The 6th International ASSITEJ Lithuania Theater Festival for Children and Youth JĖGA/COOL will take place in Klaipeda on October 4-8! Every time the festival is held in a different Lithuanian city. This year he will delight the children of the Western Lithuania region and together with the ASSITEJ Lithuania will celebrate the 20th birthday of this organization.
More than 20 performances for children and youth of different ages will be held in the center of the region – Klaipeda. The fact that such a festival is very necessary for the region is proved both by the activity of regional schools in participating in the festival, the support of Klaipėda municipality and the financing of the Lithuanian Culture Council, which especially supports the dissemination of culture in the regions. The international significance of the festival is emphasized by the support of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office for the festival’s international program.
The festival program includes four foreign companies and around twenty Lithuanian theaters and educators.
The beauty of the modern, sensitive circus is presented by the Swedish troupe ENT in the performance on the topic of ecology “Plast” and the Finnish company Portmanteau in the performance “Point by Point”. The Estonian clown duo Piip ja Tuut, who is participating in the ASSITEJ Lithuania festival for the third time, will entertain with an “unintentional” concert. The Liepaja Puppet Theater invites the little ones to an impressive touch of nature with the performance “Me and My Mother”. Lithuanian theaters offer the audience of the festival an even more diverse genre of theater – from dance performances for babies to documentary theater for teenagers. Lithuanian participants of the festival are Book Theater, Table Theater, Dance Theater “Dansema”, Šeiko Dance Theater, LabaiTheater, Kelmė Small Theater, Paršiukas Ikaras Theater, Alytus City Theater and Alytus Puppet Aitvaras Theater, Klaipeda clown studio “Dulidu”, Kaunas city chamber theater, “No Shoes” theater and others.
During the festival, children, youth, parents, teachers, performing arts professionals, librarians are invited to participate in various educational activities, seminars, creative workshops. The pioneer of dance performances for babies in Lithuania, dr. Birutė Banevičiūtė invites stage professionals and dance teachers to her seminar. Ieva Jackevičiūtė, who creates performances for babies, invites parents with 6-36 months children to explore together what arts education means to them. The director of the Theater of Objects Saulė Degutytė will remind the teachers of preparatory and primary classes and library educators how to create an extraordinary action by simple means. Kaunas City Chamber Theater organizes an online drama laboratory for 5th-8th grade students, and pedagogue, actor and playwright Raimondas Klezys invites teenagers to the creative workshops of documentary theater. And perhaps the most intriguing education for primary school students is the puppet theater laboratory led by the legendary puppet master Vitalijus Mazūras together with the actress Nijole Mazūriene.
This year the festival is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of ASSITEJ Lithuania. This association, uniting more than 30 professional Lithuanian theaters, takes care of the cultural education and quality of Lithuanian children and youth. With this festival, the association carries a reminder to the whole world of the international theater association for children and youth ASSITEJ International that children and youth have the right to access art and participate in creative activities even in times of crisis. Therefore, despite the constraints of the pandemic, but in compliance with all established security measures, the festival invites live theater meetings, as the mental health of children and young people is an essential factor for their growth as personalities.
Violeta Podolskaitė, President of ASSITEJ Lithuania, is convinced that the activities of ASSITEJ Lithuania, which has existed in Lithuania for twenty years, are becoming more and more relevant: “We will continue to work for the implementation of Articles 13 and 31 of the UNESCO Convention on the Rights of the Child, which declare the right of children and young people to art and to participate in artistic activities”.