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NZ Wins at Prague Theatre Design Olympics

First PQ International Jury Win For New Zealand At Theatre Design Olympics

The New Zealand national exhibition PART has been honoured with a special award at the Prague Quadrennial which is the theatre world's equivalent of the Olympic games.

PART won an special honorary diploma for "bringing a sense of play to the Quadrennale" - one of only four awards presented by the international team of judges. Canada was also recognised for its clarity and national spirit, Greece was awarded a special prize for its presentation quality and for the work of its designers and the USA was recognised for its inclusivity and internationalism.

The Prague Quadrennial is a unique international theatre competition and attracts an average of 50 nations each time. Approximately 30,000 people visit the exhibition which was started in 1967.

PART features the work of nine New Zealand designers - Tracey Collins (Auckland), Helen Todd (Auckland), Sue Gallagher (Auckland), Bryan Caldwell (Auckland), Amy Wright (Auckland), Tony De Goldi (Wellington), Mark McEntyre (Christchurch), Tracy Grant (Auckland) and Martyn Roberts (Wellngton). The New Zealand national exhibition was supported by Creative New Zealand, Wellington Institute of Technology and the contributing designers themselves.

PART is an innovative and experimental piece that invites people to engage through mixed media, lighting, costume and sound. The structure was created from elastic and staffold with one room featuring an installation created by each designer. It moved away from being a passive viewing experience to an active journey of discovery within the design process.

Visitors to the exhibition negotiated a personal journey through the labyrinthine structure. It touched people of all age groups with many people coming back for repeat visits.

"Building on the last New Zealand entry in 1999, PART continues to push boundaries and set the scene for future national and international theatre design discussion," says New Zealand Co- Commissioner Tracey Collins.

She says that the feedback in Prague has been fantastic and it would be wonderful if PART could trigger the imagination of New Zealanders. A national tour will be organised pending sponsorship and funding support.

"PART is an opportunity for New Zealanders to individually experience the design process and the imagination of national theatre designers."

The Prague Quadrennial is currently on display at the Industrial Palace until June 29th. Six of the winning designers are in Prague accompanying the exhibition.

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