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Building Young Audiences a Winner

Monday 7 April 2003

Building Young Audiences a Winner

Capital E’s National Theatre for Children is one of three New Zealand organisations selected by Creative New Zealand for its pilot Audience Development Initiative.

The Wellington based-professional theatre company’s proposal was chosen from a selection put forward by 20 other professional arts organisations.

“Capital E’s project targets significant audience development issues for the organisation,” says Creative New Zealand Arts Infrastructure Manager Stephen Wainwright. “Importantly, it is also regarded as excellent pilot project, from which other organisations should benefit.”

Creative New Zealand developed the initiative through its Future Strengths strategy which aims to strengthen New Zealand's professional arts infrastructure. Capital E’s National Theatre for Children receives $12000 in funding for its project which gets underway this month.

"I'm delighted that Creative New Zealand has recognised our project to develop new audiences," says John Gilberthorpe, CEO of the Wellington Museums Trust. "This is a vital role for us as a national theatre company.”

The project has two components. One involves researching appropriate ways to deliver the theatre’s productions to school audiences in South Auckland. The other aims to boost audiences in smaller communities through a pilot community ambassador scheme in Rotorua.

"We're excited about South Auckland, an area where we currently have little presence but where we see huge potential to deliver high-quality professional theatre to child and family audiences there. Our research in this area will involve building strong community relationships and working with the Manukau City Council.

"The Rotorua project is a pilot one for our company and, hopefully, will benefit other companies that tour nationally. Our goal is to develop a viable and effective model for building relationships and audiences in New Zealand communities."

The National Theatre, which is based at the Capital E performing arts and creative technology facility in Wellington, creates, produces and presents original new works for young audiences in theatres all over New Zealand.

Its national audience has grown dramatically since its inception in 1997, last year totalling more than 70,000 students, teachers, children and families all over New Zealand.

For more information contact

Alice Taylor
External Communications Manager
Capital E, Civic Square, Wellington
04 384-9126

Capital E is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding support from the Wellington City Council

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