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Children Talk About (New Zealand)


1 Jun 2019 - 31 Dec 2020

Short Synopsis

Children Talk About is a new intergenerational documentary theatre project that investigates the courage it takes to have conversations about caring for the elderly.

The desire is to create space for people to connect and reflect on their relationship with aging family members, and for the community to feel empowered to identify their fears, miseries, and desires about the process of growing old.

We are currently collecting stories from the community to build a comprehensive understanding of aged care in Aotearoa. We hope to encourage people to get involved and gain a better understanding of the needs of the elderly, while providing a high-quality arts experience that enhances the emotional, social and physical well-being of our communities.


The first phase of this project was presented as part of Auckland Arts Festival’s Whānui 2018 programme.

We worked with thirteen participants from Ormiston Junior College aged 10-13 years, to examine the perspectives of young people on “old people”. Together we explored the idea of courage and empathy - how to share and understand the feelings of others. They then interviewed their grandparents and senior members of their community. After five weeks, we shared our stories and process to their friends and families.

“I enjoyed the honesty and innocence of children. liked way it was guided by Alice. The way the children interacted with each other was also interesting to observe. This was like 'work in progress', like watching a sculptor at work. A nice and fresh approach to art with children.”
- Michelle Carpenter, audience member

The next phase of this work focuses on grandparents - sharing and learning from the old. During the process, the team are interested in interviewing and working with people from the community, learning about living in a retirement village, and hearing stories from the aged care sector.

We believe that the creative process provides a contained and safe space to bring different voices together to relate and hold the diverse perspectives within the group. Ultimately, we want to audiences to connect to the stories to activate and create real, systemic change in Aotearoa.


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