17 Jun 2022 E-News

Polyglot’s June e-news

A Sound Shadows production photo. Two children dance in a darkened space, in front of a wall that is illuminated with brightly coloured projections, engaging with their shadows.

Power Polyglot Theatre into the future

Polyglot’s vision is of a world where all children are powerful: artistically, socially and culturally. We are committed to advocating for the globally recognised right of all children to experience arts and culture.

After two challenging years, your support is crucial in ensuring that we can continue creating and sharing our art with children and families everywhere. You can Power Polyglot Theatre into the future with a tax-deductible donation of any size by 30 June. If a financial contribution isn’t possible for you right now, you can support us by telling your networks why our work is important to you, or attending one of our shows.

Polyglot is looking forward to another busy school holiday period. Our newest show, Sound Shadows, is being presented at Cardinia Cultural Centre. Free drop-in sessions will take place from 28 June-2 July. Sound Shadows is a playful, sensory space for children and families to engage with sound, movement and light. It has been developed by Steph O’Hara through The Generator, and we are excited to share this ever-changing, unexpected experience with children and families and discover their responses.

Across town in Clayton, Feast is being presented by Monash University Performing Arts Centres as part of Family Fiesta – a jam-packed four-day celebration of Australian children’s literature, theatre, art and music. Feast invites children and families to let their imaginations simmer and play with materials other than food to create truly delicious culinary creations. What dish will you make? Free drop-in sessions fill the foyer of the Ian Potter Performing Arts Centre from 29 June – 1 July.

Since 2019, Polyglot has worked in partnership with Inlet Dance Theatre, an American company based in Cleveland, to deliver local seasons of our beloved Ants. During the pandemic, this allowed audiences in the USA to enjoy Polyglot’s work while travel from Australia wasn’t possible. Now, after a rigorous online training period, we are thrilled that our new show Bees can be shared with children and families in the US as well.

Emily Tomlins, our Associate Director and Bees director, writes, “Creating a work for children during a pandemic is challenging enough. But through the passion, hard work and unwavering vision and curiosity of the team, we did it! Bees premiered at Abbotsford Convent in April. What we have gained over the last 2.5 years is the ability to imagine into difficult places. Can we train 13 dancers on the other side of the world to do this new show, without ever getting on a plane? Yes we can! Will it work? Well, we’re going to make it work! And it did.

Bees is still a new show, so the Inlet dancers are not only learning it, they are contributing to its richness and evolution. They have followed the Polyglot process, testing the work in a local kinder, which was a great success. The children loved it, the dancers found their own way into making this beautiful show, and we gained new hearts and brains in this ongoing project based on collaboration and community.”

Bees will premiere in the US in July, with a season at Des Moines Performing Arts as part of their outdoor summer program. From 7-10 July, free sessions will be presented in partnership with the parks and recreation departments of Altoona, Des Moines, Urbandale and Waukee. Our Bees will then make their way back to Inlet’s hometown for a season with BorderLight Festival at Cleveland Public Library from 21-23 July.

Polyglot has toured our accessible Paper Planet workshop into four specialist and special development schools since March, with one more to come. Each engagement spans a week, offering students and their educators multiple opportunities to create and play in the forest of tall cardboard trees. 

An educator wrote in our post-workshop survey, “Creative arts is especially important in special education settings because it allows the students to explore their ideas and communicate this in different ways. My students were able to draw on their own experiences while in Paper Planet, talking about camping with family, or spiders they have seen in the environment. It also provided them with opportunities to play out and retell stories we have read in the classroom which is beneficial for comprehension and overall literacy skills.”

Polyglot Theatre email signature. A purple rectangle, with a round Bees production photo on the left (a smiling child looking at a Polyglot artist in an intricate bee costume), framed by colourful shapes. White text on the right reads, 'With your support, Polyglot Theatre has a powerful future. polyglot.org.au/support-us/donate

Sound Shadows was developed through The Generator, with support from the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, The Robert Salzer Foundation and the Sidney Myer Fund.

Logos: Australia Council for the Arts, The Robert Salzer Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund.

Touring our accessible Paper Planet workshops into specialist and special development schools has been made possible with support from the Victorian Department of Education & Training 
Positive Start in 2022 initiative. 

Logo: Victorian Department of Education and Training

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.