Polyglot Theatre is making its Canadian debut this month with its popular Play Space works Ants and Paper Planet. Ants will be presented at Junior – Toronto’s International Children’s Festival at Harbourfront Centre and Paper Planet will be presented at Ottawa Children’s Festival and the International Children’s Festival of the Arts in St. Albert.
In 2019, Harbourfront Centre’s International Children’s Festival, Junior, heads into its second year, bringing leading contemporary artists together to animate young minds. Exciting productions from Norway, Belgium, Australia, Canada, the United States and the Republic of Korea offer creative experiences which allow children to re-imagine the world they live in and their place in it.
Since 1985, the Ottawa Children’s Festival has hosted an annual celebration of the best in live performing arts for children. Creating programs for children aged two to 15, the Festival focuses on enriching school curriculum and promoting the arts as an integral part of children’s education; striving to present work from across Canada and around the world that excites and challenges audiences of all ages.
For nearly four decades the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival of the Arts has served as a signature cultural event for the region. Building bridges between art, culture and education, this magical six-day festival transforms downtown St. Albert into a world where the only limitation is one’s imagination.
Polyglot is excited that Canada is so powerfully championing theatre for children, and looks forward to showcasing our unique brand of experiential work for children in the region. The presenters we are working with all have strong histories of children’s theatre advocacy, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to connect with sector advocates, as well as audiences, in the country.
Viv Rosman, Polyglot’s Executive Director, writes, “In 2019, Polyglot’s 41st year, we are delighted to be making our Canadian debut in three important festivals that span the breadth of the country. Canada has an enviable reputation for its strong network of children’s festivals, and it’s an honour to have the opportunity to share two of Polyglot’s immersive offerings with Canadian kids and their families.”
Following the Canadian tour, Ants will be presented at Madison Square Park in New York City. An urban park nestled in the heart of Manhattan, Madison Square Park is a dynamic seven-acre public green space, and an environment that fosters moments of inspiration for the whole community. Since 2004, Mad. Sq. Art has commissioned and presented over thirty world-class public art installations in Madison Square Park by acclaimed artists ranging widely in practice and media. Ants will accompany the summer installation, City in the Grass, by Leonardo Drew.
Polyglot Theatre is Australia’s leading creator of interactive and participatory theatre for children and families. Our distinctive artistic philosophy has placed us at the international forefront of contemporary arts experiences for babies and children up to 12 years of age. Inspired by the artwork, play and ideas of children, we create imagined worlds where audiences actively participate in performance through touch, play and encounter.
Ants is an interactive roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in a gentle and intriguing landscaping project. Faced with hundreds of giant bread crumbs and three big insects, children are irresistibly drawn in to discover what the Ants want them to do. Gradually a world of meaning unfolds, illustrating the human desire for order by transforming any public space with wavering lines and patterns, crossing adult lines and disrupting the everyday. Ants is an enchanting investigation into the nature of work and children’s relationship with their environment.
Paper Planet is a spectacular forest of tall cardboard trees that invites children and their adults to populate the world with fantastic paper creations. Children’s imaginations go wild in a world made of paper. Towering cardboard trees are the starting point and from there, only paper, tape and nimble fingers are used to create a new planet. After exploring the space, families make creatures, vines and flowers, costumes and impossible constructions, populating the world around them. This is a durational installation that grows as the participants engage with performers and their own imaginative flights of fancy. Theatre and play merge as children discover a world of adventures in this magical forest. Paper Planet is an experience that all ages find inspiring and utterly blissful.
Ottawa Children’s Festival, 8-12 May.
International Children’s Festival of the Arts, St. Albert, 28 May – 2 June.
Junior – Toronto’s International Children’s Festival, Harbourfront Centre, 18-20 May.
Madison Square Park, 5-8 June.
Polyglot’s tour to Canada and the USA is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.