Welcome to our Creation Creation Study Guide!
The general capabilities are embedded within specific learning activities and can be identified with the following icons:
The general capabilities are embedded within specific learning activities and can be identified with the following icons:
SynopsisHow did we get here? What is the meaning of life? And is it possible to lick your elbow? We’ve been on a mission asking you, the general public, what you really want to know. Then, we chose two of our favourite artists to answer these burning questions using any means at their disposal. Before your very eyes, our unreliable experts build, battle and brawl as they attempt to resolve some of life’s epic mysteries from the big bang to the afterlife and many conundrums in between. It’s a creation about creation.
One of the real starting points of this project was looking at all of the different people that are in our community and thinking about how we all go about managing our lives and explaining the seemingly unexplainable. We’re all constantly creating meaning in different ways, every day – we all have different points of view, different ideas and beliefs about the world around us and kids are often a mashup of these things. This process of creation connects us, more than anything. This project is about bringing all of that wonderful difference onto the stage, and to have two incredible creators (Jonathon Oxlade and Fleur Elise Noble) use their powers of invention to work through all of those different points of view.
This is a show about us, about you. About the world you live in and have constructed for yourself, and about the marvellous powers of invention that you possess… even if you don’t 100% know it, yet.
We count ourselves incredibly fortunate to be the stewards of stories and ideas from all over the world and look forward to making a wonderful mess onstage. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Community Minded50 people from all over South Australia were interviewed ahead of Creation Creation.
Under Rose’s leadership as Artistic Director, Windmill creates and presents work inspired by the vibrancy, sophistication and inventiveness of young people and the exhilarating challenges they pose to creating theatre of relevance in this modern time.
Rose is a multi-Helpmann Award winning director, her productions regularly visit leading stages and festivals around Australia and the world, including the Sydney Opera House, Hong Kong’s Arts and Leisure Centre and New York’s New Victory Theatre. Her directing credits for Windmill include Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, The Wizard of Oz, Fugitive, School Dance, Big Bad Wolf and Girl Asleep.
Prior to Windmill, Rose was the Artistic Director of Arena Theatre Company and Artistic Director of Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Out of the Box Festival in 2010. In 2015, she directed her first feature film Girl Asleep with Windmill Theatre Co, and in 2017 she was awarded the prestigious Australia Council Theatre Award.
Co-Creator, Designer, Performer
An award-winning designer for theatre, film and television, Jonathon has designed for companies including: Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, State Theatre Company of South Australia (STCSA), Belvoir Theatre, LaBoite, Bell Shakespeare, isthisyours?, Aphids, Arena Theatre Company, Polyglot, The Real TV Project, Polytoxic, Men of Steel, Lemony S Puppet Theatre, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Vitalstatistix, Barking Gecko, The Border Project, Dead Puppet Society, The Last Great Hunt, Restless Dance Theatre, The Escapists and Sandpit. Jonathon was festival designer for the Out of the Box Festival and Brisbane Festival’s Arcadia.
Recent theatre credits include: Bluey’s Big Play (AKA Productions/BBC Studios/QPAC/Windmill); Oklahoma (Black Swan Theatre Company) and Dance Nation (STCSA/Belvoir).
Jonathon designed the film Girl Asleep (Windmill) for which he won an AACTA Award (Best Costume Design), received an AACTA nomination (Best Production Design) and won two APDG Awards (Best Production Design and Best Costume Design). The same year, he won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Costume Design for Mr Burns (Belvoir/STCSA); and a PAWA for Mr Irresistible for The Great Last Hunt.
Co-Creator, Director, Performer
Fleur is a maker of all things visual. She works with the mediums of drawing, sculpture, animation, film, puppetry, projection and performance to create 3-dimensional projection performances, akin to giant paper pop-up books that come to life. She studied on scholarships at art schools in Adelaide (ACSA) and New York (NYSS). Her most renowned work to date is her visual performance 2-Dimensional Life of Her, which was invited to perform at over 40 venues and festivals around the world. Her second major production ROOMAN premiered in Melbourne in 2017, after which it went on tour to Europe, the UK and NZ. Fleur has also spent many years working with the Sharing Stories Foundation, developing projects with young people and elders in indigenous communities.
Fleur has won numerous prizes and awards for her work, including a prestigious Bessie (New York Dance and Theatre Award) for most Outstanding Visual Design.
Co-Creator, Interviewer, Scriptwriter
Roslyn Oades is an award-winning theatre-maker and documentary artist. She is best known for pioneering work in the field of headphone-verbatim theatre. Her original works for stage include: Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, I’m Your Man, In a Deep Dark Forest, Cutaway–A Portrait, Stories of Love & Hate and Fast Cars & Tractor Engines.
She also creates site-based audio experiences, including: Cell 26 an audio work for a prison bed, Sea Stories an audio work for sunrise and The Nightline a listening club for insomniacs. She harbors an ongoing fascination with innovative creative non-fiction forms of art making.
Lighting & Technical Designer
Chris is a lighting and video designer working across theatre, dance, and other live events in Australia and internationally.
Recently, Chris designed the lighting for New Zealand’s World of WearableArt 2019 arena show and 13 Ways to Look at Birds featuring Paul Kelly, James Ledger, Alice Keath and the Seraphim Trio.
Lighting design credits include: A View from the Bridge, Brothers Wreck, In The Club, Terrestrial, Mr Burns, Red Cross Letters, Eh Joe for The Beckett Triptych, Gorgon, Masquerade, The Kreutzer Sonata, Maggie Stone and Little Bird (State Theatre Company of South Australia), Lines (Theatre Republic), Angelique (isthisyours?), Long Tan (Brink Productions), Deluge (Tiny Bricks). The Beginning of Nature Part 1, Ignition 2016 (Australian Dance Theatre). Zizanie, Touched (Restless Dance Theatre), Songs for Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas, Emil and the Detectives, The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage (Slingsby Theatre Company), Beep, Grug and the Rainbow, Big Bad Wolf, Story Thieves (Windmill Theatre Company), Never Did Me Any Harm (Force Majeure), Cher, Quiet Faith (Vitalstatistix), Bitch Boxer, Seawall (Flying Penguin).
Composer & Sound Designer
Harry is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts. He has composed music for theatre, film, video art and community arts. His work has been shown in a range of venues and festivals nationally and internationally.
These include Melbourne Theatre Company, QPAC’s Out Of The Box Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre, Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide Film Festival and the Sheffield Documentary Festival. In 2014 and 2015 he was commissioned to write the score for the Adelaide Fringe large scale outdoor performances. His debut feature film Girl Asleep premiered at the 2015 Adelaide Film Festival.
Jox and Fleur are our unreliable experts. Two brilliant artists who build, battle and brawl their way through your most burning questions. Here, they tell us all about the challenge of bringing Creation Creation to the stage.
Director Rose Myers and documentary artist Roslyn Oades talk us through the inspiration for Creation Creation, introduce us to the marvellous world of documentary theatre and tell us about some of the amazing people they’ve met throughout the process.
What is Documentary Theatre?Documentary theatre refers to theatre-making processes that ‘draw from’ or ‘bear witness’ to real events, people, places or circumstances in the world around us. Everything from an interview, diary entry or research can form the basis of documentary theatre.
Jox and Fleur take a scientific look at the beginning of the world in response to the question ‘how did the world begin?’.
Jox and Fleur get biblical in this excerpt from the show where they ponder a religious creation story.
Are aliens real? What would they look like? Jox and Fleur look to the stars and attempt to answer a question of interstellar proportions.
It's been a long process!Co-creator Roslyn Oades interviewed 50 people between the ages of 8-102 and collected over 35 hours of audio to create the script for the show.
Students viewing live theatre can experience feelings of joy, sadness, anger, wonder and empathy. It can engage their imaginations and invite them to make meaning of their world and their place within it. They can consider new possibilities as they immerse themselves in familiar and not so familiar stories.
Watching theatre also helps students understand the language of the theatre. It is part of the holistic approach to developing student literacy. They learn to ‘read’ the work, interpreting the gesture and movement of a performer; deconstructing the designers’ deliberate manipulation of colour, symbol and sound; and reflecting on the director’s and playwright’s intended meaning.
While viewing the show, students’ responses can be immediate as they laugh, cry, question and applaud. After the performance, it is also extremely valuable to provide opportunities for discussion, encouraging students to analyse and comprehend how these responses were evoked by the creatives through the manipulation of production elements and expressive skills.
Having a strong knowledge and understanding of theatre terminology will assist students with this process. Therefore, before coming to see Creation Creation with your students, explore the different roles involved in making a performance happen, from writing, directing and performing, to lighting, projection, set and costume design and construction.
Visiting the theatre is very exciting. There are some guidelines that students can follow regarding appropriate behaviour in the theatre and during the performance that will allow their visit to be even more memorable. Prior to visiting the theatre, prepare students for what they will experience as an audience member using the following questions:
Where can you sit?
How do you know when the performance begins?
How is going to the theatre different to going to the movies or watching television in your loungeroom?
What is the relationship between the audience and the performers?
Final points to remember:
Introducing Object Theatre
At the centre of Creation Creation is the idea of invention – of taking objects and using the tools at your disposal to create solutions and new ideas. As such, Creation Creation is very much a work of object theatre as well as a documentary theatre piece. To prepare for the performance, use this exercise to introduce students to the radical invention at the centre of this show.
Have the students sit in a circle. Lay out a large assortments of random objects (mirror, whisk, funnel, candle, hat, scarf, shopping bag) in the centre of the circle. It is important there is more objects than students.
Ask the group to study the objects. Give time to absorb and consider. They can hold the item, inspect it and then place it back where it came from.
Then ask students, one-by-one, to take an object and find an alternative use for it. Have them mime or perform the action.
For example: A student could pick up a spatula and turn it into a back scratcher to get at a particularly tricky itch. A funnel could become a megaphone.
Creating Documentary Theatre Pieces
Creation Creation uses documentary processes as a basis for the storytelling in the show. Interviews were recorded by Roslyn Oades, transcribed and then formed into a script. This exercise introduces students to documentary theatre-making processes.
Break students off into pairs or small groups. Have each of them ask another student a question and record the answer by using a voice recorder, a smart-phone or computer device, or by transcribing their answer. The question could be personal, or be a big, unanswerable question like in Creation Creation. Some examples questions are:
Once students have recorded their answers, they are to work in groups to create a small performance based on their recordings and/ or findings. This could use mime or dance, it could be animated, or take the form of a presentation. This can be adjusted based on the skill and age level of the students involved.
For example: If a student is asked the question ‘what do you dream about?’ and gets a response relating to a nightmare, a student may act out being a monster or use objects to create a monster onstage.
What is a documentary?
Students are asked to consider different types of media and stories they consume. As a class, list out their characteristics:
Then, introduce the class to the idea of the documentary. Working as a group, list out the features of the form and ask them to consider which type of media that they regularly consume could be considered a documentary, or have elements of documentary in it.
Introduction to Interviewing
Creation Creation began with interviews, by bearing witness to real events and doing field recording and research. In this excercise, students are encouraged to be curious and get to know the world around them in a deeper way.
Students should pick one person, inside or outside of the classroom as their interview subject and prepare a series of questions to ask them. These could be about the subject personally, or relate to some of the big unanswerable questions from Creation Creation.
Students are to record their answers by using a voice recorder, a smart-phone or computer device, or by transcribing their answer.
They are then asked to craft these transcripts into formal interviews.
Please note: Older students may take their interview transcript and form it into a newspaper article, whereas younger students may produce a more straightforward Q&A style interview transcript. Interviews could then be collated into a digital or printed newsletter that the students can then take home and read.
Older students could also conduct this activity in groups and create a newsletter of their own, with each group producing a small zine or publication that could then be distributed to the rest of class.
Depending on the availability of technology, students may record their interviews and use audio editing software to turn their interviews into audio packages.
Renew the world!
Creation Creation is, among many things, concerned with the future of the planet and considers how younger generations can live more harmoniously with the world around us.
How can renewable energy help fight climate change? Consider/brainstorm the following questions as a class.
In pairs, choose one type of renewable energy to investigate further. Research using books and internet sources:
Teacher led, whole group activity
As a group, brainstorm all of the planets known in our solar system and their relationship to our sun. Consider their established knowledge of rotations, distance travelled and specific visual cues to identify each planet.
Divide the class in half. One side will be debating why Pluto should remain a planet and the other half will maintain that Pluto should not.
Each group will nominate two speakers to talk on their behalf, being supported by the research of the entire group. Research can be taken from books and on-line, but also with surveys and interviews, collating statistics and using all information to create a compelling argument.
Invite another class in to see the debate and let them decide who won!
How was the world created?
One of the most unanswerable and baffling questions in Creation Creation is ‘how did the world begin’?
Due to the fact that creation stories are often culturally specific, there is a broad range of different ideas about the creation of the world that span religion, spirituality and science.
In this activity students will pose questions to investigate how the world was created.
As a whole class:
Individually or with a partner:
The template provided will support students to collect and sort the information they are collecting about their creation story.
As a whole class:
Discuss the similarities between the stories. Examine the points of connection that exist across cultures.
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