ostrov on the Ohre (Ondras or Juras?) were presented, culminating by a presentation of the very popular performance of the Three Musketeers by the Theatre CD 94. The tickets for the morning and afternoon performances were free, the audience consisted of children from the elementary school in Dolni Pocernice, the Jedlicka Institute, children’s homes in Dolni Pocernice and Klanovice, youth clubs and daycare centres affiliated with the elementary schools Vodickova, Curie sq. and Vojtesska.
The performance was successful, the atmosphere on stage, as well as in the auditorium, was great. The children were given balloons with the logo of the event and candies after the performances. We trust and look forward to a successful continuation of the new tradition initiated by the ASSITEJ centre during the next celebration of the Theatre for Children and Young People World Day 2002.