A 2022 wrap-up from Chair Fiona Barber
Terrapin started this year, as every year, with a goal: to make Tasmanian lives better through our work. A lofty ambition, perhaps, but one which effectively guides all our activities and helps us make decisions about where to next. With more than 130,000 people experiencing a Terrapin work in 2022, we’ve been reflecting on what that means in terms of impact.
January opened with a Covid-19 wave and our first major mainland engagement since the beginning of the pandemic – Scaredy Cat took up residence at the Sydney Opera House for three weeks. We rounded out the month with literally our biggest project of the year, Monster Trucks, sending 28 concrete mixers adorned with monster faces out on Hobart and Launceston roads for MONA FOMA, and painstakingly made a full, physically distanced, cooked breakfast over 7.5 hours in All Day Breakfast.
In the depths of the Hobart winter, we sent off two major projects to opposite ends of the world. Anthem Anthem Revolution, where participants battle a table tennis robot to unlock a new Australian anthem written by Tasmanian children and pakana rapper DENNI, jetted to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for an intense month of presentation. At the same time, our school touring team hit the Tasmanian back roads to take The Paper Escaper to more than 15,000 children in 85 schools. A particular highlight was the daily disco kicked off by the show’s dancing fire puppets: if there’s one thing the team learned about primary school kids, it’s that they’re all ready for a boogie at a moment’s notice.
In recent months, we’ve really taken seriously the challenge of making Tasmanian lives better through our work designed for aged care, Forever Young. With a new devised performance and specially tailored puppets for one-on-one bedside visits, we piloted Forever Young in Hobart aged care residences in November. ABC’s 7.30 was on hand to capture residents’ reactions, giving viewers an insight into how we developed the project and its impact in reducing isolation.
Alongside all this, Tip Duck visited festivals, shows and events around Tasmania; Scaredy Cat romped through seasons at the Theatre Royal and Earl Arts Centre; and we welcomed kids and performers alike to a range of workshops.
We know that reach doesn’t automatically mean impact. But looking back on 2022, we took performances to some of Tasmania’s most remote schools; connected with sometimes isolated audiences in residential aged care; shared Tasmanian Aboriginal work with international festival-goers; and made sure no show day was without a giant ibis. We’re pretty happy with that.
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