Theatre for the Early Years

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Theatre for the Early Years[1] (TEY) is a term used to refer to a form of theatre specifically devised for very young audiences (often 0-30 months).

Also known as Early Childhood Development Theatre or Early Years Theatre, it is considered to be a sub-category of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) or Theatre for Young People, and is also known in the USA as Theatre for the Very Young, or TVY.

In such performances, children are accompanied by at least one parent/caregiver and remain with the caregiver for the duration of the performance (approx 30-45 minutes) during which facilitators lead the young audience through activities aimed at stimulating sensory perception and a sense of wonderment.

For more on the form, see the Wikipedia entry on "Theatre for Early Years" at

South African practitioners

South African practitioners in this field include:

Magnet Theatre's The Magnet Early Years Theatre Company, which launched an initiative to train young theatremakers in the field of Early Childhood Development Theatre and held an Early Years Theatre Festival in 2015 (with the plays SCOOP: Kitchen Play for Moms and Babes (ages two weeks to 12 months) at 10h00; Ekhaya, (ages 3 to 7) at 11h30 and KNOCK!(ages 3 to 7) at 14h30.);

Margot Wood and Storywood Theatre Productions (based on her work with Early Years Theatre companies Helios Theatre in Germany, Trusty Sidekick in the USA and Oily Cart in the UK), i.a. with the play See The Sea (2019);