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Whilst living and working for LATT Children’s theatre in Seoul, South Korea in 2013, Hannah saw her first baby theatre performance. Creating high quality, respectful and intelligent theatre for children has been an idea ever since and she loves working alongside Mel and Amy to create special Cubbin work.

Hannah is a graduate of NASDA and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, New York. She enjoys chocolate milkshakes and mountain biking around beautiful Aotearoa.

Organisation/Company

Name: Cubbin Theatre Company

My Role: Producer

Cubbin has been created from a desire to develop genuine theatre works for children under the age of 5. The importance of respect and play is prevalent in our company’s model, not only as a professional business, but as creators of engaging art.

Our vision – a world where high quality art is as integral to early childhood as the playground, and as accessible.

Our purpose – to delight and intrigue very young audiences through exceptional, creative theatre experiences.

We want our performances to be the addition to your day that brings you back to the marvel that is your little one. We want our shows to resonate with both the adult and the child. We want to give you a few moments of wonder that will last a lifetime.

Rohe

Born in Weston Super Mare (made famous by Banksy) in the UK and came to Christchurch when I was 10 years old with my family. Christchurch is home now, landed here again after living in Inverness, London, Seoul and Wellington.

How I got where I am today

I studied music theatre at NASDA, singing took me to a few different places - I had a job in Seoul at a Children's theatre and whilst there saw a lot of different work for young people including my first theatre experience for babies. I was blown away at how respectful they were of their audience and also how seriously the Korean practitioners took their work for children. Very different from the pantomime approach I had experienced in the early 2000s in New Zealand. I landed back in Christchurch after working in London (working in project management for a construction company) - caught up with Mel Luckman, did a funding application and here I am mashing my admin/spreadsheeting/organising skills and making/creating together for Cubbin.

Whānau

My immediate whaanau standing with me is my partner Kelly who is an architect and brand new baby daughter Winifred who is 4 months old.

Something cool

Janet Lansbury's respectful parenting philosophy has been a huge inspiration for our work at Cubbin.

https://www.janetlansbury.com/2014/12/7-happiness-tools-we-can-give-our-children/

Up and Away

Artform: Theatre for Babies

Development Status: Tour Ready

Media Uploads

Trailer

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Full Length

If the full length video requires a password, you can contact the artist here.
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Synopsis

Up and Away is a playful and gentle theatrical performance created exclusively for babies and their grown ups.

Fragments of everyday life are elevated from the ordinary to the exquisite, through the exploration of live music and play.

A cosy and safe atmosphere is created by way of a small number of attendees and a requirement that only pre-walking babies may attend. Up and Away takes place in a carefully crafted open-sided tent.

Through this created sense of calm, babies are given an optimal environment from which to engage and explore along with their caregiver. We encourage the audience to come as they are. Every baby will respond differently to the performance, and we embrace and welcome that.

In 2019, Up and Away was programmed as part of the Waitaki and Nelson Arts Festivals during October. It also played at the Wintergarden at The Civic as part of Auckland Live’s 2019 Children’s Programme. The demand was such that additional performances were added and all of the shows were sold out before the season opened. The reaction was resoundingly positive. In November 2020 the show is returning to Auckland Live.

For the first time, a New Zealand theatre company is focussing entirely on making work for under-fives. Up and Away is groundbreaking in its focus on the very youngest theatre-goers. The production is informed by current neuroscientific research and has been developed in consultation with a speech and language therapist.

Creative Team and Crew

Created by Melanie Luckman, Amy Straker and Hannah Wheeler
Director: Melanie Luckman
Performed by: Amy Straker and Hannah Wheeler
SM/Operator: Juliet Robertson

Number of People in the Touring Party

3

Previous Seasons

12 - 17 November 2019 THE CIVIC, AUCKLAND LIVE

24 - 25 October 2019 LITTLE ANDROMEDA, CHRISTCHURCH
20 - 20 October 2019 NELSON ARTS FESTIVAL
12 - 12 October 2019 WAITAKI ARTS FESTIVAL, OAMARU
06 - 07 December 2018 PHILLIPSTOWN COMMUNITY HUB, CHRISTCHURCH
02 - 05 December 2018 NEW BRIGHTON OLD SCHOOL, CHRISTCHURCH
29 - 29 November 2018 ASHBURTON TRUST EVENTS CENTRE
28 - 28 November 2018 ROLLESTON COMMUNITY CENTRE
26 - 27 November 2018 LINCOLN EVENTS CENTRE
03 - 08 July 2018 ISAAC THEATRE ROYAL, CHRISTCHURCH

Reviews and Quotes

“…much of the show’s joy is in watching the infants engage not only with the performers and their caregivers but with one another”
Theatreview, New Zealand

“…a gentle, heart-warming show… The reactions… ranged from awestruck silence to excited shouting”
What’s Up Christchurch, New Zealand

Technical Rider & International Touring Info (if applicable)

  • View/download document #1 here
  • View/download document #2 here

Me and My Nana

Artform: Theatre for under fives

Development Status: Tour Ready

Media Uploads

Trailer

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Full Length

If the full length video requires a password, you can contact the artist here.
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Synopsis

We’re visiting Nana today!

What surprises has she got up her sleeve? Perhaps a magical stick, some dancing shoes, a special ribbon and a duck that goes… moo?

Joyful surprises are discovered alongside tender moments between a grandmother and her grandchild as they navigate a day together in this theatrical experience for preschoolers and their grownups.

Created from workshops with real grandparents in the Christchurch community, Me and My Nana is brought to life by Cubbin Theatre Company. This lively story, told with clever props, simple language and nostalgic tunes, celebrates the unique love children share with their grandparents.

Everyone is welcome to Me and My Nana. It has been created mainly for children aged 1-5 and their grown-ups.

Creative Team and Crew

Created by Cubbin Theatre Company
Directed by Melanie Luckman
4 performers but PLEASE NOTE - we are currently developing a version with 3 performers.
SM/Operator

Number of People in the Touring Party

4 or 5 depending on number of performers

Previous Seasons

02 - 05 November 2019 LITTLE ANDROMEDA, CHRISTCHURCH

Reviews and Quotes

“…gentle, whimsical and wholesome – everything one would want for a show designed for under 5s…” Theatreview, New Zealand

“The songs, strums and snare of the two musicians…act mostly as a soundtrack. At times the soaring voices are so sweet we have to look beyond the actors to these songbirds. Oh to sing like that, to offer such gifts…” Theatreview, New Zealand

“…love, play and the joy of discovery are palpable..” Backstage Christchurch, New Zealand

Technical Rider & International Touring Info (if applicable)

  • View/download document #1 here
  • View/download document #2 here

Play Play

Artform: Theatre for under fives

Development Status: Tour Ready

Media Uploads

Trailer

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Full Length

If the full length video requires a password, you can contact the artist here.
video-play-normal-1

Synopsis

Look what my body can do!

PLAY PLAY is an uplifting theatre show for preschoolers and their grownups focusing on body positivity and play.

Two performers explore every day activities through movement and music, making the familiar feel like a great adventure!

Current research shows how vital play is for young children. PLAY PLAY presents a positive, nurturing approach to physical play, looking at the amazing things our bodies can do. PLAY PLAY provides a platform for little ones and their grown ups to connect with their bodies in a creative way and focuses not on size and shape but on imagination and possibilities.

Come and play!

Creative Team and Crew

Created by Cubbin Theatre Company
Music composed by Hamish Oliver
Directed by Melanie Luckman
Two performers and a SM/Operator

Number of People in the Touring Party

3

Previous Seasons

18 - 22 November 2020 SAFARI ROOM, THE CIVIC, AUCKLAND LIVE
07 - 08 November 2020 ISAAC THEATRE ROYAL, CHRISTCHURCH
05 - 05 December 2019 NASDA STUDIO, CHRISTCHURCH
10 - 15 November 2018 ISAAC THEATRE ROYAL, CHRISTCHURCH

Reviews and Quotes

“Play Play is a real delight. It charms the adults, engages the children, and works to build the audiences of the future.” Theatreview, New Zealand

“Play Play is whimsical and imaginative with moments of delight and surprise that have the audience screeching.” Backstage, New Zealand

“This sweet, succinct wee show makes us laugh out loud, dance in our seats and want to join in the Play. It’s the perfect blend of ridiculous and miraculous.” Theatreview

“Play Play is the second show from Cubbin Theatre Company, a group that creates theatrical experiences for the very young. Their first show, Up and Away, was a delightful performance for infants. This production, directed again by Mel Luckman, is aimed at three to four year olds (and their adults), and it offers an energetic and playful experience that emphasises movement and creativity.” Theatreview, New Zealand

Technical Rider & International Touring Info (if applicable)

  • View/download document #1 here
  • View/download document #2 here

The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ) Arts Market is New Zealand's premiere event for artists, producers, presenters and industry leaders from across the performing arts sector. 

Auckland
Feb 22 2021 To Mar 05 2021