Who is Monkey Baa Theatre Company?
Monkey Baa is Australia’s premier youth touring theatre company with its home theatre at the Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre – Australia’s first purpose built theatre dedicated to work for young people.
Founded by three actors Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry in 1998. Since then they have toured over 14 regional, national and international touring productions, 2000 performances, 5000 workshops, and over 1,000,000 people.
Its patrons are three renowned children’s authors – Jackie French, Morris Gleitzman and Susanne Gervay.
One of the most successful one-man plays – I Am Jack
I Am Jack has been performing in major Australian cities, rural towns, the Outback and across the USA since 2008 ( Holden Arts USA). Susanne Gervay often tours with Monkey Baa joining Tim McGarry (Jack) for Q & A.
With more than 300 shows performing to packed houses, I Am Jack continues to tour Australia and the USA.
I am Jack
Jack is a smart, funny, 11 year old boy who’s being badly bullied at school. What starts as one off-the-cuff joke grows and grows until Jack is no longer safe on the playground. But with the use of self-expression through photography, Jack begins to make sense of his world, of his relationships with others, and most importantly, with himself. This excellent one man show explores the often overlooked insidious taunting and teasing that bullies inflict on their victims and the roles that family and schools can play in responding to this topic. Jack takes us on a touching and sometimes comical journey as he moves from victim to victor.
I am Jack‘s Winter 2014 USA tour received critical acclaim from presenters, teachers, and students alike. Responding to their schools’ initiatives on bullying, many of the 2014 US tour presenters have asked for the return of this wonderful production.
There have been extraordinary reviews in Australia and the USA:-
George McCormick from Walgett Shire Council, Outback Australia:-
“What a show … The professionalism … and the crew was something rarely seen in these remote parts of the world … The performances in Walgett and Collarenebri saw the audiences approximately 90% of indigenous young people delight in the concept of “in your face” entertainment, in the promotion of awareness to social issues.”
There have been extraordinary adventures:-
– the Monkey Baa truck crossing wild territory to reach deep in the Outback
– Susanne flying to meet Monkey Baa in a tiny four seater Cessna plane landing in the Wild West opal town of Lightning Ridge in New South Wales;
– Monkey Baa and Susanne landing in Las Vegas addressing many thousands of young people at Smith Center of Performing Arts in Las Vegas USA – the land of theatre, casinos and base-ball.
The special I Am Jack evening – a unique collaboration with I Am Jack, Monkey Baa’s performance, Centre for Emotional Health & Room to Read – launching a NO to School Bullying event through the I Am Jack books.
Saturday the 26th of August 2014 was a special night with Monkey Baa performing I Am Jack in their home theatre in Darling Harbour Sydney. Professor Ron Rapee Director of the Centre for Emotional Health Macquarie University presented on its anti school bullying programmes. Political cartoonist and illustrator of the I Am Jack books, Cathy Wilcox; joined author Susanne Gervay and the real Jack who was MC speaking at the wonderful performance of the play.
Brimming with buoyant patrons, including children’s authors, the publishing industry, Room to Read and I Am Jack fans, the Monkey Baa theatre was packed to overflowing. The beneficiary of this performance was Destination Literacy for Room to Read, an innovative global non-profit delivering literacy programs to millions of kids.
Room to Read proudly endorses I Am Jack and its adaptation into a play by Monkey Baa Theatre.