EIF, Imaginate and Starcatchers Partner Up with New Show for Local Schools

As part of a partnership between Edinburgh International Festival (EIF); Scotland’s national organisation that celebrates theatre for children and young people, Imaginate and Scotland’s Early Years arts organisation, Starcatchers, a show entitled Mixed Up, that was first shown at the Children’s Festival in May 2021 as a digital project, can now be presented live into schools

The performance explores the mixed-up feelings and emotions that young children might experience in turbulent times. Using painting, live music, beat-boxing and hip-hop, Katy Wilson and her team of multi-talented artists have created a unique outdoor experience for schools.

Artist Katy Wilson said When lockdown started, we all started to grieve our old comforts and be separated from someone or something. With Mixed Up we can look at our emotions using dance and paint rather than words. It doesn’t have to be dark, just honest. I want to make something that children can apply their own meaning to. I want to explore live experiences that help children to express themselves and understand their emotions.”

The show, aimed at 3-8 year olds will be presented in school playgrounds as part of Edinburgh International’s Play on Stages programme in August-September before going on tour into Imaginate’s Immerse schools until Spring 2022.

The show is choreographed by Ashley Jack and will feature hip hop dancers Gabriele Bruzzese & Ursula Manandhar, visual artist Greer Pester and beatboxer Bigg Taj. In this street-art inspired interactive performance, pupils will be watching the artists move, dance and paint and will also be encouraged to take part. 

This new live version is a step forward for lead artist Katy Wilson as the show could only be delivered through film and teacher-led activities in May due to Covid restrictions. With Katy retaining  an element of live experience by providing instruction videos for teachers so they could start  the children drawing, beatboxing and dancing in the playground after watching the film, the filmed version was a great  success.

 Irene Brown

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