Empowering LGBTQIA+ Voices in Theatre for Young Audiences

Ginni MANNING and Cleiton ECHEVESTE, both writers and educators and great connoisseurs of this world, will lead an open and free conversation about LGBTQIA+ representation in animation theatre. We will start with Cleiton discussing some of the main points of his recently completed Master's Thesis on this topic.  Cleiton will be presenting some of his research at the ITYARN conference, and this event is really an extension of that conversation,

This is especially important in today's world, with so many governments, education systems, and social barriers that are not accepting of LGBTQIA+ people, as well as limiting or censoring access to information for young people in this world.  Every country is different, of course, but the need exists in both liberal and conservative societies.

Like all marginalised communities, young people who question or explore their identities need to know that this is okay, and they need positive adult role models.

In our field, an important part of the solution would be to hire queer writers and directors and to have queer characters in plays. [Bearing in mind that not all LGBT communities have adopted the term "queer" as a positive thing}.

ALL children need to see people in our plays who talk like them, look like them, and love like them. We don't need to write sermons, we need to create stories with complex LGBTQIA+ characters who are part of them. Straight cis-gendered professionals also need to understand that some of the language they normally use can be hurtful or offensive. Leaders will welcome all points of view, all personal stories, and all explorations of other solutions.



Production Credits


About the Artists

Ginni Manning is a playwright, theatre maker and writer from Liverpool, U.K. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and a disabled artist, she is an advocate for inclusive theatre. She is a creative facilitator who specializes in working with children and young people. She is an active member of Write Local. Play Global, in which capacity she has been involved in events at the ASSITEJ 2017 Cradle of Creativity, the ASSITEJ World Congress 2020, the ASSITEJ Mirai Festival, the Catch The Wave Festival and the ASSITEJ Artistic Gatherings in 2022 and 2023. She co-wrote ‘Dipalo’, an ASSITEJ International Award winning play, with South African theatre maker Lalu Mokuku, with whom she has a continuing creative partnership. She is currently the playwright for young audiences with Acting Up! Early Years Arts in Dublin, Ireland. Ginni is also an active board member of the ASSITEJ International Inclusive Arts Network (IIAN) and facilitates collaborations between WLPG and IIAN.


Cleiton Echevest is an actor, playwright, director and researcher with 37 years of experience, based in Rio de Janeiro. Cleiton has a Master degree (UNIRIO) and a degree (UFRGS, where he also studied Literature) in Performing Arts. His master thesis investigates gender and sexuality dissidence in the Theatre for Children and Youth, based on the work developed over almost two decades with Pandorga Cia de Teatro. He is one of the founders of Pandorga, in which he participates in all its creative processes. His plays have won awards and been translated into Spanish and published in Brazil, Peru and Argentina. He is a member of the Brazilian Center of ASSITEJ (CBTIJ/ASSITEJ Brasil), where he’s been president of the Board of Directors (2017-2023). He is part of the steering board of Write Local Play Global, ASSITEJ playwrights' network, and collaborates with the ASSITEJ Ibero-American Network (IBEROASSITEJ).

    • Professional Content
Primary Language
English, Portuguese, Spanish
Accessibility Information
  • Relaxed (adapted to people with communication difficulties, autism or sensory impairment)
Event Format
All Contributors ‘On the Ground’