The partnership is composed by theatres, institutions and municipalities who have established a deep relationship with early years over time.
The partners are 18 from 17 different European countries: a partership covering a wide geographical area of the European Union, with no regional characterisation.
Besides the full partners, the project is enriched by the cooperation with Associated Partners: Networks, Universities and researchers that offer their specific know-how in developing this piece of research.

Artika Theatre Company | Athens, Greece

Artika is a non-profit theatre company founded in July 2006 by Katerina Alexaki and Marilena Triantafyllidou. In February 2007 Artika presented for the first time in Greece a theatre play for the very young ages, and ever since then the company has been creating shows as well as educational programs and workshops for children of the early years (0-6). The works made by Artika have been presented in theatres, schools and international theatre festivals. Artika’s goal is to make a visionary and poetic theatre to be seen and enjoyed by people from 0 to 100 years old.

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Auraco dance theatre | Helsinki, Finland

Dance and mime theatre Auraco was founded in 2006 and is run by non-profit association Kuukulkurit ry. The touring company is based in Helsinki, Finland. Since 2010 Auraco is one of the most internationally touring Finnish dance companies, with 15 countries so far in Europe and Asia. Auraco’s performances trust the performers’ presence and the vulnerability of the movement itself. With minimalistic or no décor, the performers fill the empty stage, creating a responsive atmosphere. The relationship with the audience is open and sensitive. The performances break boundaries between the performers and the audience. Audience development is a key element of Auraco’s work. Auraco is or has been a partner in several European Union co-funded projects since 2010.

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Baboró International Arts Festival for Children | Galway, Ireland

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship arts festival devoted to children and families; a week-long programme of theatre, dance, puppetry, music, visual arts and workshops. Throughout the year Baboró leads programmes that support artists to produce work for younger audiences and equip educators with creative tools for the classroom. Baboró joined the “Small size, big citizens’ project” to become a part of a network of artists with a passion for developing work for younger audiences. Baboró are delighted to be collaborating with Branar Téatar do Pháistí and NUI Galway as part of this project.

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Bologna Fiere/Bologna Children’s Book Fair | Bologna, Italy

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the event in the publishing year’s calendar, built around children’s content today. With over 50 years of experience the fair has succeeded in bringing together a unique and diverse global audience. The result is the world’s premium copyright exchange hub when it comes to publishing and now it includes an extra core that extends to all multi-media and licensing business for children’s content. The world famous Illustrators Exhibition and industry recognized BolognaRagazzi awards are some of key pillars that make this event so special. With more than 26,000 people taking part in 4 packed days of events, it is a unique mix of a cultural book show and an international rights business forum for all types of content for children.

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de Stilte dance for children | Breda, Netherlands

de Stilte is focused on developing and performing productions for all children. Thanks to a multi-layered creative approach, their performances are also enjoyed by older children, parents and grandparents. With multi-faceted, non-verbal performances and dance activities which stir the imagination, de Stilte seeks to stimulate children’s playful curiosity and encourage their artistic skills. While playing with heart and soul, children learn about their world; they learn how to position themselves in an overwhelming society. de Stilte creates shows offering time and space to the audience’s imagination. Shows which take children seriously. Shows that present a new dance idiom that blends with issues, scenery and music.

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Helios Theater | Hamm, Germany

The company is headed by Barbara Kölling and Michael Lurse who imprint the work of the theatre since its founding in 1989. In co-operation with performers, puppeteers, musicians, authors and visual artists, they develop theatre performances for all age groups. HELIOS Theater has developed performances for the very young, like “WOODBEAT”, “H2O” and “Traces”. Its productions are regularly invited to theatre festivals in Germany and throughout Europe. The ensemble fosters theatre for the very young through research and exchange in Germany and internationally. Biennially, HELIOS Theater organizes “hellwach”, the international theatre festival for young audiences and regularly hosts conferences and symposia dealing with current questions in theatre for children and young people.

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Ion Creangă Theatre | Bucharest, Romania

Ion Creangă Theatre has been present on the cultural scene of Bucharest for more than 50 years, being one of the first art performances public institutions set up by the local authorities for the young audience. Nowadays, Ion Creangă Theater is a landmark in the Capital’s cultural environment. Its programs and projects, whether we refer to performances or festivals, remain relevant to the stage reached by performing arts for children at national and international level. The institution creates and promotes highly artistic theater performances, to coordinate and implement research programs and educational, social-educational and aesthetic projects for children aged 0 to 12 years, teachers, academics, parents and legal tutors, in order to increase the access to cultural activities.

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Kolibri Theatre for Children and Youth | Budapest, Hungary

The Kolibri Theatre for Children and Youth was founded in 1992. Kolibri’s vast and varied repertory of 36 performances per season consists of its most successful productions made for children as young as 0 and up to 18 years of age, offering each age group plays that are suitable for their mental and emotional development. Kolibri Theatre stands out in hosting comprehensive artwork productions ranging from adaptations of Hungarian and world literature to puppet shows, fairy tale plays, operas and physical theatre. Kolibri is a pioneer in establishing new genres in Hungarian children’s theatre by introducing live music on stage, early years plays, youth performances and new adaptations of classic and contemporary literary works for screenplay and stage.

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La Baracca – Testoni Ragazzi | Bologna, Italy

Founded in 1976 in Bologna, La Baracca is carrying out a theatrical reserach devoted to very young children (0-3 and 3-6 years old) since 1987, producing many shows touring in more than 40 countries. The company has developed a poetic aimed at generating amazement, trying to pursue simplicity intended as essentiality, always paying special attention to the relationship with the audience. Since 2005 La Baracca has been project leader in many European project focused on performing arts for early years, founding also “Small size Network“. In 2008, La Baracca won the ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence for its committment to early years audiences. La Baracca is project leader of “Mapping – A Map on the aesthetics of performing arts for early years”.

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Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (LPT) | Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (LPT) is the main Slovenian puppet theatre staging puppet and drama performances for children, youngsters and adults. Its predominant target audiences are children and young people. The theatre was established in 1948 (as the City Puppet Theatre) and has been based in Mestni dom in Krekov Square since 1984. In its work, the LPT builds on the hundred-year tradition of Slovenian puppetry. With the establishment of the Museum of Puppetry at the Ljubljana Castle, the LPT officially became the caretaker of this precious, century-old heritage. The theatre manages five regular and several smaller venues. At these venues, which offer seating for approximately a thousand people, it produces fifteen premieres a year and is visited by around 110,000 spectators.

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Polka Theatre | Wimbledon, London, UK

Polka is one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively to young audiences aged 0 – 12. Based in Wimbledon since 1979, Polka gives over 90,000 children, parents and teachers each year the opportunity to experience world-class theatre through its productions and creative learning programme. It offer opportunities for all children, regardless of age, ability, culture or background. Polka has an international reputation, known throughout the world as a pioneer of theatre for children, consistently setting the standard and raising audience’s expectations. Polka is temporarily closed for a major redevelopment, reopening in summer 2020. During this time Polka is out on tour and working extensively through our community engagement programme.

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Teater Tre | Stockholm, Sweden

Teater Tre is a Swedish theatre group established in 1979. Since the beginning, its mission is to make quality theatre for children and youth. Besides giving shows on the stage in Stockholm, the company tour in Sweden and worldwide. Its goal is to reach out to all children, regardless of their social, cultural or geographical background. Teater Tre do this through a universal stage language that is characterized by few words and a great deal of movement. Since all its performances use very few words, they can easily be translated to, and performed in, many different languages. Teater Tre performances all have themes from everyday life that everyone, young and old, can identify with. The company wants to awaken audience’s curiosity for the theatre and for their own creativity, and to invite international guest appearances to its home stage in Stockholm.

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Teatr Animacji | Poznan, Poland

Poznań’s Animation Theatre was estabilished in 1945. It’s an urban institution of culture that draws on the traditions of the Polish puppet theatre and theatre of form. Its repertoire caters to both children/teens and adult audiences, with artists representing the crème de la crème of contemporary theatre from around the world. Having won numerous awards and earned rave reviews with their productions in Poland and internationally, the theatre’s artistic team strives to maintain their quality and reputation as a pioneer and blazer of new trails in theatrical expression. The Animation Theatre’s artistic explorations and inspirations stem from European visual and experimental theatre, from which they extend to dance theatre, drawing heavily on the experiments of drama theatre, musical and ballet. It remains on the cutting edge of experiments with the coupling of actors and puppets, digital images and technology. This is where trends collide giving rise to new, creative solutions.

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Teatro Paraíso | Vitoria, Spain

Teatro Paraíso is classified as a consolidated company, developing a project related to Theatre, Childhood and Art Education. It is recognised within its sector as an innovative enterprise in terms of subjects, formats and working methods. The national performing arts prize for children and youth 2012 was presented to the Company by the Ministry of Culture. The committee awarded Teatro Paraíso with this prize for “the creativity and variety of stage languages portrayed over the past thirty years”. In addition, the committee particularly highlighted “its international audience, which makes it compatible with a work rooted in its immediate surroundings”. Its activity is focused on the creation of performing arts and the development of projects that build an audience.

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Théâtre de la Guimbarde | Charleroi, Belgium

The Théâtre de la Guimbarde creates shows that bring together the world of children and the world of adults. The theatre company is aimed at children – from early childhood to teenage years – and offers them a unique artistic moment which awakens emotions and raises questions. Through theatre, La Guimbarde brings a balanced view of the world, a critical outlook on society and brings to the fore today’s « living together ». Relying on rich writing and several theatrical languages, it examines the human being, pinpoints questioning and contradictions. The theatre company chooses artists who explore unique theatrical forms, weave ties and constantly nurture the project. The theatre company was the initiator of the theatrical creation aimed at the very young (0 to 3 years old) in Belgium and still carries out today fascinating research work aimed at this specific audience. While interested in children growing up, the company also wishes through its creations to challenge those adults who accompany children in their artistic discoveries. It invites them to interweave emotions and questioning. La Guimbarde’s creations have been travelling in Belgium and through the world since 1973.

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Theatre Madam Bach | Odder, Denmark

Theatre Madam Bach creates visual theatre for children between 0-6. Through rich imagery, captivating soundscapes and a poetic use of words their theatre performances speak to the senses – in a language where the child feels at home. Theatre Madam Bach’s shows often branch out in other formats too; music, illustrated books, workshops or art projects that promote creativity and curiosity, and encourage the child to engage beyond the theatre experience itself. Theatre Madam Bach is formed by artistic directors Pernille Bach and Christian Schrøder. Over the years, Madam Bach has taken their productions world-wide, in a total of 42 countries. Theatre Madam Bach’s goal is to make high quality childrens theater that gives children a sense of how to use simple tools to create a magical space.

 

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TOIHAUS THEATRE SALZBURG | Salzburg, Austria

For more than three decades Toihaus Theatre has established a strong team of artists (specialists in their fields: dance, acting, music, composition, object, stage and costume design) who together put their distinctive stamp on the theatre’s language. The artistic idea and the content of the early productions of Toihaus Theatre have changed in the many years since its establishment, much like the changes society has undergone. The key pillars of its mission statement are however unchanged: to search for in theatre and performance, to walk the line between traditional genres and the interconnection and exploration of various artistic forms of expression – dance, drama, performance, music, new media, visual arts. Toihaus artists make extensive use of a wide range of improvisational techniques and adopt new spaces for art – be it private spaces (living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms) or public spaces (museums, galleries, cemeteries …).

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