Image from Who's in the Mirror, short film with St. Martin of Tours Rosanna, 2009
Rebecca Russell and Ken Evans have worked with children and families since 2005 creating puppetry shows, animation and a variety of other arts experiences in schools, communities and arts centres. Rebecca as a teacher of performing arts and a director and writer for visual theatre and Ken as a designer, have spent many years questioning and exploring ways to unpack the creative process and collaborate with children. They have run workshops and presented shows made with children at ArtPlay, Arts Centre Melbourne, The Recital Centre and Fed Square and schools across Victoria.
Rebecca and Ken have worked as artists in residence in schools regularly over the years. They have been recipients of Artists in Schools funding through Creative Victoria and other funding programs through the Catholic Education system. They approach each project with curiosity and whilst they bring skills and experience to the work, it is the children they work with who influence how each project evolves. Their belief in the innate creativity of children, play as the essence of theatre, validating and raising the profile of children's creative practice is at the core of their collaborations with children.
Rebecca and Ken have produced two full scale visual theatre performances at ArtPlay City of Melbourne (2007, 2009), 4 short films in Artists in Schools, Creative Vic (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010) and a permanent installation St Michael’s Grammar junior school (2007). ‘Heroes’, a short film created with years 5/6 at St Josephs Primary, Collingwood, was short listed for Open Channel’s ‘Love Your Work’ short film competition in 2008.
Rebecca was fortunate to be the Performing Arts teacher for four years, 2014-2017, at the Daylesford Dharma School. Rebecca ran year long programs which were project based collaborations with children from prep to year six. Rebecca developed play based programs that, in essence, enabled children's natural creativity to flourish resulting in: Puppetry and visual theatre performances, clay based play and storytelling, costume based play and storytelling, ritual, building and creating worlds full of story in the outdoors with cubbies and miniature object based story, among other things.
Rebecca has been invited to speak on several occasions about the intersection between Education and the arts including: -Arts Victoria, Artists In School Induction - Working in a schools context, 2011 -Junction 2010 Regional Arts Australia Conference – Young People and the Arts Australia panellist – What ideas inform my work? -Arts Victoria, Artists In School Induction - Working in a schools context, 2010 - Festival For Healthy Living Artists Intensive - Reflections of an artist sitting under a wellbeing umbrella, 2010 - Arts Victoria, Artists In Schools Induction - Scaffolding the art making process to engage students, 2010 - Art Education Victoria Annual Conference – Creativity unlocked: Artists in schools projects as a key for learning in and beyond the arts, 2008
Spirit of Place - short film - Winters Flat Primary School Castlemaine, Artists in School, 2010
Lost In Thought - short film
- St. Brigid's Primary School North Fitzroy, 2006
Who's In The Mirror - short film - St. Martin of Tours, Rosanna, 2009