We would like to express our sympathies to all those who are suffering from the new coronavirus and all those around the world whose lives have been affected by the spread of the infection.
We have been preparing for the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress scheduled for May. However, with the spread of coronavirus in many countries, and measures such as banning travel and suspension of VISAs, it has become difficult for participants such as theater companies and researchers from around the world to travel to Japan. In a situation where global participation is physically impossible, we have no choice but to determine that it will also be impossible to hold the event as scheduled from May 14 to May 24, 2020.
ASSITEJ International and the ASSITEJ Japan Center have been in repeated discussions, keeping an eye on the rapidly changing situation of Japan and the world. We deeply share the belief that the event is of great significance. We are convinced it will be a great and rare opportunity to experience the fascinating productions of the invited companies from around the world, together with other audiences in the theater, and the feeling of crossing cultural boundaries. However, the threat of the coronavirus, which has evolved into a global pandemic, is far beyond what we can imagine and respond to. Under these circumstances, what matters most is the health and safety of everyone.
Thus, we make a joint statement here that the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress & Performing Arts Festival / MIRAI will be unavoidably postponed, most likely to the second half of March 2021.
Please note that this means that all the following elements of the event are also postponed to this date:
- Main festival programme
- Fringe festival programme
- ASSITEJ Congress (General Assembly and Artistic Encounter)
- Next Generation Programme
- ITYARN conference
- ASSITEJ Awards Ceremonies
- All events related to the various ASSITEJ networks
- Other scheduled Symposia, Seminars, Workshops
We are worried that the younger generation, who should have been the main figures at the World Congress, have been deprived of cultural enjoyment and disconnected from other people. At times like this, we need the power of culture and art for society and children.
We hope that the pandemic of the new coronavirus subsides as soon as possible and that the time for people to meet face to face and rejoice together will return soon to us again. Until then, we will postpone the congress and the festival, and we will make preparations to share the joy of the arts and culture again with you at the appropriate time and place.
We would like to ask all of you who have cooperated so far to accept the decision we have made, and to continue to cooperate in order to have the congress.
We look forward to seeing you in Japan in March 2021.
Yvette Hardie, ASSITEJ International President
Katsunari Morita, ASSITEJ Japan Centre President