We may be nearing the end of the year, but November at Polyglot is still go-go-go…
We are so thrilled to share with you that Polyglot Theatre turns 40 in 2018! We’re celebrating everything that we have achieved as a company, all of the people who have helped us along the way, and we’re also looking forward – where to next? 2018 is the year that will shape the next 40 years for Polyglot and we have big plans. We’re inviting all of our friends to share in our excitement and celebrate our special milestone with a birthday gift – an investment in Polyglot’s next 40 years. Every dollar that we raise up to $50,000 for our 40th birthday will be doubled thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s Plus1 matched funding. For more info, and to give Polyglot a birthday present click here. We’re also sporting a special 40th birthday logo, designed by Studio Binocular – we hope you like it as much as we do!
November saw Sue Giles, our Artistic Director, in Mantova, Italy for the meeting of the new Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International – their first proper meeting since the World Congress in South Africa earlier this year. Sue kept a diary of her experience – read about her Italian adventure here.
The third creative development for In Your Hands – our collaboration with Tjanpi Desert Weavers and FORM – also took place this month at FORM’s new home, The Goods Shed. Ten days of creative, collaborative work resulted in truly extraordinary discoveries and creations, and we look forward to sharing more with you about this exciting project. Sue’s diary from the second creative development in July of this year can be read here.
It has also been a busy month for Voice Lab. Project Director Lachlan MacLeod and Project Manager Lexie Wood took Voice Lab back to Frankston North, where it continued its conversations with children about transition. Voice Lab spoke to the Year 5 and 6 students at Mahogany Rise Primary School, and is currently established at Banyan Fields Kinder. Lachlan writes, “Throughout these conversations, Voice Lab continues to prove itself as a useful tool for gathering authentic feedback and allowing the kids a safe space to express themselves.” Voice Lab is generously supported by Gandel Philanthropy.
Jodee Mundy, one of our core Polyglot artists, is currently creating a new solo show – Personal. Jodee and her creative team spent a week using the Polyglot space to explore new scenes and test new ideas, before they embark on their final development at Arts House in December. “It was only when Jodee was five years old and lost at Kmart that she realised her whole family were Deaf. Personal is a smart, touching and deeply personal story exploring dis/ability and how we perceive one another.” Read more here.
And to really take November out on a high, we held Polyglot’s premiere cinema screening at The Kino last Wednesday – a joyous celebration of the 2017 films made by our 5678 Film Club. It was a wonderful opportunity for the 5678 Film Club participants to see their creations on the big screen, and for some of the wider Polyglot network to see the real, positive impact of this program. There was popcorn, there were official (pink!) lanyards, there were photo opportunities with one of our favourite photographers Theresa Harrison, there were autographs from the 5678 filmmakers… and a simply marvelous time was had by all.
See you in December!
For a company that began with two people taking small shows to school halls, our 40th birthday is a big achievement. There’s a lot to celebrate, and we have bold plans for 2018. This is the year that will shape Polyglot’s future.
We’re turning 40 – it’s time to move out! Onwards and upwards into a new home that reflects our ambitions as Australia’s most innovative theatre company for children and their families.
We’re strengthening our focus on artistic leadership. Through The Generator program, we’re supporting the artistic and professional development of the next generation of Polyglot leader.
We’re standing up as a leader in our sector, and as an advocate for the role of the arts in children’s development and the value of theatre for children.
We’re doing what we do best: creating trailblazing, transformative theatre experiences for children, their families and communities across Australia and the world.
Of course the best thing about birthdays is… PRESENTS!
We’re asking all of our friends to celebrate our milestone with a special 40th birthday gift – an investment in Polyglot’s next 40 years. Every dollar that we raise up to $50,000 for our 40th birthday will be doubled by Creative Partnerships Austalia’s Plus1 matched funding.
$40 becomes $80. $400 becomes $800. $4000 becomes $8000. Magic!
Thanks to all of our supporters, the last 40 years have seen Polyglot shine. And with your help, our next 40 years are looking even brighter.
Stay tuned for more updates about our 40th birthday celebrations!
Polyglot Theatre’s 40th Birthday Appeal is supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus1.
“In late October – early November, the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International gathered in Mantova, Italy for our biannual meeting, at the Segni Festival for Children and Young People. Our members come from Norway, Denmark, South Africa, France, Argentina, Korea, Japan, Australia, Nigeria, the United States of America, Germany, Russia, Italy and Chile. We were joined by our consul for this year, Mr Yin from ASSITEJ China, the host for the next Artistic Gathering in Beijing.
Mantova is incredible. A small city of 40,000 people with cobbled streets, colonnades lining curved walls of pink and yellow and pale brown, shutters and railings, curling iron bars, and around each corner another narrow street curving in another direction. Through doorways we spied secret parks and gardens behind the high walls, tiny churches tucked in amongst houses and cafes, and people who dress with style. At the centre, a huge domed cathedral with a massive arched opening, which is huddled into a cluster of houses and shops around it. There’s a vast square of cobbles surrounded by massive buildings in brick and plaster, with crenulated roofs and designs in brick on the eaves line.
This is the town where Rigoletto was composed, where Vivaldi wrote the Four Seasons, and where the Gonzagas family, rulers of the region, strove to create an ideal renaissance town. The walls of every building, inside and out, have remains of painted frescoes and the palace and basilica are painted miracles from start to finish. The town is famous for Parmigiano Reggiano and salami, and the tale is there are more pigs than people in the area. (Some mornings the scent on the breeze confirmed this). Mantova is home to the second biggest palace after the Vatican, and is called the Sleeping Beauty because it is, so far, one of the least known Italian tourist spots.
The Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International met for over 20 hours in the week doing the business of the Association, and in between times we were hosted by Segni and taken on tours, to meet local artists and to see as many shows as we can squeeze into the schedule. Each year the festival chooses an animal as its motif – this year the Snail – and a huge, violently pink snail was a favourite photograph spot in the piazza.
The festival caters for everyone working on it, cooking for artists and volunteers and providing a space where everyone can eat together and be a community. The Director, Cristina, is a dynamic, funny and deeply passionate person and it’s clear that the feeling of loyalty and commitment in Segni is extraordinarily high. For 12 years the festival has been run by mostly volunteers, with Italian companies often performing for free. This is the first year that there are more than a few paid staff and the festival is gaining support from government and sponsors and trying to become more international. Our role here is one of validation and support as well as providing leverage for the festival to have meetings with people who can make the changes they’re seeking.
This beautiful town was our place of work for six days. We learned how to order coffee, drank in the beauty of the place, sat with children in audiences, watched plays in Italian, walked and walked, discussed theatre with each other and local artists and spoke at forums, celebrations and workshops. Seeing how others in this vast theatre for young audiences association create, and the different relationships they have with their audiences, is a mind-opening and inspirational experience. It is a generous, dedicated and collegiate community, anywhere in the world.
Anisha is one of the founders of For the Love of Good. Their most recent project – Art in Colour – is a series of interviews with People of Colour in Australia’s arts industry. The first episode was launched on 1 November, and last week the episode featuring Sonya Suares was released. Sonya was one of the artists who worked with us on Cerita Anak (Child’s Story), and her episode includes footage from the creative development of the show. We had a chat with Anisha, to find out more about For the Love of Good and Art in Colour.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a performer and all-round arts enthusiast! I’ve been working in the live performance industry for the past 2 years with Live Performance Australia and prior to that, have been performing in Melbourne’s independent theatre scene. I’ve recently moved on from Live Performance Australia and am now working with campaigning organisation GetUp as their Racial Justice and Refugees Organiser.
What is For the Love of Good?
For the Love of Good is a collective of passionate creatives committed to instigating positive change through creative campaigns. We work across multi-media platforms to create projects and campaigns tailored to important social issues within our society that desperately need addressing. We exist to shift perspectives; to challenge archaic ideologies that isolate, degrade and exclude.
How was it created?
We’re a very small team at the moment. Our current project – Art in Colour – is run and managed by myself and Jeanne Khin (Co-director and Cinematographer for the series). We’ve had help here and there from wonderful volunteers Sarah Hartree and Jamie Pettinger during the process to give us a hand with marketing and publicity work.
Essentially, For the Love of Good was created to harness the power of creativity to tackle the world’s pressing social issues. The arts have incredible power to move people into action and that’s exactly what we hope to do at For the Love of Good.
Art in Colour was specifically created to explore People of Colour’s experience in Australia’s arts industry. While there have been some positive movements to make the industry more inclusive, I think there is still a lack of understanding as to the barriers ethnically diverse creatives face in the industry. This web series is a space to explore this, and also provides young People of Colour with creative role models that they can identify with and look up to.
Why did you want to interview Sonya Suares for the series?
Sonya is an experienced performer/theatre maker with a wealth of knowledge to share. She has worked on a few really exciting projects this year – Cerita Anak (Child’s Story) included – and has such a wonderfully articulate way of expressing herself as well.
One of my favourite things about Sonya’s episode are her ‘truth bombs’ – she has these beautifully succinct nuggets of goodness that are peppered throughout her episode that I can’t wait for people to hear!
What can we expect next from For the Love of Good and Art in Colour?
We’re hoping to launch a second season of Art in Colour next year so stay tuned!
And your favourite thing about Polyglot?
Polyglot creates such beautifully imaginative, and sophisticated work for children. I love how your work doesn’t take kids for granted. The arts are a wonderful avenue for children to learn and start building an understanding of the world around them and I think it’s really exciting that Polyglot’s focus is to play in that space.