The idea behind the Monkey Baa Theatre Company adapting the popular children’s book The Peasant Prince to the stage started with Home Hill State School students back in 2013.
The Peasant Prince production is currently touring the nation and is making a stop in the Burdekin next Monday (August 1) at the Burdekin Memorial Hall.
Creative Director and Producer Tim McGarry said the idea for The Peasant Prince was presented to the company by students at Home Hill.
“The company was involved in an Arts Education initiative for three years and regularly visited three schools – Giru State School, Home Hill State School and Burdekin Christian College.
“I was working closely with the Home Hill Grade 3/4 class through 2013 and at one of the last classes they split into two groups and selected a scene from a picture book to act out.
“One half of the class came back with The Peasant Prince and acted out the scene where the Chinese officials come to Li’s village and he dances for them. He was selected and then gets sent to the ballet academy.
“I was sitting there watching and thinking this would make a great stage production.”
The Peasant Prince is a children’s picture book based on Author Li Cunxin’s iconic autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer. Li Cunxin presented Home Hill State School with a signed copy of The Peasant Prince in acknowledgment of their initiative and enthusiasm for his story.
Li, a 10-year old peasant boy, is plucked from his village in rural China and sent to a ballet academy in the big city. He leaves everything and everyone he loves, including his family. After years of gruelling training, this boy transforms from an impoverished peasant to a giant of the international dance scene.
The Peasant Prince is being held at the Burdekin Memorial Hall on Monday, 1 August, from 10am. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased from www.burdekintheatre.com.au or by phoning 4783 9800.