A show for babies aged 0-12 months I AM BABA created by Anna Newell and presented by The Civic, Tallaght commences a Nationwide Tour September - November 2021, supported by CYPSC.
Anna Newell is thrilled to announce that a 39 date tour of I AM BABA has kicked off and will be performing 117 times in venues and community centres nationwide. This tour has been revived from last year when the tour of I AM BABA was forced to cancel in the third week of a 12 week tour due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I AM BABA is a theatre adventure for babies created by internationally renowned theatre director Anna Newell and composer David Goodall. Their shows for early years have been seen on six continents, off-Broadway and in every single Sure Start in Belfast.
The production is a magical adventure of song, lights and textures for babies aged 0-12 months. It’s a show about identity, agency and personhood. For babies. This national tour is funded by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon with additional funding and support from Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) and arts centres across the country.
Anna Newell is delighted to partner with 11 local CYPSC across Ireland that are supporting up to 25 tour dates, and reaching right in to communities and families that might not traditionally access the Arts.
Twenty five days of performances of I AM BABA are sponsored by CYPSC, delivering 75 productions to an audience of up to 450 babies. These performances will take place in a range of different community venues and are being organised in collaboration with the CYPSC network and with the support of a range of local community and voluntary agencies as well as local libraries.
The purpose of the support provided by CYPSC is to encourage access to the Arts for a very young audience and their parent/guardian and promote positive child development opportunities.
In recent years there has been active discussion in arts policy (Arts Council, 2019 and Creative Ireland, 2019) that exposing very young children to the Arts has a positive effect on their lives. Developmental psychologists such as Zeedyk (2015, cited in The Guardian, 2015) emphasize how theatre experiences amongst young children promote a bonding experience between them and their parents or guardians. These experiences also support various aspects of a baby’s development including their speech and language and communication skills. The creators and supporters of I AM BABA believe that it’s crucial that some of those experiences are beautiful, lyrical, imaginative and creative; from the very beginning of life.
This partnership between CYPSC and Anna Newell Theatre Adventures is supporting the aspirations of organisations concerned with promoting children’s rights to realise every child’s right to cultural activities.
This is what audiences so far have had to say about the unique experience that is I AM BABA:
“This was honestly one of the most amazing experiences. I was nearly in tears; it was magic – five babies under one roof and you could hear a pin drop. I have never seen the likes of it before.”
“She was mesmerised. It had everything she loved; singing, music, mirrors, friendly faces - without being over-stimulating. She was absolutely fascinated. One happy baby.”
Click here for nationwide tour dates.
You can watch an I AM BABA promo video here.
CYPSC collaborated with Anna Newell on the I AM BABA 2020 Spring Tour and carried out an evaluation of the implementation of that collaboration. Our learning from 2020 is informing CYPSC's approach in 2021. Watch this space for the evaluation report coming soon.
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