Hay is situated in the western Riverina region of south western New South Wales, Australia, and has a population of 2,636 (2006 Census). It is one of the country’s leading wool growing and sheep meat producing areas and has irrigated crops such as watermelon, broccoli and lettuce. In October 2012, the young people of Hay showed off their extraordinary talents with the final performance of Outback Theatre for Young People’s Alive and Kicking project.
On October 15, ’12, the young people of Hay showed off their talents with the final performance of Alive and Kicking. For over 20 weeks young people explored theatre, dance, animation, film, photography and story development…weaving together historic photographs, press articles, interviews with older generations.
On Saturday the 15th October the young people of Hay will show off their extraordinary talents with the final performance of Outback Theatre for Young People’s Alive and Kicking project. Featuring alongside the event will be the launch of a brand new public gallery outside the Hay Post Office and Council Buildings.
Following on from last year’s very successful workshops and performance, Outback Theatre for Young People’s Mandy Field returned to Hay in May and has been working with young people during school hours, afterschool and school holidays at a studio established in a disused shop in Alma St. For over twenty weeks young people aged between 5 and 18 have been exploring theatre, dance, stop-motion animation, film, photography and story development.
Expressed through a variety of art forms, and drawing on dreams and memories, young people have created community and personal histories. Weaving together historic photographs, newspaper articles, interviews with parents and grandparents and the ever present influence of the local landscape.
These works will be presented on Saturday 15th October, starting at 6pm at the Outback Theatre for Young People Creative Space at 390 Alma St.
Devised entirely by the young people of Hay, under the artistic direction of Mandy Field the performance event will feature the Tunnel of Stories interactive Box-Maze, Memories from the Box shadow plays by young people from across the Hay community; short films made with video artist Sam Hoffmann including stop motion animations by Stage 2 & 3 at Hay Public School; Dreamings, stop motion animations made with Seniors from Hay War Memorial High School, Junkyard Hustle, a silent film made with Yr 9/10 drama students at Hay War Memorial High School, with special extra scenes made with hip-hop artist, Nick Power.
OTYP Artistic Director, Mandy Field says, ‘The material produced for the Alive and Kicking Project is both personal and whimsical and often fantastical! It could only have been created by these young people from this town at this time, in that the works have a local signature, they bear the influence of Hay’s truly unique and inspiring local landscape, with its intersecting highways, the mighty Murrumbidgee River and the immense Hay Plain.”
Following the performance the audience will take a short walk to Lachlan St to celebrate the new light box gallery in the walkway outside the Hay Post Office and Council Buildings. The light boxes are a semi-permanent exhibition space provided by the Hay Shire Council, and Better Futures Fund, where young people’s visual art work will be regularly displayed.
The History in the Making exhibition will launch the light box gallery, featuring works made by young people in collaboration with Sydney based artists Rachel Peachey and Paul Mosig.
‘The young people of Hay now have a permanent platform within which to present their artwork publicly,’ said Mandy Field, ‘The Hay Shire Council should be applauded for their ongoing support and advocacy of youth arts!’
The work of these young people has had huge support from the community, the schools and the Hay Shire Council. Zoe Watson, Visual Arts and Photography, Video and Digital Imaging teacher at Hay War Memorial High School says, ‘Our students have responded very positively to the professional tutors who are working with them to develop their skills in these art forms. As a result, there is a positive atmosphere in our school at the moment that we plan to continue with the introduction of light boxes. These light boxes will offer us an opportunity to display works from Visual Arts, Photography, Graphics and Textile classes and showcase the growing talent we have at Hay War Memorial High School.’
‘Mandy, thank you for your expertise and infectious enthusiasm in providing the young people in Hay with an opportunity to express themselves through Outback Theatre. Such an opportunity is a vital component of healthy development of our youth, and, is very well received by Council.’ says Allen Dwyer, General Manager at the Hay Shire Council, ‘The light boxes planned for the main street walkway will give additional life to the heart of the business district as well as provide the opportunity to display the talent of our youth.’