For six months, a group of local children have been working to devise, write and rehearse their very own musical as part of a new program at Tuggeranong Arts Centre. The result, Just Like Clockwork: A Musical, will debut on the Tuggeranong Theatre stage on Friday 22nd June.
Under the direction of Tim and Nathalie Bevitt, the children, aged between 7 and 13 years, began work on the musical in January. After two school holiday intensives and a semester of Saturday workshops they’re now in final rehearsals for the production, which promises to be truly one of a kind.
Responding to the Arts Centre annual theme ‘entropy’ the children have devised a plot which revolves around curious inventor Alberta Clausius Thompson Morowitz and her philosophical snow leopard friend Morbid Redfrost as they join a motley crew of Questers drawn by trickery through a clock faced portal into a decaying theme park.
Director Tim Bevitt says, ‘the format of the program has given us the space to create a place for the children to really shape and craft the story, characters and songs in a way that normally would be much more superficial.
One of the benefits is that they have participated in the creation of a musical from the very start of the process to the finished product. This is a rare experience for any performer and we think it will really affect the way that they see theatre and its creation.’
Asked what he enjoyed most about the project, Bevitt says, ‘the most enjoyable part has been watching the participants develop. Not only in their abilities as performers but also as people. The confidence that they have gained is wonderful to be a part of. Also their humour is always a wonderful thing to experience. Whether it is the growing of their humour or unleashing their brilliance upon us during rehearsals and the creative process.’
Tuggeranong Arts Centre CEO Rauny Worm sees this as key to the program’s importance, commenting, ‘providing young people with the space and resources to realise their own creative ideas fosters personal development in ways that are so much richer and long-lasting than traditional learning formats.’
Worm continues, ‘this program was designed for participants who would not usually have access to this kind of opportunity, especially where it is offered on a commercial basis. It is truly wonderful to see their confidence and creativity grow throughout the process.’
And what is the secret to a program like this? Bevitt says, ‘to value the participants for who they are and what they have to offer. To see them as capable, courageous, caring humans who have an endless supply of creativity. To make sure that fun and laughter is at the forefront of all learning, even if we are being serious at the time!’
Featuring a cast of unicorns, talking pizzas, jumping jellybeans, a mustachioed dinosaur and a sentient fart, Just Like Clockwork is certain to draw a giggle from young ones of all ages, and the young at heart!
Just Like Clockwork will premiere at Tuggeranong Arts Centre.
Shows: 6:30 pm Friday 22nd June AND 3 pm Saturday 23rd June
Tickets: $12 each