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MFA students champion accessibility with PAPER JAM production

Sign language man interpreter

Brand new Wellington company, Imaginaries Theatre, bring joy to the stage with a focus on sustainability and accessibility. Their wacky and imaginative workplace devised show, PAPER JAM premieres at BATS Theatre this January.

Putting accessibility at the forefront, their season of PAPER JAM will include a New Zealand Sign Language interpreted performance (Platform Interpreting NZ), integrated audio description, wheelchair access, a relaxed performance and a pre-show touch tour daily.

“We believe theatre is for everyone and want to do as much as we can to make it really accessible” says director, Bel Campbell. The company have worked closely with Arts Access Aotearoa to remove and reduce as many barriers as possible that otherwise prevent people from participating in the arts.

Jamming together animation, immersive scenography, physical theatre and music, this surreal adventure merges fantasy with reality in a joyous exploration of imagination.

“Plus, we’re only creating one small jar’s worth of waste” offers production manager Fay Van Der Meulen, explaining how sustainability has been at the core of their process. The production has teamed up with the Wellington City Council Tip Shop to explore new ways of bringing sustainability to the arts in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

What was your worst day at work? PAPER JAM brings you the most horrible-work-day of all horrible-work-days.

Sal thinks she has everything under control. She’s totally broke and caught in a whirlwind of work but things are bound to get better soon, right? Not today! Not only have we run out of company saliva, but Graham’s on about Cockburn again! In the monotonous mundanity of the mailroom she’s trying to please and get promoted. Till one day, an old friend returns… Biscuit.

Has Sal finally had too many cups of coffee? Why has the floor turned to lava?

In another reality, there’s a PAPER JAM.

Jam-packed with laughter, chaos and lots of wacky imagination, you won’t want to miss this!

This fun and silly production is led by Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka postgrad students Anna Barker, Belinda Campbell and Rebekah de Roo, as part of the Six Degrees Festival. Now in it’s fourth year, the festival is hot house of talent where students present the fruits of their labour over the past 11 months of study.

Cramming itself onto the Random Stage at BATS Theatre, PAPER JAM opens on Tuesday 25 January 2022 at 6.00pm. Tickets can be booked online at bats.co.nz

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