International Early Years Theatre Festival Comes to Somerset

Monday 7 June to Friday 25 June, 2010. This June, the KinderGardens international theatre festival aimed at 2-6 year olds and their families is bringing one of five exciting early-years theatre shows to 14 rural villages, children centres and arts venues throughout Somerset.

The KinderGardens festival is part of a national touring programme, being run in Somerset by the arts development agency Take Art, as part of their mission to bring high quality theatre and child focused performance to rural communities.

Gina Westbrook the Director of Take Art’s Start Programme for early years said, “KinderGardens is part of a pioneering programme of work directly targeted at the creative and emotional development of young children.  It has been proven that early-years theatre and participation can play a vital role in enriching pre-school education and that is why Take Art is programming the Festival within communities who would otherwise not have access.”

Each event will feature an inspiring performance and workshop from a professional international theatre company, practicing the very best of early-years theatre, created especially for toddlers and the pre-verbal. Performances have been specifically developed for small children, so they are not too long and set in local, familiar, intimate spaces with small audiences; so children don’t feel intimidated and can confidently join in and take away new ideas.

The festival kicks off with Tell Tale Hearts and their show ‘Space Hoppers’, a promenade performance with interactive elements for 3-7 year olds, combining beautifully designed installations, performance, puppetry, live music and poetry that create a magical experience for young children and their families. The UK theatre company Brown Paper Packages will be presenting ‘Favourite Strings’, exploring movement, sounds and shapes, all made from string. Brown Paper Packages will also deliver training in each county for early-years workers and teachers, to help them develop skills in using performing arts in their own teaching practice.

The pinnacle of the festival will be the premier of ’Parapapel’, a beautiful, tender piece of dance theatre without words for small children aged 18 months to 4 years. ’Parapapel’ is being brought to Somerset by the internationally acclaimed Spanish company De Molecula who have received rave reviews throughout Europe and North America. KinderGardens will also be premiering ‘Jingle Dress’, a new work by national black dance agency State of Emergency. ‘Jingle Dress’ is an exciting dance narrative show inspired by research undertaken in two Taunton children’s centres. It will be premiered at the Brewhouse in Taunton before touring nationally.

The festival winds up with Italian company La Societá della Civetta showcasing ‘Droplets’, an interactive play about water. This performance is based on sounds and simple actions, for children 1-6 years old.

To see the full tour schedule and venue listings please visit www.takeart.org. Journalists are invited to find out more about this unique style of theatre by attending one of the 14 events taking place in Somerset. There are also limited pubic tickets, which are available by calling Take Art on 01460 249450.

The KinderGarden Festival has been made possible by a unique collaboration between Cheshire’s Rural Touring Arts, Shropshire & Herefordshire’s Arts Alive and Somerset’s Take Art.
ENDS
To find out more information about the KinderGardens touring project, or to request images or an interview please contact Take Art Marketing Coordinator Louise Bennett on 01460 249450 or email louise@takeartorg.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Festival Schedule and Venue Details
Tell Tale Hearts – ‘Space Hoppers’
Frome - The Merlin Theatre, 10am, Mon 7 Jun 10
Wincanton - Balsam Centre, 2pm, Mon 7 Jun 10
Glastonbury - St John’s Infants Schoo, 10am, Tue 8 Jun 10
Shepton Mallet Children’s Centre, 2.15pm, Tue 8 Jun 10

Brown Paper Packages – ‘Favourite Strings’
South Petherton - The David Hall Arts Centre, 10am & 2pm, Thu 10 Jun (2 x shows)
Taunton - Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, 10am, Fri 11 Jun 10
Oaklands Children’s Centre, 2pm, Fri 11 Jun 10

De Molecular – ‘Parapapel’
Bridgwater - Bridgwater Arts Centre, 10am, Tue 15 Jun 10
Yeovil - The Octagon Theatre, 2pm, Tue 15 Jun 10
Watchet - Knights Templar School, 2pm, Wed 16 Jun 10
Williton – St Peter’s First School, 2pm, Wed 16 June 10

State of Emergency – Jingle Dress
Taunton - The Brewhouse, 11am and 2.30pm, Tue 22 Jun 10

La Società della Civetta – Droplets
Chilcompton Village Hall, 2.30pm, Fri 25 Jun 10
Bridgwater - Victoria Park Children’s Centre, 2:00pm, Friday 25 June 2010

ENDS

Note for Editors:
Press contact: Louise Bennett 01460 249450, louise@takeart.org
To request a CD of images please contact Louise Bennett. www.takeart.org

Take Art is a pioneering arts charity, serving the towns, villages and rural communities of Somerset. We do this by providing accessible opportunities for people of all ages to participate, experience and work within the arts.

Take Art works in the following areas:
take art: live        High quality entertainment in village halls
take art: create   Long term participatory arts projects
take art: theatre Creating new opportunities for Somerset writers, performers and theatre makers
take art: start        Bringing the arts to the early years, young people, their families and carers.
take art: dance   Providing high quality experiences and opportunities for those interested in dance.

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