Don't miss the opportunity to hear the amazing, courageous, and magical stories of some of Wagga's youngest storytellers when "Sharing Stories, Sharing Place" takes place at the Civic Theatre on December 8, 9 and 12.
Six local high school students have been involved in a partnership project with STARTTS, Create Hub Riverina and the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre aimed at developing skills in performance, language and confidence while creating a theatrical work to share their stories.
This ground-breaking new Australian work has been created and developed in Wagga Wagga, a settlement area for refugees and migrants in Australia.
Step into the lives of Ayubu, Amogh, Elvien, Fairooz, Lydya and Roz as they hold a mirror up to our cultural differences, but, more importantly, the things that bring us together.
With the help of the facilitators and producer, the students have all written their stories and created the script for this new work. The students have been attending the program after school for a year and developing their storytelling, scriptwriting and drama skills.
Create Hub Riverina's Creative Director Claire Harris is thrilled to be using creative processes to challenge the status quo and confront the issues associated with refugee resettlement between refugees and the broader Wagga community.
"We see it as a gentle way to break down barriers and share culture, while at the same time upskilling young people in performance, language and theatre skills," she said.
All participants are from a refugee and migrant experience from Iraq, India and the Congo. The process has been a long and fulfilling one. Drama Facilitator Haya Arzidin has been working closely with the teenagers from the beginning.
"We needed to break down the barriers to build trust and confidence before we could even begin to introduce the concepts of theatre writing and production," she said.
"It was important to create a comfortable and safe space first. This gave them the confidence to delve into the stories of their journeys, their experiences of racism and funny interactions that they've had with their peers and family."
It has been an incredible ride for these young storytellers, pivoting to Zoom for rehearsals and workshops when COVID shutdowns took place, before moving to the stage. For many, it was their first time in a real theatre.
"We've all noticed a huge growth in the teen's confidence and their trust in each other. They have opened their hearts to each other and to us, letting us into their world," Ms Arzidin said.
For those lucky enough to be in the audience for "Sharing Stories, Sharing Place", the stories you will hear will be filled with hilarity, hardship, and magic.
It will be a show that you tell your friends and family about.
Tickets are free but limited (but must be pre-booked).
Visit www.civictheatre.com.au or contact the box office from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday on 6926 9688.
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