Festival for Children Celebrates 20 Years
This year, the Out of the Box Festival for Children will celebrate 20 years of fun, laughter and entertainment.
The Festival will run from 12-17 June and offers 90 free events, 70 in-theatre performances and more than 120 workshops.
The event will take place across the Cultural Centre from its hub at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) to the State Library of Queensland, Queensland Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the Out of the Box Festival held a special place in the hearts of two generations of Queenslanders and would continue to be at the leading edge of early childhood arts and learning.
“This year is significant not only because Out of the Box is celebrating two decades of nurturing children’s creativity and imagination but also because it is the National Year of Reading.
“As an official partner of this initiative, our entire program will explore issues around arts and cultural literacy, what it means to read an artwork and why it’s important.
“In this context, it is especially meaningful that the centrepiece of the Out of the Box Festival is a new work based on The Flying Orchestra, a children’s book written and illustrated by Queensland author Clare McFadden,” said Mr Kotzas.
The Flying Orchestra has been commissioned for Out of the Box and is a work of visual theatre that follows the journey of a magical orchestra that provides a soundtrack to some of life’s key moments.
The creative team is not new to Out of the Box, having created The Red Tree (2004), it includes Peter Wilson (Director), Richard Jeziorny (Designer), Janis Balodis (Writer/Dramaturg), David Walters (Lighting Designer) and joining them is Chong Lim as Composer and Musical Director.
Out of the Box 2012 will feature a program of events both ticketed and free including theatre performances, an interactive workshop program, a number of free outdoor events for families and a symposium fostering conversations enquiring into early childhood learning.
This year for the first time, the festival has programmed two dedicated venues especially for parents with very young children. This will include morning sessions of baby yoga, a unique interactive performance especially for tiny tots, a new production from Brisbane artist David Megaritty and an informal conversation series with authors and experts sharing parenting knowledge.
The Festival’s interdisciplinary symposium Connecting the Dots is a partnership with QUT and the State Library of Queensland. It will provide opportunities for discussion and debate around new ways of thinking about children’s development through arts education and will include a key note address from Dr Tina Payne Bryce, author of The Whole-Brain Child.
More than 50 000 children, parents and carers are expected to participate in the six days of Out of the Box 2012.
Program highlights include:
Me and My Shadow – presented in the form of a visual poem, this spellbinding work from Patch Theatre is the tale of a young girl who discovers a way to befriend her shadow. Winner of 2011 Helpmann award for Best Presentation for Children.
Stradbroke Dreamtime – a significant new QPAC and QTC production inspired by Aunty Cath Walker’s (Oodgeroo) illustrated book which depicts tales of her life growing up on Stradbroke Island.
The Race for the Chinese Zodiac – Gabriel Wang’s picture book transformed for the stage. Produced by the Melbourne Recital Centre in collaboration with the Australian Chinese Music Ensemble.
The workshop program incorporates drama, dance, digital storytelling, circus and media. Children will have a chance to weave dreams, create virtual stories, design new 3D worlds, cook up a storm and build monsters.
Out of the Box takes over QPAC for six days and performances, events and activities will happen inside and out. QPAC will welcome Erth Visual and Physical Inc’s dinosaur petting zoo and encourage everyone to channel their inner town planner with Polyglot Theatre’s We Built This City – a public construction site that calls upon energy and ingenuity to transform thousands of cardboard boxes into a new world.
For program details and bookings, visit www.outoftheboxfestival.com.au