A magical quest through an enchanted forest
UNDERSTORY is a new-site specific theatre work for young audiences, an immersive and participatory experience to be presented outdoors across various sites within a botanical gardens setting.
The story invites audiences to be active and viscerally engaged with the set, site and characters and progress the story through imaginative problem solving, games and activities with characters from the Understory world.
Understory is a contemporary myth which inspires custodianship and a deep curiosity and connection to the natural world in young people and their adult companions.
Understory is supported by the NSW Government through CREATE NSW.
The creative development of Understory was supported by NORPA and Arts Northern Rivers Big Idea seed funding.
Premiering in April 2024
Director/Writer: Valley Lipcer
Set Designer: Joey Ruigrok Van der Werven
Props: Martin Pedder
Graphic Design: Anja Roehrdanz
Performers/ Devisors: Melia Naughton, Tom Davies
Sound Design: Phil Downing
Education Consultation: Tiff Bollhorn
Process Drama Consultation: Lisa Apostilides and Byron Youth Theatre
Story Consultation: Jenni Cargill- Strong, Caleb Lewis
Script Development: Duncan Maurice
Participating Schools: The Living School, Lindesfarne Grammar
Community Partners: Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, Lismore City Council
There is potential to have an Auslan interpretor.
Check with the gardens on wheelchair access
3 x performers
2 x production
2 day bump in and sound tech.
This is a flexible and site-specific work that can be easily adapted to any public garden.
30 audience at any one time.
Watch the creative development trailer
It was a joy to see the students so engaged in the production and the learning, rushing from clue to clue, listening to the recordings as though nature was talking to them. The students were thoroughly enraptured by the outdoor experience (so different to them sitting still, not talking, listening in a theatre). They were very much part of it. The excitement and the buzz on the bus after was tangible and they all agreed it was on the best productions they had ever been to. They eagerly discussed their favourite parts. One child on the bus home even declared – “it was the best day of my life”. I would thoroughly recommend the show to any primary class.
Year 3 Teacher, Living School