South Australian youth theatre wins hearts around the world

South Australian youth theatre companies impress at the 2013 International Performing Arts for Youth showcase, with US and UK engagements secured and a coveted award won.

Patch Theatre Company's Me And My Shadow. Image: supplied
Patch Theatre Company’s Me And My Shadow. Image: supplied

The 2013 International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Showcase was held in the City of Philadelphia U.S.A. from January 4 -7 this year.

At the showcase, a total of 19 presentations from 5 countries (U.K., U.S.A., Netherlands, Canada and Australia) were highlighted, and three South Australian youth arts companies (Patch Theatre Company, Slingsby and Windmill Theatre) featured prominently.

Patch Theatre Company showed particularly inspired leadership in garnering for themselves the coveted Victor Award for Best Showcase Production with their Helpmann Award-winning production of Me and My Shadow – an imaginative story of a young girl who finds a way to befriend her own shadow. Using magical imagery, physical performance and music the aim of the show is to spark the imaginative fire of children through the ups and downs of friendship.

IPAY Executive Director Jeremy ‘Boomer’ Stacey was full of praise for the Australian companies.

“I have long followed the work of the three Adelaide youth theatre companies attending this year, so it was no surprise to me to experience great performances by these companies and to see the Victor Award go to Patch”, he said.

While Dave Brown, Patch Theatre’s Artistic Director, said “We were thrilled to win the Victor Award, it means a great deal that the company’s artistic excellence and innovation are being acknowledged amongst our peers at an international level.”

Not to be outdone, Windmill Theatre presented a 15 minute Spotlight pitch of its hit Adelaide show Pinocchio which helped secure them a season at the New Victory Theatre on New York City’s Broadway in 2014.

Man Covets Bird
Nathan O’Keefe in Man Covets Bird. Image supplied

The strength of the presentation also drew them some expressions of interest from several other major venues in the U.S.A. and Canada.

“The success of the IPAY conference has led us to lengthy and exciting tours to the US and Canada,” said Rosemary Myers, Windmill’s Artistic Director.

“Exporting these new Australian stories to the world stage celebrates our unique Australian spirit in the international cultural landscape and in this way, certainly takes our company to a new level.”

Last but by no means least, local company Slingsby presented a 10-minute excerpt of its Ruby Award winning Man Covets Bird.

Slingsby’s performance was enthusiastically received at IPAY and in 2014 Man Covets Bird will tour the U.K. with discussions underway for a 2015 tour of The U.S.

Andy Packer, Slingsby’s Artistic Director, said “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share our heartfelt stories with audiences around the world.”

[pull_left]It is particularly gratifying to see South Australian work being celebrated as work of the highest quality[/pull_left]”It is particularly gratifying to see South Australian work being celebrated as work of the highest quality and to be contributing to exposing young audiences in North America to the inspiring and uplifting power of live theatre”, he said.

It’s evident that Adelaide artists have done their colleagues proud, representing some of the best in international performing arts for young audiences. Jeremy Stacey praised the South Australian artists for keeping the standards high in this important and progressive genre of theatre.

“Adelaide artists have helped to raise the bar on expectations for our field and I look forward to see where they continue to take it!”, he said.

For more information on Patch Theatre Company

For more information on Windmill

For more information on Slingsby

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