Study Guide

Creation Creation

Welcome to our Creation Creation Study Guide!

The general capabilities are embedded within specific learning activities and can be identified with the following icons:

Synopsis

How 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.

Note from the Director

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 Minded

50 people from all over South Australia were interviewed ahead of Creation Creation.

Meet the Creative Team

Rosemary Myers

Co-Creator, Director

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.

Jonathon Oxlade

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.

Fleur Elise Noble

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.

Roslyn Oades

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 ForestCutaway–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.

Chris Petridis

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).

Harry Covill

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.

Go Behind the Scenes

Meet Jox and Fleur

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.

Watch Now

Meet Rose and Roslyn

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.

Watch Now

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.

Some burning questions

How did the world begin?

Jox and Fleur take a scientific look at the beginning of the world in response to the question ‘how did the world begin?’.

 

Watch Now

How were animals created?

Jox and Fleur get biblical in this excerpt from the show where they ponder a religious creation story.

Watch Now

Is there other life in the universe?

Are aliens real? What would they look like? Jox and Fleur look to the stars and attempt to answer a question of interstellar proportions.

Watch Now

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.

Theatre Etiquette

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.

Theatre Etiquette

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?

  • An usher (front of house – FOH) will help you find your seat, so you need to follow their directions.

How do you know when the performance begins?

  • The lights will dim and/or you might hear a voice-over or sound. That’s your cue that it has begun and it is time to settle and be quiet.

How is going to the theatre different to going to the movies or watching television in your loungeroom?

  • Something unique to theatre is that it is ‘live’ and the actors are real people. You can hear and see the actors, and they can hear and see you.

What is the relationship between the audience and the performers?

  • As the actors can see and hear you, your responses to the performance show your appreciation to the actors. So, show your enjoyment!

Final points to remember:

  • Turn off your mobile phone (even the vibration of a phone or lit screen is distracting);
  • Avoid eating in the theatre and rustling paper;
  • Cover coughs and sneezes;
  • Don’t film or photograph the performance due to intellectual ownership.

Years 3 and 4

The Arts: Drama

Pre-Show Activity

Activity

Write the following sentences on A3 paper and place them in four corners of the classroom.

  • Give a description of another life form that might exist in the universe?
  • Describe what the world might be like in 100 years?
  • Describe what makes a good friend?
  • Describe what makes you happy?

Students then:

  1. Write a sentence or two in response to each question
  2. Each response should be anonymous (no name) and on a separate piece of paper
  3. Scrunch the paper into a ball and put it under the matching sentence heading

As a whole class:

Sit in a circle and invite two volunteers to enter the performance space inside the circle. Have the students perform a short scene based on the question. Repeat the process until all class members have had the opportunity to participate.

To keep the scene moving forward have one student read out the question, the other student improvise the answer and have the first student respond with ‘yes, and?’ and have them volley together until they lose steam.

As individuals:

  • Students select a question and write down all of the responses that other students have written to a question
  • Next step is to decide how they are going to present the responses
  • A series of posters, audio recordings, written text, art piece, a monologue, sculpture
  • Complete their presentation and share with their learning community, this could include other classes

Learning Outcomes:

Explore ideas and narrative structures through roles and situations and use empathy in their own improvisations and devised drama ACADRM031

Use voice, body, movement and language to sustain role and relationships and create dramatic action with a sense of time and place ACADRM032



Post-Show Activity

Activity – Time Machine

Working as a whole class:

In a large space, invite students to create a seated circle.

Explain to students that together they will be building and operating a Time Machine, which will allow them to travel forwards or backwards in time.

From a seated position they mime (no sound):

  • Building the final piece of the time-machine
  • Checking they have what they need
  • Putting on a helmet
  • Fastening seatbelts
  • Starting the engine

Before take-off

Invite students to offer what kind of sound the time-machine may make when it’s travelling and encourage students to explore the soundscape.

Blast-off

Once everyone is prepared, lead students in the countdown from ten to zero for take-off!

New time + new place

Once landed, students mime removing their seat belts and helmets and get out of their time-machine, ready to explore.

Where are you?

  • Inside a black hole
  • On a different planet
  • Our world in 100 years
  • Our world in 1000 years
  • At the beginning of time

 

Create

In small groups of three:

Students share their “Time Machine” moment.

Rehearse each of the moments – but include the other members of the group into your performance. What do the others become in the place and time you have created?

Remind students to consider a clear BEGINNING, MIDDLE and END.

Students perform their “Time Machine” moments for the class.

Learning Outcomes:

Explore ideas and narrative structures through roles and situations and use empathy in their own improvisations and devised drama ACADRM031

Use voice, body, movement and language to sustain role and relationships and create dramatic action with a sense of time and place ACADRM032



English

Pre-Show Activity

Activity – What is a documentary? 

Lead a full class discussion about the documentary process. After the teacher has defined the terms ‘Documentary’ and ‘Documentary Theatre’, students are to work in groups to brainstorm different types of documentaries that they have seen or experienced.

Once they’re come up with a list of different ideas and elements surrounding the genre of ‘documentary’ lead a full class discussion about the form.

Learning Outcomes

Year 3

  • Understand that successful cooperation with others depends on shared use of social conventions, including turn-taking patterns, and forms of address that vary according to the degree of formality in social situations ACELA1476

 Year 4

  • Understand that social interactions influence the way people engage with ideas and respond to others, for example when exploring and clarifying the ideas of others, summarising their own views and reporting them to a larger group ACELA1488
  • Understand differences between the language of opinion and feeling and the language of factual reporting or recording ACELA1489


Post-Show Activity

Activity – Creating Documentary Theatre Pieces

Working in pairs, students are to conduct interviews, with one student taking on the role of interviewer and the other being the interviewee. If possible, these are to be recorded using a recording device (for example a phone, computer or voice recorder).

Students need to know that their interviews will remain anonymous so that they can be honest and open in their responses.

The questions are:

  1. Tell me about the best thing you did today?
  2. Recount something different that happened today?
  3. Put into words something that made you laugh today?
  4. What are you looking forward to about tomorrow?
  5. Give a description of part of today that went really slow? Why?
  6. Describe something you found out about in music, PE or Art this week?
  7. Tell me something a teacher said to you today that made you think?

After the interviews:

  • Students listen to their recorded interview responses (use headphones if possible)
  • What did they find interesting, difficult or funny about the process and listening back to the interviews?
  • Each paring will then transcribe the answers, writing/typing the words exactly as they were spoken (including all the umms, ahhs, pauses and laughter)

As a whole class:

  • Students share their reflections about the activity
  • Were they surprised by the number of umms, ahhs, pauses and laughter?
  • How did they react to the sound of their own voice?

Technology for: 

  • Recording their interviews
  • Typing and printing the transcripts of their interviews
  • If the students have the skills and the software, they could edit the audio and create something using audio. However, this is dependent on the availability of technology and the resources in the class room.

Learning Outcomes

Year 3

  • Understand that successful cooperation with others depends on shared use of social conventions, including turn-taking patterns, and forms of address that vary according to the degree of formality in social situations ACELA1476
  •  

Year 4

  • Understand that social interactions influence the way people engage with ideas and respond to others, for example when exploring and clarifying the ideas of others, summarising their own views and reporting them to a larger group ACELA1488
  • Understand differences between the language of opinion and feeling and the language of factual reporting or recording ACELA1489


Science

Pre-Show Activity

Activity – Creating a pet alien

As a whole class:

  • Discuss the environmental factors that make the Earth habitable and compare them to other planets within our Solar System
  • What is Mars like?
  • What is Neptune like?
  • How could you make sure your alien would be suited for the environmental conditions on another planet; for example, no gravity or no oxygen, or very very hot

Explore and Apply

Working individually or with a partner:

  • Use creative thinking to design an alien life form

Break the project into two parts:

The first part will need to focus on researching the planet to understand what the planet is like.

The second part will be to think about the characteristics the alien will need and how to design them.

  • What shape will the alien be and why?
  • What will they eat and why?
  • What colour will they be and why?
  • How do they move about their planet?
  • How do they communicate?
  • How do they see?
  • Decide how to present the alien that has been designed. For example:
  • A model in a diorama
  • A poster showing all of the alien’s characteristics
  • An alien costume that could be worn

 

Learning Outcomes

Year 3

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things ACSSU044
  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships ACSHE05

Year 4

  • Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive ACSSU073
  • Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity ACSSU075
  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships ACSHE061


Post-Show Activity

Activity – How big is the Solar System?

As a whole class:

Watch this Youtube video – How Big is the Solar System. The great thing about this video is that it really helps in understanding and visualising the relationship of the planets to each other.

  • Do you have any questions after watching the video?
  • What do you want to know more about?

EXPLORE AND APPLY

In small groups:

  • Students discuss how they would tell the story of how big the solar system is.
  • Would they build models of the solar system and display it with information?
  • Would they dress-up as the planets and act it out?
  • How can they show the relationship of the size of the planets and the sun?
  • How can they show the distance between each of the planets?
  • Could they make an animation?
  • Could they make a documentary where the planets talk and tell their story?
  • Perhaps they could be a voyager visiting the planets and telling the story of what they can see
  • Each group should decide how they are going to tell their story of the solar system
  • Plan what they are going to need (the resources) and;
  • The tasks that each of them will complete

NOTE: Provide a timeline to show how much time they will have to complete the task.

Students will need to check they have:

  • Described the relative distances of the planets to each other
  • Compare and show the sizes and distances of various planets to the Sun
  • Compare the size of the planets and the amount of space between the planets


Humanities and Social Sciences

Post-Show Activity

Activity 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:

  • Provide students with information about how creation stories differ for people in different parts of the world.

Individually or with a partner:

  • Students select a creation story to research and investigate.

The template provided will support students to collect and sort the information they are collecting about their creation story.

What is the setting? Who is the main character? Who else is in the story?
What happens first?

 

What happens next? What happens last?
How did main character feel when disaster struck? How did the other characters respond after the disaster? What is the message of the story?
  • The next step is to decide how to present the research they have completed about the creation story;
  • It could be a series of posters, audio recording, written text, art piece, a monologue, sculpture, animation.
  • Once the presentation is completed, they should share their research with their learning community. This could include other classes. The presentation could be verbal, written, visual or incorporate digital elements depending on the resources available.

Students can then, using the same rubric as they did to research pre-existing creation stories, create their own creation stories and come to their own conclusions about the beginning of the universe.



Years 5 - 8

The Arts: Drama

Pre-Show Activity

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.

The Exercise:

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.



Post-Show Activity

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.

The Exercise

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:

  • How did the world begin?
  • Do you eat breakfast? Why/why not?
  • Are there aliens?
  • Is God real?
  • What do you dream about?

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.



English

Pre-Show Activity

What is a documentary?

Students are asked to consider different types of  media and stories they consume. As a class, list out their characteristics:

  • Narrative
  • Fable
  • Television
  • News
  • Podcasts

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.



Post-Show Activity

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.

The Exercise:

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. 



Science

Pre-Show Activity

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.

  1. What does ‘renewable energy’ mean?
  2. What are the 4 types of renewable energy? (water/wind/solar/geothermal)
  3. How does renewable energy fight climate change?
  4. What might be some of the problems with renewable energy?

In pairs, choose one type of renewable energy to investigate further. Research using books and internet sources:

  • A description of your renewable energy and the technology used
  • How and where this technology is currently being used
  • What are the problems with this technology (e.g. does it have technological limitations or does it have community opposition)?
  • How is this energy is renewable and how does it help to fight climate change?


Post-Show Activity

POOR PLUTO
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!



Humanities and Social Sciences

Pre or Post-Show Activity

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:

  • Provide students with information about how creation stories differ for people in different parts of the world.

Individually or with a partner:

  • Students select a creation story to research and investigate.

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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