In the past few weeks, SIDS and kids have launched their Red Bag Superstars program in Melbourne, a project I have been heavily involved in. Certainly a challenging experience; after being commissioned to create the puppet's for this project I was then hired to develop script, characters and performance.
A 10-15 minute presentation for SIDS and kids new program "Red nose goes green", the script needed to tackle the message of re-using and promote SIDS and kids campaign to collect re-usable goods to raise money for their charity. The characters Jai and Belle are super heroes (The Red Bag Superstars), so the concept felt very Captain Planet-esque! The real challenge was creating a script that would be relevant to a large age bracket 5years-12years. Having little experience writing for kids I was eager to find out how the work would be received.
With the help of Actor/Comedian/Puppeteer Drew Belsten, we developed the presentation focusing on getting the information across in a way that would hold children's attention and be entertaining while delivering SIDS and kids message. We introduced a villain called Dr Grime and talked about "Our mission!". We also decided to recruit the kids and teach them how to be super heroes like Jai and Belle!!
A short while before we were booked to have our first show, I unfortunately broke my ankle and would be unable to perform. We were lucky enough to secure Claire Frost, talented Actor/Puppeteer who easily filled my shoes. So Drew and Claire have been to 3 schools in the past 2 weeks presenting Jai and Belle along with their important message about Re-Using. It has been received incredibly well by teachers and students alike!
It was very interesting to see how the characters and the dialogue were received by the students and we certainly learnt a lot through these first performances. I attended and took notes on what went well and what went not so well. Consequently, the script has undergone changes due to our experience with these first schools. I see it as a constantly evolving program, one we can continue to develop the more we learn through doing.
I have stepped aside where the performing is concerned and will be involved only as a consult until I return from the UK in 2014. It has been a fantastic experience working on this program and I have very high hopes for where it will go from here.
If you are interested in learning more about this program or booking the Superstars for a school, visit http://greennose.org.au/