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Dunedin schools benefit thanks to free educational play and workshops

  • 26 Jun 2019

This winter 15 Dunedin primary schools have been given a treat of a free touring science play, thanks to an exciting collaboration between the New Zealand International Science Festival and local theatre company, The Unity Creative.


The play, Charlie, Estelle and the Poppazoid, has extended its sell out season as part of the Science Festival in 2018, and is touring 15 fortunate Dunedin schools for the first time.


“Following the success of our 2018 premier season, we’re excited to announce that, thanks to funders, we are now able to perform to over 3,500 Dunedin students, entirely for free! Through this reach we hope to inspire our tamaki through an engagement with professional live theatre and touch upon important issues that kids often think about, such as coping with change, overcoming isolation through friendship and building resilience,” says Unity Creative Director Jodie Bate.


The show, which last year won the Playmarket New Zealand ‘Plays for the Young’ award, is highly visual and dynamic, portraying important messages, and at the same time engages its audience through music, hip hop choreography and live science.


Dan Hendra, Director of the New Zealand International Science Festival says “Educating kids that science is a mind set to understand the world around us, and that through these insights come practical skills that you can apply to everything. This is exciting, and using theatre to understand this is a very effective medium to inspire and engage kids.”


The tour has a national cast who are in Dunedin for rehearsals prior to the tour, and are looking forward to wowing Dunedin audiences with fun and laughter, yet still bringing awareness to the play’s important messages. In addition to the play, students have the option to be involved in workshop electives in drama and science thanks to the Unity Creative and the Otago Museum, respectively, allowing the play’s inspiration to be placed into action through hands on education.


The tour was made possible thanks to the generous support of funders, the Dunedin City Council and Creative New Zealand Professional Theatre Fund, Otago Community Trust, Lotteries Commission, New Zealand Oil & Gas, and the University of Otago, and is touring schools 17 June to 5 July. 


For more information check https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/science-meets-music

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