Acting Up @ Swifts Creek

Earlier this year we were blessed to be back at Swifts Creek P12 School, this time with a performing arts intensive for the Year 6s and 7s.

In collaboration with the contageously joyous Chris James from The Dreaming Space and talented actor and teacher David Clisby, the students were immersed in a swell of creative classes. Chris and David spent more time on the physical aspects included acting, clowning, improvisation and singing, offering loads of technical skill interspersed with time for creative development and presentation. I offered creative movement, puppetry, and the creative production aspects such as script and story writing, facepainting, music in theatre and costume design.

We spent three days on skills development with the students, helping them get comfortable with ‘playing’, building trust and starting to formulate an idea for their end of year production .The last hour was a chance for students to get up on ‘stage’ and present something they had been working on – and everyone loved the puppets!!

They loved them so much in fact we did another bootcamp a few weeks later, to bring back more puppets!; this time with the exceptional talent of puppeteer David Splatt. As well as being one of a small number of traditional puppeteers left in Australia, he is also very well known for playing a saw with incredible precision, with which he did very well on Australia’s Got Talent.

David worked with the students on honing in their puppeteering skills, as well as deepening their improvisation, mime and clowning hats. Meanwhile I was working with them to create story lines, pepping up their facepainting, and bringing in more creative movement.

In the last few hours the classes all came together to begin writing a story together in collaboration, following the trail of the Heroes’ Journey. The biggest challenge was trying to keep the characters out of politics (it was Trump time on the media and half the class wanted to do a piece on that!)… but we managed to steer it steeply back to something more appropriate!

The students are now well on their way with the help of their dedicated teachers and staff to create their own performance for the end of the year.

I’m super keen to hear how it all goes!!


Creative Bootcamp offers workshops and programs in both performing and creative arts.

If you are interested in a Creative Bootcamp, please get in touch with Tjoni Johansen on 0422 508 158 or for a free consultation on how we can generate an inspiring creative program for your organisation or event.

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