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In the mouth of the imagination : positioning children as co-researchers and co-artists to create a professional children’s theatre production

Publication Date
  • 190400 Performing Arts And Creative Writing
  • Drama Pedagogy
  • Children’S Theatre
  • Arts Education
  • Creative Practice As Research
  • Practice-Led Research


In recent decades a number of Australian artists and teacher/artists have given serious attention to the creation of performance forms and performance engagement models that respect children’s intelligence, engage with themes of relevance, avoid the clichés of children’s theatre whilst connecting both sincerely and playfully with current understandings of the way in which young children develop and engage with the world. Historically a majority of performing arts companies touring Australian schools or companies seeking schools to view a performance in a dedicated performance venue engage with their audiences in what can be called a 'drop-in drop-out' model. A six month Practice-led research project (The Tashi Project) which challenged the tenets of the 'drop-in drop-out' model has been recently undertaken by Sandra Gattenhof and Mark Radvan in conjunction with early childhood students from three Brisbane primary school classrooms who were positioned as co-researchers and co-artists. The children, researchers and performers worked in a complimentary relationship in both the artistic process and the development of product.

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