The World’s Children are Coming (and they’re bringing stories!)

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Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 12.26.32 PMThis June, for the first time in North America, 300 children from 6 continents and 20 countries will flood our region for the 14th World Festival of Children’s Theatre (WFCT).

The WFCT is one-of-a-kind event that brings the world’s children together to share each other’s stories and culture through theatre and from June 5-14, 2016, Stratford, Ontario will be at the center of it all.

Ensuring that local students are a part of this global experience, the Digital Human Library (dHL), the Foundation for Education Perth Huron and the Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) will be connecting classrooms and WFCT performers daily via live video chats and live streaming performances from June 5th – June 14th, 2016.

Scheduling information and the links to watch the live streaming of events will be shared in the coming months.

The World Festival of Children’s Theatre originated in Lingen (Ems), Germany, as the brainchild of Norbert Radermacher. In 1990, children, ages 7 – 15, from 20 countries came to Lingen under the theme ‘Children play and dance for Children’. The result was a huge success!

“The festival is for children, by children,” says Ron Dodson, the Festival’s Artistic Director. “Its varied performances will give us a window on how children see their world and we know that they will inspire and challenge theatregoers with their fresh and thoughtful perspectives.”

Traditionally, each country’s festival reflects its own culture, and allows its children to show each other how they work in theatre, and to share both their ideas and their views of the world.

The 2016 Festival includes:

Africa
Uganda – Wakayima Stories, Ushindi Children
Zimbabwe – Children’s Dreams and Fears, Chipawo – Harare Junior Theatre
Asia
Bangladesh – The Scarecrow, Kids Cultural Institute
China – Seven Coloured Flower, Guangzhou Happy Man Cultural Arts Education Company Limited
Indonesia – Spectacle ZERO – A Visual Theater Performance, Teater Tanah Air
Indonesia – Cindelaras – JACCO, Jakarta Children Community
Palestine – Forget the Border, Diyar Dance Theatre
Australia/Oceania
Australia – A Kid Like Me, True North Youth Theatre Ensemble
Europe
Czech Republic – Jednou v Chelmu – Once in Chelm, Divadlo Vydýcháno
Estonia – Exploring the World, Eksperiment
Germany – Pinocchio, Theatre Group of the TPZ Lingen/Germany
Greece – Homer’s Odyssey, Theatrical Cultural Artistic Center “Poupoulo”
Russia – Survival Lessons, Theatre studio ‘Peremena’
Slovakia – Behind the Fence – Children´s Theatre Prvosienka
Slovenia – Children’s Eyes See It All, Race Primary School
Special Guests:
Russia – Wings for Clowns, Piano Theatre  – PIANO Theatre (Theatre of Silence) consists of children who are deaf. Their work has been seen in more than 40 international festivals. Their director, Vladimir Chikishev, is an Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation.
North & Central America
Canada – The Legend of Parvana Lake, Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre (Ontario)
The United States – As You Like It, The Children’s Shakespeare Theatre
Special Guests:
El Salvador – Labour Intensive, EsArtes Teatro – EsArtes Teatro is committed to economic stability through the arts in El Salvador. It is supported by the city of Suchitoto, the city of Stratford, The Stratford Festival and CUSO.
South America
Colombia – Volver…Volver, Laboratorio Teatral lLa Caja Negra de Sibate
Cuba – Para ser Mejores (To be better), Fragua (Forge)
Paraguay – Todo Vive, Axioma Teatro
More information about the Festival can be found @ World Festival of Children’s Theatre (worldfestivalofchildrenstheatre.com) or WFCT Facebook page (facebook.com/wfoct).

Further information on the Festival’s educational partnership for local students can be found @ Avon Maitland District School Board (yourschools.ca), Foundation for Education (foundationforeducation.ca) and Digital Human Library (digitalhumanlibrary.com).

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