Aim to im­bue love of the­atre

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - SHARON REECE

TWO In­ver­cargill thes­pi­ans are tak­ing a new ap­proach to solv­ing a de­cline in the­atre au­di­ence num­bers — start ’em young.

Per­form­ing artists Sarah McCarthy and Jade Gil­lies ar­ranged for about 2000 South­land school pupils to at­tend a show in In­ver­cargill yesterday hop­ing to ‘‘get kids hooked on the­atre’’.

The pupils were treated to the Messy Magic Ad­ven­ture show at Sta­dium South­land.

‘‘What we’ve seen in the the­atre scene here, and ac­tu­ally not just here, across the coun­try, is au­di­ence num­bers in the the­atre are start­ing to drop,’’ Gil­lies said.

The idea was to get chil­dren ex­cited about the the­atre, he said.

‘‘One day th­ese kids, who are all 5, 6 and 7, will be our au­di­ences in the fu­ture and hope­fully bring their kids along and it’ll all grow from there.’’

By fundrais­ing for the use of about 36 buses the pair helped to break the ‘‘bar­ri­ers’’ some chil­dren faced in at­tend­ing such events.

‘‘Some­times it’s not that cheap to go to shows . . . Some­times they don’t know that it’s on.

‘‘What we’ve done today is we’ve bro­ken down those bar­ri­ers, fi­nan­cial and lo­gis­ti­cal, and made it easy and cheap for them to come along.’’

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