Sunday, October 11, 2020

Covid-19 restrictions may have closed the doors at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar but the show must go on, virtually at least.

RoolaBoola Children’s Arts Season brings the magic of theatre and music to young audiences at home and in school with a ground-breaking immersive online theatre show, The University of Wonder and Imagination, and an exciting new music project for children from Junior Infants to Second Class called Rockin’ the Classroom.

The University of Wonder and Imagination is an hour-long, live, interactive digital theatre experience aimed at ‘sparking joy’ and bringing the magic of theatre to young audiences in school and at home. Created by CahootsNI, the production allows audiences to effectively direct the performance, based on their interaction with the performers.

Guests will assemble with their fellow ‘university students,’ and led by the mysterious Professor Bamberg, will embark on a journey where nothing is quite what it seems. Audiences will interact with lively lecturers, experience themed rooms filled with illusion and encounter problems and puzzles in an attempt to unlock magical powers and graduate with flying colours.

Rockin Rhymes in The Black Box during The 23rd Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. Picture: Anita Murphy

Suitable for families and school groups aged 7 years plus, shows are limited to either one classroom per show for the school performances which take place on Monday, October  19 or six family groups per show for the public performances which take place on Saturday, November 7.

Rockin’ the Classroom is an exciting new music project for children from Junior Infants to Second Class. It offers children and teachers an opportunity to enjoy and explore music and song using material from Branar Téatar do Pháistí’s show ‘Rockin’ Rhymes’. They’ll learn about musical instruments and music-making and the project also aims to inspire and support children to create their own rocking rhymes.

In the absence of the opportunity for school children to experience live performances, Linenhall Arts Centre has joined forces with Branar and Lime Tree Theatre to deliver this multiplatform initiative. Each class will receive a CD album, a dedicated education pack for teachers and exclusive access to a short series of videos introducing children to the band itself and their instruments.

There is limited availability for this project so early registration is essential (registration closing date October 23). Each class pack is free but package and posting is €7.50 per pack.

Arts Access Officer at the Linenhall Arts Centre Orla Henihan says: “Our building may be closed due to the current restrictions, however, behind the scenes we’re working to ensure that children have an opportunity to experience the magic of theatre and music during this unusual time. We look forward to engaging with our RoolaBoola Children’s Arts Season 2020 audiences.”

Further details from the Linenhall Arts Centre www.thelinenhall.com

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