The Kangaroo Tale

Premiere February, 1995
Melbourne metropolitan community venue

TIE with Koori Health Victoria newspaper clipping of mixed indigenous and anglo-australian cast and puppets

The Kangaroo Tale Press clipping: Momentum, 1996.
Fr L: Winston Appleyard, Max Jackson (Dept. Human Services, Victoria), Joanne Dwyer, Colin Mitchell and Liss Gabb

A modern DREAMTIME STORY about the magic of families and relationships.
Koorie Health Unit Promotional material, 1996

THE KANGAROO TALE was a theatre-in-education work devised for touring to Victorian indigenous communities.

In 1994 Handspan Theatre was approached by the Koori Health Unit and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Unit to create a production for children on the subject of sexual health, sexual activity, relationships and parenting.

Bronwyn Kaaden, Joanne Dwyer and Peter Walker from the Koorie Health Unit pitched their ideas to Michele Spooner, Rod Primrose and Mary Sutherland at Handspan. Inspired by Handspan's 1989 sex education production, We Repeat Ourselves, both with its success as a theatrical work, and its outcomes for young adolescent audiences. They proposed that the company:

help them realise a dream - to inspire the young with 'The Wonder of Birth' with a puppet show specifically tailored to the young and very young members of the Victorian Aboriginal community.

Project description for Koori Health: Bronwyn Kaaden, Joanne Dwyer and Peter Walker, 1994

THE KANGAROO TALE (originally titled Bonkers) was devised for the younger 6 - 12 year old primary school age group. Its story combined Koori culture, history and beliefs with a holistic approach to sex education. Performed by actors from the Koori Health Unit and Handspan puppeteers, a story-teller/narrator invited the audience to join the wise owl, the boisterous cocky, the puppet children and an ancestral Rock - to go on an adventure of discovery and through Kangaroo, learn the ”magic” of conception and birth.

A story that takes us through a journey of loss, and through that loss, important things are revealed and old knowledge re-created, which, when embraced by the community, leads to a celebration of life.

Project description for Koori Health: Bronwyn Kaaden, Joanne Dwyer and Peter Walker, 1994

The production was supported by the Commonwealth's Special Funding program for AIDS/STD initiatives in Victoria's Koori communities as well as the Victorian Aboriginal health Service which set up state-wide touring locations in indigenous communities.

The Kanga Tale is a modern, culturally sensitive and humorous play.

Momentum, 1996

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Creative team
Concept Joanne Dwyer, Peter Walker, Michele Spooner, Rod Primrose & Mary Sutherland
Writer Gilly Farrelly & Joanne Dwyer
Director Annie Wylie
Designer Rod Primrose
Joanne Dwyer
Peter Walker (original cast), Collin Mitchell (1996)
Winston Appleyard
Michele Spooner (original cast), Liss Gabb (1996)
Production team
Puppet Maker Rod Primrose.
Koorie Health Unit Bronwyn Kaaden

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13 February - 3 March Community venues Victoria: Dandenong, Fitzroy, Morwell, Bairnsdale, Lake Tyers, Mooroopna/Shepparton, Echuca, Swan Hill, Robinvale, Sunraysia region, Bendigo, Ballarat, Heywood, Warnambool, Melbourne University & Geelong.
1 March Preview performances (X 2) Handspan Theatre Studio, Jesse St, Richmond
March Glenroy KODE Campus, Wathaurong Aboriginal Commmunity Geelong & Community venues Victoria: Fitzroy, Morwell, Bairnsdale, Bendigo, Echuca, Cummerangunja, Mooroopna, Wodonga, Swan Hill, Robinvale, Mildura, Horsham, Heywood
Total performances 13 (1996 only)
Total audience 650 (1996 only)

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