Award-winning theatre works to be adapted for Queensland schools in 2018

On World Teachers’ Day, Queensland Music Festival (QMF) has revealed its 2018 Youth Touring program that will bring some of Australia’s most exciting award-winning artists and works into Queensland schools, including those in the most remote regions of the state.

Representing the Premier and Minister for the Arts at the launch of the program, Minister for Education Kate Jones said QMF’s reinvigorated Youth Touring program continued the important tradition of touring arts experiences to ignite creativity and imagination in the developing minds of Queensland school children.

"Youth Touring 2018 is focused on bringing world class productions and artists into schools across the state, removing barriers that restrict access to the arts, because we know how important these experiences are for young people.

"The Queensland Government is proud to provide funding to support Youth Touring and it is fantastic to be making this announcement on World Teachers’ Day because Youth Touring offers exciting and diverse performances and workshops that align with the Australian National Curriculum and reinforce classroom learning.”

QMF Artistic Director Katie Noonan said her team had scoured the country for the best possible productions, and was working with some of the country’s most innovative companies to adapt work for school audiences.

"The quality of the work we will be bringing into schools in 2018 is so exciting. We have listened to teachers and ensured the program meets curriculum needs and surpasses expectations.”

A reworking of the powerful Australian play Black Diggers; two works by internationally acclaimed hip hop artist and theatre maker Candy Bowers; and some marvellous prehistoric megafauna all feature in the 2018 Youth Touring program, which will explore social, environmental, cultural and historical perspectives through high quality performances and workshops. Youth Touring recognises the powerful way in which STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths) can enhance student engagement in key learning areas.

Small schools in rural and remote Queensland face additional challenges in accessing high quality arts experiences, booking far fewer shows than schools in cities or larger towns due to cost pressures and low student enrolment numbers.

To ensure small and remote schools have access to Youth Touring performances and workshops, QMF, which has an unmatched track record of working in the state’s most remote corners, is offering much lower minimum booking numbers when compared with similar organisations. The Youth Touring team can also assist in combining smaller schools for performances and work with other community and arts groups to ensure all schools can access the program.

The first term of 2018 will kick off with an interactive hip hop show for primary school kids, MC Platypus and Queen Koala starring Candy and Kim Bowers, whose show Hot Brown Honey has won awards and attracted international acclaim. In line with the sisters’ mission of creating a place where everyone can see themselves reflected and feel welcome, this funny and joyful show teaches kids about self-care and confidence.

Helpmann Award-winner Candy Bowers will also bring her one-woman show Definitely Beautiful into high schools. Based on her workshops with teenagers of diverse backgrounds and inspired by poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, this simple work looks at media, representation, and more.

Rounding off term one for secondary schools is Ruby Moon, a haunting tale set in Australian suburbia by internationally renowned playwright Matt Cameron, while Detective Smart and the Mathematical Underpants will encourage primary students to apply their maths and critical thinking skills to solve a mystery.

After Easter, a special adaptation of one of Australia’s most important stories and most critically acclaimed plays will come to Queensland’s secondary schools. Black Diggers, written by Tom Wright, tells the real stories of the Indigenous men who enlisted to fight and die for their country in World War I.

For primary schools in term two, a diverse cast will bring 100,000 years of Australian music, dance and storytelling to life in the exciting, uplifting Future Dreaming. Plus, Animania, based on the Australian National Science Curriculum, will help kids understand the similarities between humans and animals, such as complex communication, passing of culture, empathy and self-awareness, through humour, puppetry, circus and slam poetry.

In term three, students of all ages can enjoy a mix of ancient and cutting-edge music in The Didjeribone Show (a unique cross between a didgeridoo and a trombone) by internationally renowned didgeridoo performer Adrian Fabila Tjupurrula aka Tjupurru. Students can learn to use live samples and looping to create songs and soundscapes that crisscross music genres, tradition and technology.

Using circus, theatre and comedy, ancient Australian megafauna like the hippo-sized wombat, the Demon Duck of Doom, a carnivorous kangaroo and the unicorn turtle that lived alongside humans, will be brought back to life in Marvellous Megabeasts! This entertaining show will also teach Queensland primary students about science and geography.

Junkyard Beats, an energetic, interactive drumming, dance, theatre and comedy performance that transforms household objects and junk into musical instruments while teaching students of all ages about recycling, sustainability, and mental and physical health, will finish off the school year.

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