By KIERAN FINNANE
Students at Acacia Hill School were working this week with guest artist Kat Worth to develop their theatre project, Close to Me.
Through talking, writing, drawing and dancing the students had arrived at a theme for the piece of personal space – who to let come close, when and how, how to set boundaries.
Their thinking started with defining what’s important and precious to them. The answer was family, friends, and home and the work grew from there.
Kat devised tasks to get their performance ideas flowing, for example, by creating their own ‘countries’ on the floor, bounded by masking tape, then inviting people in and pushing them out.
Little by little the students, 58 in all, are building their stamina to sustain the theatre piece and learning to work together in a large group – their class groups are usually small.
The school always has an annual performance event. This one, through a partnership with InCite Youth Arts and Arts Access Central Australia, is different in mixing age and ability levels and extending the students’ performance skills.
It builds on work over the last few years to get them involved in mainstream events like Wearable Arts, the Eisteddfod and the youth concert, Generate, at the Alice Desert Festival.
Musician Stephanie Harrison will work with them and perform on stage. the advantage of live music is that it can follow the performers’ rhythm rather than having them conform to pre-recorded beats.
Others in the local disability community are also involved in this performance, which will be on the big stage at Araluen on November 17.
Pictured: Kat Worth with, front row, Chris and Tiffany, and at rear, Jasmine and Harishma.