Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wan Smolbag 25th Anniversary International Theatre Festival

25 years ago, back in 1989, a group of 4 young actors called themselves, Wan Smolbag Theatre. They wanted to show they could take plays anywhere and everywhere, and they only needed a small bag! Two of those actors, Charleon Falau and Peter Walker are still part of Wan Smolbag and will be joining in the 25th anniversary festivities. Since those early days, Smolbag has been to most islands of Vanuatu and to many other Pacific countries, from Papua New Guinea to Palau. Theatre is still a major part of what Smolbag does, but that isn't all these days. In partnership with Australian Aid and New Zealand Aid Programme, Wan Smolbag works with youth through the Yut Senta in Vila, Haulua Senta in Pentecost and Northern Care Youth Centre (NCYC) in Luganville, and with the help of the Ministry of Health, runs reproductive health clinics in Via and Luganville. Australian Aid recently built a new Kam Pussum Hed Reproductive Health Clinic in Vila, which is dispensing family planning and STI treatment to more clients than ever. 
Smolbag is now a big bag, with many parts to the organisation: The Vanua-Tai turtle monitors, who have been working to save turtles since 1994, whose work has been replicated round the Pacific, and Heltfos Theatre who work in primary schools and river side communities, trying to decrease the amount of litter - an endless task! There is also a network of governance committees on the islands, and the ongoing creation of new materials for schools and communities through Wan Smolbag publications. Not to forget the amazing Vanua Fire, many Hip Hop groups and many well known bands as well as a circus troupe all coming out of the youth centre. Rainbow Disability Theatre are also part of the big bag that started as Wan Smolbag. 

So let's celebrate 25 years of growth and change. Come to Wan Smolbag and see groups from Australia, South Africa as well as local artists, dancing and acting and sometimes juggling! Amazing groups such as African Tree, Patyia and Polytoxic will be performing side by side with Wan Smolbag, Heltfos and Rainbow Theatre as well as Yut Senta Hip Hop groups.

A full week of shows starts on June 29th with Wan Smolbag's new musical, Laef i Swit and continues for a full week until the 6th July with a final show on the 11th July. Some groups continue on to Luganville where they will be performing from 7th July to 11th July. 

Don't miss this rare opportunity!
 Tickets are only 50vt and can be bought from the post office and Wan Smolbag main office in Port Vila and Wan Smolbag Northern Care Yut Senta in Santo. If you need any information please feel free to call us on 27119 or talk to our ticket sellers at the post office or Northern Care Yut Senta. Make sure you read through the schedule and leaflet as there is lots going on at different venues!