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Creative ID: 207

Art form(s): Theatre
Language(s): English
Based in: Otago
Where I'm available:
Dunedin, Mosgiel and surrounds. We are also open to North and Central Otago.
When I'm available: We are largely flexible around time frames for 2020, with the exception currently of March 2020, where we will be completely unavailable.

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

Our theatre lab is offering two programmes:

1. People at Places in Time Devices for Devising Drama: Dunedin Stories Drama students are guided in a process for devising a drama based around a local Dunedin/Ōtepoti site at a particular time. They do not need prior knowledge of the history/sites in the workshop, as they will be applying what they already know to the exercise, their dramatic imaginations, and planning a research path forwards determined by the purpose of the drama they wish to create. The focus is to give the students tools and a framework within which to use dramatic elements and conventions to create an original work based on an historical moment at a specific site in Ōtepoti. Suitable for intermediate/secondary students (especially alongside NCEA 1.2, 2.2, and 3.2), but can also be adapted for primary school students. One two-hour/period or two one-hour/period sessions split over two sessions.

2. Scripting the Storyworld Developing Characters in a Dramatic Storyworld Scriptwriting for secondary school students. This workshop can be run over one two-hour session or two one-hour sessions, and is suitable for English and Drama students. Facilitators: a professional actor/registered/experienced teacher, and an award-winning playwright/director/dramaturg/Robert Burns Fellow.

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

One of our facilitators has been a professional actor, director, dancer and choreographer in New Zealand for the past 15 years, and a primary school teacher for the last five. A graduate of Otago’s Allen Hall Theatre, she performed in over a dozen productions at The Fortune Theatre. Other highlights of her career have included working at The Court Theatre, touring a Production of Simon O’Connor’s Avis and filming for Wanted Australia’s seven network drama television series. She has been actively involved in using theatre as a vehicle for behaviour change as a facilitator throughout New Zealand and internationally. Our other facilitator is an award-winning and published playwright, dramaturg, and director and a University of Otago Robert Burns Fellow. She has a PhD in Theatre Studies from the University of Otago, a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching from the Dunedin School of Education, taught English and Drama at Secondary level for eight years, and has mentored adult and teenage playwrights. She formed an award-winning theatre company with a producer in 2016, and development platforms for theatre and writers in 2019.

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

One of our facilitators is a qualified and experienced primary school teacher, teaching full-time for the past five years. She also has extensive experience in teaching drama and working with both students and adults in the performing arts. Her work has included teaching improvisation at Otago University, and facilitating communication workshops in classrooms, as well as designing programmes within New Zealand and internationally that use drama to explore current issues our youth face today that map to the curriculum. She has a particular interest in devising, is lead teacher in Māori at her current school, head teacher for drama and dance in school productions, and has sound knowledge of assessment data. Our other facilitator is a qualified and experienced secondary school English and Drama teacher, having taught students at all secondary levels. She has been the St Hilda’s artist in residence. She has also led classes and workshops for adults, including at the University of Otago and the Dunedin Readers and Writers Festival. She has a particular interest in facilitating the telling of local stories. Both facilitators have conducted theatre lab programmes (devising and scriptwriting) in schools and for a school holiday programme this year.

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

The Creatives in Schools Programme will be a means for us to build on and continue to develop the school programmes we have been trialling this year, and hopefully take these to a wider range of schools and students. Furthermore, this programme and our work as practitioners compliment all five of the key competencies (thinking, relating to others, using language, symbols, and texts, managing self, and participating and contributing) as outlined in the NZ Curriculum. Having grown up in Dunedin, we know how important it is for students to have opportunities to work with local professional arts practitioners. This helps foster the students' sense of being creatives themselves and the possibility of working towards a career in the arts. We are actively involved in work that contributes towards building sustainability of practice in Dunedin, and how we might better grow the ecology for others to have pathways into arts careers. Just as importantly, there is evidence showing that participating in the arts supports well-being, and the well-being of our youth affects all of us as a community.

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