The Tree That Sang

Radiophonic theatre play for children whose homes were struck by earthquake

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This radiophonic theatre play is a cycle of workshops and performances for humanitarian purposes for children from the region struck by an earthquake in December 2020. The project is jointly supported by B-AIR and the Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia. RadioTeatar went to a small town of Topusko and presented a total of seven performances of a children's radio show The Tree That Sang. After the play the children, together with the author and performers, research and create their own radio content: they are both artists and audience.

As the authors' team is composed of creative professionals from various artistic fields who are involved in the process of creating and performing the play and the workshops, to encompass their experiences and creative processes, the focus group was organized in December 2021 as a guided reflection on the journey of the play from its very beginning. The aim was to put artists from various disciplines in the position of reflective practitioners focused on the artistic development of the theatre play in a continuum, as well as the audience development and community engagement of the Radioteatar Bajsić, with the emphasis of the development of the 'culture of listening' through the performances with various audiences.

The outcomes are showing that development of the culture of listening and theatre play is an ongoing process which includes:

a) constant reflective practice of interdisciplinary team of artists;

b) dialogue/interaction with children during the performance;

c) the potential of participatory follow-up activities (workshops) for children's motivation to listen, "musicking" and the development of the performance itself, as well as for the professional identity of the artists;

d) vulnerability of performing spaces and audiences (difference between performing in theatres, city schools and schools in the areas affected by earthquakes).

Besides the theatre play itself, the outputs of this segment are well developed follow-up workshops designed to empower children from areas affected by earthquakes in Croatia to get the access to arts in general, and to participate in all forms of "musicking".