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Mixit Presents: In A Curious Garden

This summer, Mixit presents an exciting new free performance project in partnership with the Auckland Botanic Gardens alongside their biannual Sculpture in the Gardens installation. In A Curious Garden will play in and around the garden and sculptures, where visitors can experience this dynamic and colourful theatrical adventure on 18 & 19 January 2020.

Taking the imaginative framework of Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice in Wonderful, this devised work will weave together stories, moments and unexpected encounters throughout the beautiful grounds of the Botanic Gardens. Along the way, stories will reflect issues about the environment, endangered plants and the perspectives of the talented cast of young performers around their concerns and dreams for the future of the planet. Bringing to life this dynamic and colourful creative performance will be a 30 strong cast of 13 – 20+ year olds from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, many who come from refugee backgrounds, from countries such as Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Pakistan and Palestine.

Mixit is a community organisation that utilises the arts and creativity to support former refugee and migrant youth develop both personal capacities and life skills to negotiate a successful transition and integration as new New Zealanders. Mixit has been operating for 14 years and provides a year-long programme that includes weekly creative workshops, a youth leadership programme and alumni led outreach initiatives. Mixit has worked with thousands of young people over this time and for many the positive impact on their lives has been significant. Mixit is about building strong young people who are confident, resilient and prepared for their futures. In turn this helps to grow stronger, inter-connected, multi-cultural communities who thrive alongside each other – understanding differences and celebrating similarities.

Mixit have partnered with Manurewa High School this year to open opportunities to local youth, both for local refugee youth and participants who come from New Zealand, also giving opportunities to young people from Māori and Pacific communities. Alongside this, Mixit have also been working alongside former refugee youth based in Hamilton, some of who will be invited to Auckland to take part in this project.

In A Curious Garden will be guided by Mixit’s founder Wendy Preston MNZM as Director, and a powerhouse team of interdisciplinary artists, including Tahi Mapp-Borren as Drama Director, Elijah Kennar as Choreographer, Kate Parker as Design Director, Rosie Langabeer as Composer, and a team of Mixit Alumni (Kaviesha Abeysinghe, Munashe Tapfuya, Meg Sydenham and Younis Ahmat Abdallah) as Creative Coaches and Production Assist.

The power, force and truth of the many voices of Mixit must be experienced live and direct to truly feel it.” – Audience feedback

In A Curious Garden plays
18 & 19 January 2020, 11AM and 3PM
Auckland Botanic Gardens, Manurewa

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