Creative Engagement Program for Young People with Special Needs
DRAMA FORCE is a community driven project that provides young people in Deniliquin with something that unifies and connects them, while at the same time celebrating their creative uniqueness.
WHAT WE DO:
- CREATE a professional, inclusive performance for children and their parents through a comprehensive creative workshop program.
- EMPOWER and EDUCATE and provide a cultural experience for young people on their own terms, and a leadership opportunity for young performers. Children with special needs will learn new, creative ways of self expression and communication.
- BRIDGE new friendships and help children with special needs build on their emotional intelligence.
DRAMA FORCE inspires imagination and social development in children with disabilities, specifically young people on the autism spectrum, and capitalizes on the strengths and interests of participants. The series of creative workshops encourages social inclusion, confidence, turn taking, team building, flexible thinking and focus.
In 2017, OTYP aims to further develop a performing arts curriculum with these young people, exposing them to a wider variety of creative art forms, and encouraging their own art making and creativity. During the course of 2016 we saw social development, confidence building and team work skills improving among the participants due to their involvement in the classes. In 2017, we will run weekly classes (8 weeks a term for 4 terms) that culminate in two performances (one mid-year, one end of year) completely devised and dreamed up by the participants.
Workshops focus on: Confidence building, eye contact, art making, movement, negotiation skills and listening. DRAMA FORCE is designed to target the socio-emotional challenges of autism by utilising established behavioural intervention paradigms implemented in combination with theatrical techniques.
The project is supported by Intereach Deniliquin, the Mazda Foundation, Regional Arts NSW and Arts NSW. If you would like to get involved please contact Sarah Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 5881 6260
Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, today welcomed $100,000 for Outback Theatre for Young People, part of the second tranche of funding for Catalyst – Australian Arts and Culture Fund.
“I am pleased that Outback Theatre for Young People has received funding from Catalyst and understand that two large scale community events are planned over the coming two years – ‘Bordertowns’ and ‘While You Were Sleeping’,” Ms Ley said.
Creative Producer, Sarah Parsons said that ‘Bordertowns’ will be based in the Berrigan Shire, and will unite the four towns in the shire (Berrigan, Barooga, Tocumwal and Finley) in a theatrical event that celebrates stories from the region.
“Young people will be at the centre of the production, and the wider community will participate in the retelling of their histories and family anecdotes. The outcome will be a huge community celebration that tours around the four towns,” said Ms Parsons.
‘While You Were Sleeping’ is a project that aims to facilitate recycling and sustainability awareness through large-scale public art sculptures installed overnight.
Ms Parsons said “The township of Deniliquin will be gifted with artworks made by local young people from recyclable materials, which will be left for a few days and then disappear again. The end result of the project will be an artistic and historical audio tour of the town that can be downloaded by anyone visiting.”
Catalyst funding is available from three streams: partnerships and collaborations; innovation and participation and is open to small, medium and large arts organisations at a national, regional and community level.
Ms Ley said that the projects include the visual arts, screen based art, music, digital arts, dance and physical theatre, performing arts, cross-disciplinary art forms, community arts as well as arts support and development projects.
“I am delighted that this Australian Government funding will assist in providing opportunities for young people in our region to work with professional artists, share ideas and stories, and produce work that is of our area – proudly regional and rural, and firmly planted in the Riverina,” said Ms Ley.
Minister for the Arts, Mitch Fifield said the arts have the ability to illuminate and enliven the communities we live in, and to teach us more about ourselves, our society and our time.
“Catalyst is a truly national arts funding program and I am pleased to see funding reaching our local arts organisations, and arts and cultural organisations from across Australia, recognising the innovative and creative work being undertaken,” Minister Fifield said.
“The successful Catalyst projects will enhance the experience of and access to arts and culture across Australia, exploring themes and issues relevant to contemporary Australian and international audiences.”
Catalyst funding is available to support projects across the Australian arts and cultural sector. A majority (82 per cent) of the projects supported in this assessment period have been awarded to small-to-medium arts organisations, with half of the activity occurring in regional and remote communities.
Applications for Catalyst are open with rolling assessments made by independent assessors. Guidelines and information on the application process can be found on the Ministry for the Arts website www.arts.gov.au/catalyst
While You Were Sleeping is OTYP’s newest project and is all about imagination in unconventional places and unique spaces. It will provide opportunities for young people to work with professional artists on large scale installations.
While You Were Sleeping is a street art and innovative public sculpture project that aims to inspire creativity, build a culture of sustainability, increase awareness of the values of recycling, and celebrate the place in which we live. We will engage professional artists, purchase supplies, run workshops, orchestrate overnight installations, and facilitate a project that unites art, environment and community.
Throughout 2016 & 2017, we will create a series of pop-up public art installations throughout Deniliquin designed by young people and director, Sarah Parsons, to elicit responses from the whole community which will be shaped into a large scale outdoor performance in 2017.
While You Were Sleeping was developed in response to the mixed feelings expressed by Deniliquin teenagers about their town, the perception of teenagers as out-of-place on the streets, loiterers rather than citizens, and the joyous response of the town to the outdoor outcome of our Reverberate project.
The project is set to take flight in September 2016, we believe that our project can serve as a provocation for our community, and we can make positive changes in our town, and for our local young people, so if you would like to be involved in any way, shape or form, please contact Sarah Parsons at email@example.com. We would LOVE to hear from you.
Project partners: Deniliquin Council, Yarkuwa Indigenous Education Centre, Deniliquin Information Centre, Deniliquin High School, Intereach and local primary schools.
This project is funded through support from ARTS NSW, The Australia Council, and the Federally funded Catalyst Program.
Jessica, with her usual with and humour, tells us all about it. She really does love us huh?!
A Week in the Country
The thing about working with Outback Theatre for Young People is: it never gets boring. I mean this in a few ways.
Firstly, there’s the scenery. It’s hard to get writers’ block or feel uninspired when you’re hanging out on the Hay Plains, walking through Deniliquin’s Island Sanctuary, or serenading a pack of 11 curious steers who are all very interested in what sort of dramaturgy you’re getting up to.
Secondly, there’s the work. I have a theory that once you get bitten by the “working with young people” bug, there’s no going back. There’s something very intoxicating about the honesty and enthusiasm of a young group of theatre makers soaking up any opportunity they can find, whether it directly relates to their life goals and personal interests or not.
Finally, there’s the colleagues. I love working with other artists who really care about providing opportunities for young people to develop their skills and passions. They’re usually pretty nice people who are into the same sort of bad TV and 9pm bedtimes as you are.
All this is a pretty long introduction but it’s not like I’m in a massive hurry today, because we are on RETREAT. I’m currently sitting in a rehearsal shed at HotHouse Theatre’s country house in Albury, looking out at the bright green grass in front of me and the swirls of dust conjured up by passing utes speeding down the road at the end of the paddock.
I’m in Albury working as a mentor for the EMERGE project, which is OTYP’s new project to commission exciting young voices to write plays that speak to the outback experience. The winner of the commission is Julian Larnach, who is writing a play inspired by his own teenage years in outback NSW.
The week has been full of highlights: not only has it been great to chew the hay with Jules and discuss the conceptual scaffolding of his play, world, characters and themes, but we’ve been lucky enough to workshop the play with young people from HotHouse Theatre’s youth ensemble. This group of 16-26 year olds has provided us with incredible detail, subtleties, stories and hilarious moments, all of which will contribute to the relevance and authenticity of Julian’s final draft.
I’ll leave you there, because those cows hanging out on the other side of the fence waiting for our arvo chat are probably getting a bit worried. Better start getting excited about the production of the EMERGE play in 2015, if you ask me. Until then.
Outback Theatre for Young People’s Little Movers and Makers Project
Little Movers and Makers sees Outback Theatre artist, Mandy Field work with two playgroups in Deniliquin; the Aboriginal Jyldamenk Playgroup and the Young Parents Group, which will result in a community performance. The project will offer an introductory theatrical experience for local young children and launch OTYP into our first foray of theatre for the very young.
In partnership with Intereach, the Little Movers and Makers Project will work young children under five and their parents, from the Intereach’s Family support service in a 6 week visual arts and movement program, culminating in a community performance.
A small cast of high school age young people will be engaged in the process, working alongside director/choreographer Mandy Field, Sound Designer Vic McEwan and Visual Designer Danilo Paglialonga.
The performance outcome, set to be staged in Deniliqin on Saturday November 15 and 16 2014, will be an immersive and tactile experience, designed to overcome age, developmental and language barriers and create a shared, joyous experience for parents and children. The outcome will be a combination of visual, audio and performance elements that will take families on an intimate journey through a theatrical world of their own creation.
Julian’s Play, M.I.A, will be developed through a comprehensive mentoring process with Jessica Bellamy, and is set to premiere at Griffith Regional Theatre in June 2015, tour to Deniliquin and finish with a season at Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney.
The play examines the early interactions between Griffith farmers and the Calabrian mafia – both friendly and feisty – and the repercussions felt by the next generation. It taps into a very difficult period in rural young people’s lives – the pressures to stay, the thrust to leave.
The play is also thematically inspired by the role water plays in rural Australia. Julian says ‘growing up, water was a constant topic of conversation from small talk at the bus stop to large-scale strategies around the dinner table.’
As part of the award, OTYP will nurture Julian’s professional growth through a mentoring process in 2014, resulting in a play that shares an authentic regional voice and resonates with our communities in South West NSW.
Julian says ‘It is an amazing honour to be awarded this commission. As an emerging writer, it stands as an incredible vote of confidence. The commission will give me the time, the headspace and the resources to develop something truly special and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I hope that through the combination of my own personal experiences of rural New South Wales, my extensive research on the area, and my consultation with young people, I am able to tell a story that resonates with the people who live here.’
‘My mum and her family grew up in the area so it’s always been in my periphery vision and central to my understanding of the world. Growing up in a cattle farm in regional New South Wales my experience of theatre was limited to Shakespeare and bi-yearly school musicals. The Outback Theatre for Young People is a great company as it realises that theatre has the capacity to shine a light on the manifold experience of regional Australia in an honest and imaginative way.’
In 2013, Julian was Affiliate Writer at Griffin Theatre Company and was shortlisted for Playwriting Australia’s Re-Gen Seed Commission. His play Umami was developed through an Australia Council JUMP Mentorship and was selected for a National Script Workshop through Playwriting Australia.
Creative Producer Claire Harris says ‘this is the first time OTYP has commissioned a work from a young playwright, and one with such a strong connection to the area in which we work. We are very excited to be able to offer this opportunity to Julian and work towards developing an authentic, regional story while mentoring him through the next stage of his journey as a Playwright.’
For more information call Creative Producer Claire Harris on 0417 164 641 or email Claire@outbacktheatre.com
The commission is proudly supported by Arts NSW, The Australia Council, The Ian Potter Foundation and Copyright Agency Limited’s Cultural Fund.
Outback Story Generator is an online story-sharing project that engaged young people from the small towns of Hay, Griffith and Deniliquin in southwest NSW. This project reached over 200 young people across 300 kilometres and ran from the 3rd March to the 17th April 2014.
Playwright Jessica Bellamy worked with young people to develop their unique ‘Outback’ stories. The stories were developed in a variety of forms such as monologues, scripts, short stories, radio plays, poems, and songs. We then shared them on the Outback Story Hub. In addition to showcasing student work, the site has created connections between young people to other young people in similar communities who have shared experiences.
Jessica Bellamy spent two full weeks in Griffith; facilitating playwriting workshops and creative writing opportunities for young people in year 10 at Griffith High School. At the end of her residency, a presentation of the works were streamed live to classrooms in Hay and Deniliquin. Then she spent two weeks in Hay and Deniliquin, following the same process. During the process, Jessica identified two exceptional young people from each town who demonstrated high-level writing skills and they took part in a one-week holiday intensive from 14-17 April 2014 in Deniliquin (a writing Boot-camp!). They were given the opportunity to take their work a step further and formulate their pitch to the Emerge: Riverina Playwright Project commission.
Check out the OUTBACK STORY HUB HERE[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXC4U4P6s1U[/youtube]
WHAT WE ACHIEVED:
- Reached over 200 young people from three different communities spanning 300kms; giving a large amount of young people the opportunity to engage with the project and explore their creative voice
- Identified strong, stand-out young artists from each town and further their skills through creative literacy development workshops with Jessica Bellamy
- Created a dedicated website which will invite a global audience to these local stories and will also serve as a resource for young writers
- Linked participants to like-minded young people in their region
Sharing Regional Stories with the World: Submissions Now Closed
ABOUT THE COMMISSION
Outback Theatre for Young People is offering a $10,000 playwriting commission and mentorship for a young regional playwright to create a work (50 Minutes to and hour, one act) that brings regional voices and stories to the stage.
The EMERGE Commission will nurture an emerging Playwright’s professional growth through a mentoring process in 2014, resulting in a play that shares an authentic regional voice and the potential for it to be staged as part of OTYP’s 2015 season.
The commission and mentorship includes:
· $10,000 Commission fee
· A three month mentorship with Sydney playwright, Jessica Bellamy to assist in the development of the work
· 2 week-long residencies in regional NSW to workshop the script with Jessica Bellamy and OTYP
· A place at Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio in 2014 held from the 28th August to the 6th September
· The opportunity to spend two separate one-week residencies working with young people aged between 14-18 to see how the dialogue works on stage and to get feedback on how the piece is being received by young people.
· All travel and accommodation paid for during the week long residencies and the National Studio
EMERGE COMMISSION DETAILS AND HOW TO ENTER
You can DOWNLOAD an application pack HERE or else read below.
– Writer must be aged between 16-26
– Writer must either:
- Currently living in the Riverina, NSW
- If living elsewhere, can demonstrate a strong connection to the Riverina. (please include details of this in your submission)
– The play should be able to be performed by actors aged 14-26
– The central driver of this commission is to create an authentically Australian work, which offers people an alternative perspective about life in regional Australia. This should be considered, and evident in your submission.
We understand that developing a submission, as a new writer can be an overwhelming process. We encourage you to call and talk to us and we can help guide you through the process. Call Creative Producer Claire Harris on 0417 164 641 for further information.
WHAT TO SUBMIT
– Your full contact details
– Pitch for your proposed play/synopsis
– Examples of written work (up to four pages)
– A writer’s statement (what inspired the work? why this story? why now?)
– If not currently living in the Riverina, a brief explanation of your connection to the area.
– Proposed cast size/technical requirement/specific staging ideas
NB: Please compile your submission into one document for easy distribution to our judging panel.
Please email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have appointed an expert panel of judges to review all submissions. If you’re shortlisted we will call on you to meet with us, and/or to provide us with more information about your proposal in order for us to make a final decision.
We may call on the shortlisted participants to join us for a one-day writing intensive to further explore the themes of your proposed work and assess writing ability.
IF YOU ARE AWARDED THE COMMISSION WHAT HAPPENS?
You will be named the inaugural winner of the EMERGE: Riverina Playwright Award!
OTYP have developed a strategy so that the winner of the EMERGE commission is offered various professional development opportunities as part of the mentoring and play writing process. These include:
– Inclusion in the Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Playwriting Studio
– A three-month mentoring program with Jessica Bellamy between June and August 2014. It is not expected that this will be full time but rather at times negotiated with Jessica. This will be through skype, telephone and email contact and face-to-face meetings.
– 2 week-long residencies in the Riverina. These dates will be finalised to suit the Playwright and Playwriting Mentor and will include the opportunity to access a cast and a director.
NB: It is an expectation that if you are awarded the commission that you will be available to partake in all of the above. OTYP will endeavour to schedule the residencies at a time suitable for the playwright.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I don’t live in the Riverina, am I eligible?
A: We are looking to share regional stories from a Riverina perspective. If you have a connection to the area and can demonstrate that, please apply. We would love to hear your idea.
Q: When will I receive the commissioning fee?
A: The commissioning fee will be paid in instalments.
$2,000 on signing contract. $2,500 on completion of first draft. $2,500 on completion of second draft (after in-schools workshop process) $3,000 on final draft.
Q: Will the play be staged?
A: There is the potential to stage the production as part of Outback Theatre for Young People’s 2015 season. With all our programs, this will be dependent upon funding and resources.
Q: Where do I send my submission?
A: Please email your submission in one PDF document to Claire@outbacktheatre.com by no later than the Wednesday 23 April 2014. Any submissions after this date may not be considered.
Q: I have a question about the commission, who can I talk to?
A: You can call OTYP’s Creative Producer Claire Harris on 0417 164 641. She will be happy to answer any of your questions. Or email Claire@outbacktheatre.com
The commission would not be possible without the support of our supporters at Arts NSW, The Australia Council and the Ian Potter Foundation.
On Saturday May 18th 2013, the streets of Deniliquin’s CBD was brought to life with interactive sound and video works created by young people in collaboration with artists Danielle O’Keefe (Artistic Director, Reverberate), Vic McEwan (Cad Factory), and Jim Coad (Video Architecture). The event began at Deniliquin’s Waring Gardens, where the audience was guided by an interactive app, engaging with both intimate works and large scale performances, finally arriving back at Waring Gardens for a staged event featuring Deni born garage rock band ‘King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards’, supported by the experimental sounds of local emerging artists ‘Milk Steak’, Sean McConnell and Kyle Taylor.
‘From the intimate stories of 5 year olds, to dance songs made by teens, Reverberate will rumble and echo through the town culminating in performances from some of the most exciting young bands and performers in the region.’ Danielle O’Keefe, Artistic Director, Reverberate.
The result of Outback Theatre for Young People’s ‘Reverberate’ project, that has spanned 10 months in 2012 and 2013, this promenade style event will present new compositions that explore the intersection between site, sound, video and performance, creating a new experience of familiar sites for audiences.
Fore more information contact:
03 5881 6260