Applied Theatre Co Ltd has to date run two intergenerational projects, both with the support of The Trusts Community Foundation. Each project saw West Auckland extra-curricular drama students gather reminiscences from residents at the Waitakere Gardens Retirement Village, and use these stories as the basis for performances.
The first ‘Capturing the Tales’ project ran in 2013, with opening night of the public performance week happening on 1 October – the International Day of the Older Person. Throughout the year, young people acted as researchers, gathering stories that unfolded in drama workshops with participation by young and old alike. ATCo facilitated and documented other regular workshops when the young people could not attend. The stories were devised into a moving performance, and friendships forged between the generations were profound.
In 2015, a similar project was run, this time called ‘Capturing the ANZAC Tales’. The theme covered not only war stories, it also investigated the Australia-New Zealand relationship that began on the shores of Gallipoli a century ago. Who can claim the pavlova? Who wants to claim Russell Crowe? Underarm incidents and rugby rivalries were explored in interactive workshops which lead to rich discussions, all of which again fed the devising of a series of public performances – this time with seniors as well as youth appearing on stage.
Thanks for each of these projects is owed to The Trusts Community Foundation, and to the Waitakere Gardens Residents Association.