Homunculus has been delighting, educating and inspiring student audiences across Australia and New Zealand for over 15 years. The company offers a wide range of Australian curriculum-linked primary and secondary in-schools workshops, performances, artist-in-residence programs, show-doctoring and professional development for teachers. Homunculus also offers roving and street theatre performances and performance outcome projects for school fetes/events and regional community projects.
Our mission is to nurture a love of, and life-long engagement with, live performance. We seek to achieve this through sharing the power, beauty, craft and humour of these theatrical forms with young people worldwide. We strongly believe access to live performing arts contributes greatly to social-emotional skills development. It builds resilience, compassion, understanding of diversity, empathy, focus, problem-solving and communication skills, a sense of community and well-being.
Homunculus Theatre Company’s workshops provide our students with the opportunity to be expressive, show more of themselves, and gives them the tools to create drama that is generous, responsible and authentic. Students are inherently curious and learn much from industry artists because they represent people who are committed to creating these live 3-D experiences. It would be hard to find a company
with this kind of longevity and is a testament to the company delivering curriculum relevant learning experiences that ready our drama students for the new world of live theatre.
For drama teachers ‘building relationships with the wider community’ and ‘connecting to the world’ is our mantra, and this is one company that we can access and build a relationship with. (Read Padua College’s comments on “20 Lazzis in a Hat” on Homunculus’s Website for motivation.) This is one expert who creates theatrical performances and produces a theoretical discourse that informs his practical work. Drama teachers know that theatre helps us to develop our creativity. The foundation for young Australia analysed 4.2 million job adverts for entry-level jobs and found that there was a 150% increase in creative thinking and a 65% increase in creativity. The link between drama and creative thinking and creativity, as explored in physical theatre, are endless. As our education system increasingly emphasises science, technology, engineering, and math, we cannot forget the importance of art. Let’s put the “STE(A)M” back in “STEM!”
At Flying Fish Point State School, we are committed to teaching our students a growth-mindset embodied within a pedagogy of Mind, Body and Spirit in both academic, personal and community-mindedness.
Regional and Remote Queensland schools often provide a unique contrast to our SEQ peers in terms of remoteness, access to resources and facilities, and access to employment and further education opportunities. Many of our students live within these confines and are often coupled with low-socioeconomic living situations and legacies of family unrest and trauma.
Homunculus Theatre Company, in particular, their delivery and teaching of Commedia del Arte, transcends daily poverties and gives life to a passion for the English language, Literature, the Arts, and creation and innovation.
Through Humour, our Mind falls in love with the idiosyncrasies of the English language, of classical literature, of a realisation that understanding and context of the world we live in can shape our destinies. We are encouraged to learn, to write, to create and to innovate.
Through Physicality, our Body moves in rhythm with our verse. Students are taught control and discipline while developing core strength and physical fitness. As a ‘sit-down’ nation, exercise and discipline have shown to increase brain activity and functionality, which ultimately transforms into engagement in our classrooms.
Through Emotion, our Spirit grows as we battle trauma and past heartache. Laughter triggers our motor-neurons as new links are made in brain development. Positive self-esteem is promoted as we work together through an influx of positive emotions and feel-good moments — communication, teamwork and focus rise amongst this strong spirit to develop students with positivity and hope.
Finding something that delivers this Pedagogy while integrating areas of the National Curriculum in such an engaging way is exciting for our school and all schools across Regional and Remote Queensland.
Homunculus Theatre Co. is this whole package.
Amelia Jenkins, Principal, Flying Fish Point State School, Queensland.
The history of Comedy and the purposefulness to society and community it has fulfilled and has been a focus of laughter, empowerment can be seen to embody the clear purposefulness of the Arts in the education realm.
Clint Bolster and Homunculus continue to embody this, to this day; here, now in our twenty-first century, keeping alive the laughter, empowering school students of all ages within remote communities that are just as much a part of the fabric of the whole embodiment of the greater Australian community in being able to access the Arts, just as the city counterparts are able to do. Serving the traditions away from the digital screens, bringing people together in a ‘live’ setting particularly school children need the traditions of coming together as a student body, an audience and are able to participate and create as part of the Arts – this IS Homunculus.
Involvement in the Arts and the skills and focus involved by artist like Clint creates for our students, in the twenty-first century the society that is dynamically now emerging, all around us. Participation in the Arts requires us to perceive, challenge and be a part through shifts and small emergent moments. Homunculus provides through laughter, transformation to perceive, challenge and focus in on shifts and emergent moments.
Clint creates joy where there is little, celebration and success for the otherwise- less academic and yet there is an emergence of confidence for ALL students. Students that may not otherwise have their won emotional burdens – self-created or through home lives. Some have burdens of social isolation shells. Arts fosters change, edges towards joy and seeing possibility — real practical skills of working together, purposefulness and prowess. Motivation has also been the gift that Homunculus has given us, here at Cooktown State School. From year five girls putting on their routine to share with me and Homunculus, year 11 girls saying they would save up their own money to get Clint back to re-share the joys and fun of the workshops and the performance.
Further, the below was shared testimony, unchanged spelling with a clear message of continuance, reward, skills gained and desire for more of this focus of education from our year 5 and six students
The performance was astonishing… I gained how to teamwork. Getting along with others. They were awesome and funny..please bring them back… I couldn’t stop laughing. I nearly wet myself. It will good to have them back.
I enjoyed how they got everyone involved…they made everyone laugh. It’s important…my wish is to learn more about being on stage.
The noses were just amazing..a lot of fun… It was pretty exciting…Thank you for inviting them… It was an amazing experience for all of us.
I learned just to get into it and have fun..it doesn’t matter what other people see (in you)..laughter is good medicine… They were the funniest I have ever seen.
You are never too old to laugh… I thought the show was outstanding (ing).
You do not have to join the circus to be funny.
So from students’ testimonials, the joy, fun, laughter and students’ recognition they are working with others and getting along is a priority in our twenty-first century age of emerging dissonance with one another, life bogged down without joy and cyclic, mechanised routines. The escape and light spot-lighted the significance and importance of laughter; this change lives through joy and skills the students recognise themselves. Education of change is the fundamental precedence all educators strive for. Here Homunculus brings the joys of theatre, performance and their workshops into the lives of students were I have seen new motivations, joy and a ‘renewal’ in themselves, in their approach to schooling and within their own lives. Let the banner of the arts in all our lives fly high in the sky.
Let Homunculus continue to be supported and provide equity of the arts to all; bringing joy, laughter and skills to our students lives.
Paul Fraser, Head Of Drama, Cooktown State School, Far North Queensland