Australia’s largest performing arts centre, Arts Centre Melbourne has today launched its 2016 Education Program featuring the best local and international performing arts created for young people. With performances, digital learning experiences and workshops for primary and secondary students, Arts Centre Melbourne’s Education Program is designed to facilitate quality learning and lasting engagement with the performing arts.

In 2016, highlights for Primary students include two quintessentially Australian stories brought to life on stage. The hilarious musical comedy Pete the Sheep, is based on Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s quirky picture book and explores the challenges and rewards of being an individual. Saltbush takes students on an interactive journey through Indigenous Australia and A Sonatina, is an enchanting, Danish “splatter” comedy.

For Secondary students the thrill of parkour – the sport of negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing across urban terrain – will be explored on stage in the unique, Australian contemporary work, Jump First, Ask Later. Older students will be challenged by Sugarland, a powerful portrait of teenage life in remote Northern Territory and The Secret River, a beautiful adaptation of Kate Grenville’s story of national identity.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Victorian Opera, Circus Oz, Bell Shakespeare and Bangarra Dance Theatre are also well represented in the program.

The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne’s new learning and participation space, will host a range of workshops from music composition, sound design and video editing to script writing and digital story telling. With a focus on music and digital media, The Channel offers a world-class recording studio and vocal booth, 40 individual workstations kitted with audio visual and production tools and a flexible and intimate performance and collaboration space.

Arts Centre Melbourne is also proud to continue its support for schools through the First Call Fund, a program for Victorian primary and secondary schools facing barriers of access to live performances and events due to distance, disadvantage or special circumstance. Subsidy is awarded for 25%-100% off the full ticket price per student for any education performance, or related program as determined by selection criteria.

FAST FACTS

• 48 regional schools visited Arts Centre Melbourne through the First Call Fund this year, for a total of 4,450 tickets (both students and teachers)
• These schools came from areas as diverse as Mildura, Wodonga, Corryong, the Mornington Peninsula, Lakes Entrance and Warrnambool
• The school that travelled furthest is 528km away from Arts Centre Melbourne
• 18,562 First Call Fund students attended 316 performances throughout the year
• Over the past 12 months we’ve received donations to the First Call Fund from more than 494 individual supporters.

To see the full 2016 program online visit: artscentremelbourne.com.au/schools

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