19 Aug 2022 E-News

Polyglot’s August e-news

A When the World Turns development photo. A child sits on their adult's lap on a wooden floor in a darkened space. They are pointing a small torch/flashlight at a large potted plant on a low trolley. Photographer: Carla Gottgens

“The imaginative future of us all”

Polyglot marked the second half of the year with a big announcement: at the end of 2022, Sue Giles AM will step down as our Artistic Director and co-CEO after 22 incredible years in the role. She will focus on her significant international advocacy work as President of ASSITEJ – the global association for theatre for young audiences. The response has been resounding and heartfelt, with friends and colleagues acknowledging Sue’s huge contribution to the sector through her creative leadership at Polyglot, and excitement for her next adventure.

In the days after the announcement, Sue wrote, “It’s a big old thing leaving a company that has been the centre of my working life for so long. Huge turning points and lessons, extraordinary people and a chance to follow a trajectory with the support and encouragement of so many. Polyglot is a place that will continue to foster excellent, passionate art made for the imaginative future of us all. What a company. I’m proud and oh so happy to have grown as an artist here, and to be focusing strongly on advocacy and the strengthening of our global community in the years to come. PS: I’ve got six more months to have more Polyglot fun!”

The international search for Polyglot’s next Artistic Director and co-CEO is now well underway. Recruitment for this position is being managed by Tony Grierson of AEGEUS Executive Search, and the closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm AEST Friday 26 August 2022.

Mid-August brought a sandy burst of fun, with We Built This City presented by BLEACH* Festival on the Gold Coast. The team enjoyed fabulous schools sessions on the Friday, and even though the Saturday shows were affected by rain, families turned out in force on Sunday to create and play. 

Our 2022 collaboration with Rumbalara Football Netball Club had a triumphant finale at the second-last home game for the year. Across the season, the Club’s children worked with our Generator artists Briony, Lauren, Trina and Zak to create Rumba Mall, which was flung open for the whole Club community on Saturday 13 August. We are grateful to the Newsboys Foundation for their generous support of this project. Polyglot will return to Shepparton later in the year for a workshop series at the Academy of Sport, Health and Education.

Our newest work, When the World Turns, will celebrate its world premiere in September with a sell-out season. Commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne for major arts and disability festival Alter State, When the World Turns has been created collaboratively, across time and distance, by Polyglot Theatre and Oily Cart (UK). It is a fantastical, immersive production for young people with complex disabilities and their families, leading a participating audience into a sensory state of mind and body. After years of creative development and planning (much of this moved online at a moment’s notice), we are so excited to see this show unfurl and blossom. We thank all of the supporters who have made it possible.

Bees will take flight in the US again with a season at Charlotte International Arts Festival in September. Presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts, the annual festival features artistic and immersive experiences that celebrate diversity and culture. Polyglot is working in partnership with Inlet Dance Theatre to deliver this season.

The creation of a new National Cultural Policy is a crucial opportunity to advocate for the Theatre for Young Audiences sector. Polyglot’s organisational submission will include the need to prioritise young people’s engagement in the arts, recognising the value of children as a discerning, sophisticated audience and participants in culture; and acknowledging how TYA organisations such as ours contribute to Australia’s international profile. There is power in numbers. If the arts are important to you and your family, we encourage you to have your say by making an individual submission – the deadline is Monday 22 August, 11.45pm AEST.

Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.