Last month, the Odd One Out development was completed at the fantastic Avalon Studios. Over three weeks, the Odd One Out team worked through, changed, tried, and changed again the script. In the second week, the design team experimented with lighting, sound and set prototypes and then everyone connected again in week three to put the whole lot together and continued to build the show.

Capital E has been working with artists, performers, technicians, writers and directors for 21 years, touring theatre shows across the country to big cities and small towns, performing to thousands of children. We are solely funded to make shows just for children and young people, so it’s important that children are involved in shaping the experience. Every year, a different team of directors, actors and technical crew go through this development process to create National Theatre for Children shows where the script and story are refined and rehearsed, before presenting to a test audience of children. This process can continue over many years for just one show until we have it just right! On one Thursday in November, Studio 9 at Avalon Studios was treated to a visit from local pre-schoolers who got an early look at Odd One Out. They laughed and shouted as the story unfolded in front of them, it was a real treat to watch them respond to the characters and action.

After the show, the tamariki stormed the stage and got to meet the actors, designers and directors and interact with the props and costumes. This process was fun, but also provided crucial feedback to the creative team, as they observed the children playing with the characters and exploring the set. The creative team also talked to the educators and guardians that accompanied the children for their feedback.

Even though the development period is over, the work is not done! The writers will take the feedback from the preview showing and all of the work from the three weeks, and evolve the show into an awesome production to tour New Zealand in 2018. Meanwhile, the Capital E team will be working behind the scenes with the designers getting everything ready for the tour to hit the road – the stage design, costumes, props, lighting and sound design. Odd One Out will be touring North and South, East and West, so watch our website for dates!

Ngā mihi maioha Avalon Studios for their support of Capital E and to the tamariki from Discovery Preschool for coming along to watch Odd One Out.

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