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2007 Media Release - House:Ed 2008 Launch

Issued Monday, 29 October 2007


Sydney Opera House today launched its most exciting youth and education program, House:Ed, in five years. A truly international affair, the 2008 season will feature 16 productions from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Scotland and Switzerland.

Introduced by Director of Performing Arts, Rachel Healy, the launch included an address by playwright Angela Betzien and performances from Sydney’s Monkeyshines Kabaret 4 Kids.

The 2008 House:Ed program investigates and celebrates the world of theatre and its relevance in an increasingly technological era.  How do the performing arts remain interesting and vibrant to young people when their mobile phones can deliver images and messages from anywhere in the world with increasing speed and affordability?

Producer, Young Audiences, Noel Jordan, said the productions are a direct dialogue with the audience they are intended for. Students can travel around the world and experience life from a different perspective, all from inside the Opera House.

“Nothing beats the power of being in a darkened theatre witnessing a live performance,” Mr Jordan said. “At the heart of this experience is how the performer tells their story, taking the audience on an inspiring and surprising journey."

“By engaging young people with a full program of performances and workshops linked to the school curriculum, they can develop multiple skills and abilities while simultaneously nurturing and expanding cognitive, social and personal skills.”

Celebrated Australian writer Angela Betzien returns in 2008 with two productions. The AWGIE-Award winning Hoods (commissioned by Sydney Opera House) is a confronting and poignant tale of lost children while Arena Theatre Company’s Girl Who Cried Wolf unravels our fascination with the media and celebrity.

Scotland’s Catherine Wheels Theatre Company vividly brings to life a true story of survival and friendship. Lifeboat is a historically accurate and affectionate account of two teenage girls who spent 19 harrowing hours in the freezing Atlantic Ocean during World War II.

The first of two Danish productions in 2008 is a poignant story about life and death. Teater Refleksion examine the short but full life of a pet guinea pig in Goodbye Mr Muffin. With integrity and directness this work demonstrates how powerfully theatre can deal with the big issues.

Meanwhile, a band of travelling players retell Little Red Riding Hood from the back of a pick-up truck in A Sonatina. Gruppe 38’s irreverent take on the old tale is inspiring and imaginative.

Thalias Kompagnons from Germany presents live painting to music in What does Red do on a Thursday? An artist stands behind a transparent canvas and paints to a lively orchestral score creating a dream-like journey.

Switzerland’s Theater Sgaramusch creates an atmosphere of tension and intrigue with the collaborative Wolf Under the Bed. When three people in a remote hut start telling tales about wolves, they begin to lose themselves in an imaginary labyrinth. Some of the stories are funny, others are exciting, but as the night wears on, they get scarier and more and more outrageous.

Message Sticks Film Festival will makes its House:Ed debut in 2008 and crowd favourite Little Big Shots returns as part of House:Ed’s biggest and best program to date.

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