n response to the appeal by the Secretariat of the Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ), the Czech Theatre Institute – the Czech Centre of ASSITEJ, initiated the celebration of the Theatre for Children and Young People World Day on March 20, 2002 in the Czech Republic as an expression of support to children and in recognition of their rights to artistic and cultural enrichment, particularly by theatrical culture.
In response to the appeal by the Czech Centre of ASSITEJ to hold performances for children on March 20, 2002 a great number of groups and cultural establishments reacted. A total of 66 ensembles from 19 towns of the Czech Republic with a total of 92 performances entered the celebration of the Theatre for Children and Young People World Day. At this occasion, some institutions even held small or even larger festivals of creativity for children and young people (Pidivadlo Praha – the permanent stage of the secondary school of acting, the Theatre Gong Prague, the centre of leisure time Brno-Luzanky and the Ostrava theatre).
The celebrations of the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People in the Czech Republic culminated by a special event, a four-day review of performances for children and young people, organized by the Theatre Institute/Czech ASSITEJ centre in cooperation with the capital city of Prague and the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Music which took place in the Theatre at Celetna, the Theatre at Dlouha, the Theatre Disk and the Club Mlejn during March 20 -23, 2002. This event was held thanks to the financial support of the capital city of Prague. The programme was composed of selected representatives from professional theatres, theatre agencies, amateur theatres for children and theatres for children performed by children so as to please all age categories, i.e. from the youngest children of pre-school age up to adolescents with a high artistic standard which would contribute to the enrichment of the cultural scene in Prague. The performing ensembles – Theatre at Dlouha (Prague), Theatre Polarka (Brno), Theatre Studio DISK (Prague), DNO (Hradec Kralove), Buchty a loutky (Prague), Vzchovná dramatika neslysicich JAMU (Brno), Divadlo Borivoj (Praha), the Children drama group TY-ja-tr (Prague), Konzistence medi (Prague), Divadlo Neslysim (Brno) – presented 17 high quality performances, attended by over 1200 spectators.
The review opened with a beautiful performance at the Theatre Dlouha of a play “How I Got Lost or a Little Christmas Story”. Before the opening, director Jan Born was presented the Award of the Czech ASSITEJ Centre for his many years exceptional contribution to the theatre for children and young people.
Considerable scope (three performances) was given to the Theatre Polarka of Brno, which presented itself for the first time in Prague. The young ambitious ensemble made a great success of this opportunity and particularly the staging for the youngest audience met with an enthusiastic response of the children as well as of the theatrical experts. The performance of Odysseus by the educational drama group of the deaf of the Janacek Academy of Music of Brno (director Zoya Mikotova) also met with an excellent response, and the excellent reputation of the Borivoj Praha ensemble led by Mirka Vydrova was also confirmed. The Review was concluded by a so-called “contact day” in the Club Mlejn, where a bloc of 8 performances interwoven by chats with the actors, a visit to the stage and backstage, painting and games was held.