We run our Education Programme from our premises in Waltham, but are also able to travel to and teach in schools directly.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
We are New Zealand’s longest running producer of avant-garde and experimental theatre. Our programmes serve as a creative laboratory creating opportunities for local artists both emerging and established and from a diversity of backgrounds (actors, musicians, writers, designers, technicians, singers, mask makers, puppeteers, video artists, aerial artists, and chefs) to collaborate on the development and presentation of new innovative contemporary performances. Our creative process works from an initial idea and develops during the period of collaboration. The way we work and how performances are developed over time is often regarded as being closer to contemporary dance than more traditional forms of theatre. Our projects bring together a diversity of art forms to reimagine space (often taking place in spaces that are not conventional in terms of theatre) and invent new ways of directly engaging with our audiences to provide exciting new performance experiences that are unique to Christchurch. We provide unique and immersive learning opportunities, workshops and performance training for children and young adults and tertiary students from experienced and highly qualified teachers / creative practitioners with extensive theatre and film teaching experience.
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
Since 1979 we've played an integral role in the cultural and social life of Christchurch. We have developed successful interdisciplinary collaborations with both nationally and internationally recognised artists and organisations producing high quality, professional performance work that has engaged directly with the Christchurch community, in an unusual and engaging contemporary style. We have taught successfully at primary, secondary, and tertiary level, specialising in physical and instrumental theatre, film, Commedia, mask, and puppet performance. We were the subject of a documentary film which premiered at the 2017 International Film Festival. It shows the consistent track record of successful and unique collaborations and quality presentations and educational outcomes that have been recognised internationally.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
We have found that students respond very positively to our teaching method, which is to not only help them to develop specific skills but also to give them the freedom to bring their own experiences and ideas to the classroom and to use these together with these new skills to explore their own artistic ideas. This is a key component in all of our teaching and often appeals to students who lack confidence or don’t otherwise consider themselves interested in or 'good' at theatre. In support of our one of our programmes, one parent writes: ‘What struck me most was the way the young people were given credit for creativity and intelligence and allowed to explore the form in a collaborative environment.’ Our programme provides offerings that support and can be tailored to current curriculum requirements. We are in the process of registering with the OSCAR programme in order to make our Kids Holiday Programmes more accessible to low-income families and we have recently been able to introduce scholarships for these programmes. We are a learning destination for Children’s University and the principle tutors hold current basic first aid training certificates.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
A challenge for us as a small organisation is finding the resources to more widely promote the artistic and educational opportunities we offer. The Creatives in Schools programme offers an opportunity to begin more conversations with schools and kura that may be interested in working together with us. We think the opportunities we can provide for students to work together with experienced performers is also something that is unique and attractive to students and educational providers. For example, following on from our work with students in our Holiday Programme, they will be invited take part as performers in our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.