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  • Anna Newell

I AM BABA - the first tiny steps.....


so, earlier this year I was awarded one of the International Early Childhood Arts Commissions from the four Dublin Local Authorities funded through Arts Council Ireland's Invitation to Collaboration Scheme.

My proposal was to make a new show called I AM BABA, for babies aged 0-12 months (the title inspired by one of Emily Bagnall's first sentences - Emily being the daughter of designer Jen Shepherd who created the TiNYtent for TiNY which I created - with music by David Goodall - whilst AD at Replay).

A few weeks ago, we had our first development/creative consultation week working at the lovely Civic Theatre in Tallaght who are co-producing the show with me. Fab new bits of music by my collaborator of 27 years, David Goodall, exciting conversations about a new portable performance space with Jen and a whole new cast of performers to introduce to the wonderful world of baby theatre - Fiona Browne, Muireann D'Arcy and Christiane O'Mahony.....

Informed as always by early years neuroscience, I wanted the show to be about identity, agency and personhood.

Or, as Dr Seuss says in Horton Hears a Who - "a person's a person no matter how small"....

We played with dancing chiffon scarves, billowing gossamer clouds, mirrors, fancy fingers, curious hands and endless games of peek-a-boo - and met more than 40 gorgeous babies aged between 3 weeks and 12 months. And one of their parents even gave us a big design idea that's now in the show!

Here's a tiny peek at our first steps towards I AM BABA - which will go to full production and touring this Autumn.....


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