TERRAPIN puppeteers have been busy rehearsing in studio for the launch of its 2021 schools tour program of ‘Scaredy Cat’, which will premiere in more than 65 Tasmanian schools around the state in terms three and four.
Scaredy Cat tells the story of a rodent-hunting cat who is afraid of mice.
Terrapin Artistic Director Sam Routledge said the schools tour marks Terrapin’s return to in-school programming after being forced to postpone planned visits in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to tour Tasmanian schools in 2021,” he said.
“Visiting schools is a critical part of our work in reaching audiences in all corners of the state.
“This year we’ll even be travelling to Flinders Island, bringing performance and workshops to students there.”
Terrapin’s schools tour will reach 15,000 students this year, having visited more than 180 schools in the past 15 years.
Terrapin has also welcomed Blundstone as its new Access Partner.
Blundstone’s support will allow Terrapin to grow the reach of the tour to 14 additional schools in remote and regional locations, bring Scaredy Cat to 4000 extra students.
“As a proud Tasmanian family business, we are pleased to support the work of Terrapin and to assist more kids around Tasmania to have the chance to experience and enjoy their creativity,” Blundstone joint chief executive officer Adam Blake said.
“Since we started in 1870, we have sought to be a positive and contributing member of our local community.
“We are thrilled to be a part of taking this world-class troupe to all the corners of our island home.”
Scaredy Cat, written by Finn O’Branagain, is a funny, fantastical story of courage and friendship across generations.
Terrapin resident designer Bryony Anderson has created a cast of lively puppet characters that includes Scaredy Cat, three marauding mice and creaking, elderly furniture.
Puppeteer Felicity Horsley said she was really excited to visit schools across the state and perform for students.
“I think the beautiful thing about performance in general is the level of characters and animating, and having characters come to life,” she said.
“Here we have an arm chair and kitchen cabinet come to life – we’re making the inanimate animate, and I think that’s something children’s imaginations are able to do really easily.
“You need to have not only the physical skill to animate the puppet, but also be able to bring that level of emotion that the cat is going to go through and show the transformative journey it goes through.”
Terrapin has been touring Tasmanian schools since its inception.
Established in 1981, the company is known for innovation and quality.
Its core activity is the creation of new original works of contemporary puppetry for children, families and intergenerational audiences.
Beyond its school program, Terrapin creates work for theatres, festivals and public spaces.