Kids Activities – Childrens Performing Company of Australia + Give Away

Red Curtain Vignette

The give away is now closed. The winner was Helen Nottle – “That would be perfect for my 10 year old son Jared. We moved this year and I am still not forgiven because we had to leave his drama group and he misses it so much. He loves having funny lines and enthusiastically delivers them with gusto. He gets so engrossed in watching pantomimes or musicals that he looks like he is in another world and afterwards he learns the music word for word.”

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

It is that time of year again when kids after school activities begin to wind down and you begin planning for Term 1 next year. There is certainly a plethora of activities for kids to choose from now!

We recently went to see the end of year performance of Through the Looking Glass, by the Young Australian Broadway Chorus (YABC). The YABC is a musical theatre extra curricular activity for 8 -18 year olds, run across Melbourne as part of the Childrens Performing Company of Australia.

Kids attend regular classes that provide a mix of tuition and on stage performance for kids across a range of abilities. At the end of the year, the culmination of their learning and hard work is seen in a major production.

A research project from the Australian Council for the Arts, noted that arts participation positively impacts on students in a number of ways including social and personal development.

Performing at the National Theatre in St Kilda to a packed audience with a cast of around 300 kids would certainly work on kids social and personal skills!

The Backstage Tour

We were lucky enough to have a tour back stage before the performance started. It was amazing to see so many kids, happily waiting in the wings and dressing rooms. They all seemed very excited and keen to perform.

Our kids loved the back stage tour. They were able to see the different components which need to come together to put on a production – the performers, lighting, scenery, musicians and sound production.

Our younger kids were quite in awe of standing up on stage, looking out into the empty theatre. For the kids performing and taking an active part in the show, getting up on stage in a venue like that must be thrilling.

{If you are reading via email click here to see my one minute video of hour backstage tour.}

The Performance

The performance started with the most senior performers of the YABC known as the Triple Threats. “Alice” sat next to us and started the performance reading from her book. The skills and enthusiasm of the Triple Threats was fabulous. Their years of regular classes certainly shone through.

But the performance isn’t just a show by the most experienced performers. There were performances from the whole spectrum of expertise:

  • Advanced Level 2 – Triple Threat (16+)
  • Advanced Level 1 – The Show Chorus (12-15 yrs), Senior Show Chorus (16+)
  • Performing Level 2 – Intermediate Troupe (11-13 yrs), Senior-Intermediate Company (14-15 yrs), Senior Company (15+)
  • Performing Level 1 – Junior Troupe (9-10 yrs), Intermediate Troupe (11-13 yrs), Senior Troupe (14+)

Classes at the Childrens Performing Company of Australia are broken into age groups and abilities. There is also a training level for young kids aged 5-7 called Beginners OnStage.

The professionalism across all levels was impressive to watch. It is not often I go to a children’s based performance, without knowing any kids in the show. I did wonder if the show would hold both mine and the kids attention, without the look out factor, of waiting for someone we knew to have their turn to star.

But Through the Looking Glass did. The music, the costumes, watching the kids thoroughly enjoy themselves on stage made for entertaining viewing.

The Free Try Out Sessions

Entry into the Young Australian Broadway Chorus is by a audition. The program is open to children from 8 to 18 years. You can see full details about the auditions sessions here, but basically they are a free session, where kids try-out is with a group of 15 – 20 kids. They are involved in performing activities, including improvisation, voice and movement. The emphasis is on fun and they don’t have to read anything, or do anything on their own.

You can register your interest for the auditions here for the next sessions running from Feb 13-26 at all CPCA locations throughout Melbourne.

The Give Away

CPCA has one semester of training to give away for a lucky reader of Planning With Kids. Valued at over $500, this is an amazing prize!

Full T&C’s are here. To enter all you need to do is:

  • Leave a comment below letting me know a little bit about your budding performer.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • You may only enter once.
  • Entries close at 5pm 15th Dec 2011.
  • Entries will be short listed. From this list of entries, Nuffnang will judge the winner.
  • Good luck!