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Creative ID: 052

Art form(s): Interarts, Theatre, Community Art.

Based in: Hawke's Bay. 

When I'm available: I am available from the beginning of term two for the whole school year. Best days: Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

Where I'm available: Hawke's Bay. Wairarapa – travel costs would need to be factored in. Wellington – travel costs would need to be factored in.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I am available to work with schools in the area of drama education and theatre. I have over thirty years' experience in the field and am currently an expert teacher working with over 20 primary teachers across New Zealand on raising teacher capability in using drama in their classrooms to enhance the literacy outcomes of their students. The offering I have as a 'creative in schools' is to work with your teachers and students to create a site-specific theatre piece to share with the wider community that can also be integrated into classroom work. A local or little-known story can be explored or new story created. It's the school production with purpose and without the stress!! Using a process drama method, students will create, devise, write and perform and teachers will be supported to allow the learning to be embedded in the curriculum. I have experience in directing both small-scale and large-scale school productions and run a performing arts school in Hawke's Bay. In a recent performance, there were 105 children involved.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

I am an experienced teacher/artist. I have worked as a mainstream teacher in primary and middle school education as well as a drama specialist in schools. I have a Dip Teach, B.Ed and Masters of Drama Education and Applied Theatre. For the past 10 years since moving from Australia to NZ I have run a performing arts school for young people aged 5 to 20 which also incorporates work in schools in the Arts. At the performing arts school we work with raising confidence in children, teaching the true meaning of teamwork and learning about all aspects of stagecraft. I have just completed the pilot project for a drama and literacy project with an extension of the pilot to be rolled out to Hawke's Bay in term one 2020. Phase two is undergoing design and will commence later in 2020. 

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

Some project highlights include:

  • creating an early childhood dramatic play unit in Australia
  • producing and performing in Theatre in Education shows in Australia and New Zealand
  • writing and directing several school productions in rural schools in Hawke's Bay
  • making a film with one class in a rural school in Hawke's Bay
  • creating with students and support team, an applied theatre project around bullying and creating a documentary about this. These projects were very successful and we were shortlisted for a youth award.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I am very excited that the government has decided to create this opportunity for schools and creatives to collaborate. I am particularly concerned about the lack of confidence teachers have in implementing the Arts, particularly drama, and see this as another opportunity to help raise teacher capability in drama but also ensure that students are experiencing the Arts in a meaningful way, not just recreating a Disney story that has no relevance. The work will continue to grow my practice in supporting students and teachers in using the arts as a vehicle for learning.

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