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Gold In The Heart is music and storytelling theatre, telling the broad story of the 1850’s Victorian gold rush and highlighting the diggers conflict with the Government. In Gold In The Heart Jan tells the story of the 1850’s gold rush through the adventures of an Irish gold digger, Denis O’Reilly. With digger’s songs, music and poetry, documents, maps, flags, newspaper reports and gold-seekers tales – European, Chinese and Indigenous – Gold In The Heart paints a vivid picture of goldfields life and tracks the events that led to Eureka.
And as is typical of Jan’s scripts, Gold In The Heart contains important but little known information about our history: * How the diggers stand against the government license and police brutality began three years before Eureka, in 1851, with the Monster Meeting of 15,000 diggers near Castlemaine… * then continued through Bendigo’s 1853 Red Ribbon Agitation… * and erupted into bloodshed at Eureka/Ballarat in 1854. It’s a story of how ordinary people dreamt of a better life and of democracy, and how some made it rich whilst others died, the diggers all the while singing of a ‘good time a coming’.
Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky lives in Castlemaine, where the gold rush history is etched into the landscape, and so, as always, he brings his personal experiences to this show. In 2008 Jan was commissioned to produce produced five audio tours that tell the story of the Victorian gold rush.
“A wonderful combination of characters, music, information and amusing drama, with students joining the performance, taking on various character roles and actively discovering the amazing journeys of many immigrants who arrived on our shores during the gold rush. Audience members participated by taking on roles as protesting diggers and voicing their displeasure at the government’s Gold License. It was something students and staff all enjoyed.” Cathy Samson, Castlemaine North PS
Storyteller, writer and musician Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky understands the meaning of this year’s Book Week theme – Australia: Story Country. To Jan this is a land of stories, and for 45 years he’s has been travelling and writing best-selling books, recording CDs, performing acclaimed shows, producing audio tours and writing radio and award-winning television documentaries – all […]
Lest We Forget – Hic Unutmaya Cagiz is music/storytelling theatre, with a unique re-telling of the Gallipoli story, using both Turkish and Australian material, and contextualized within WW1. Using both Turkish and Australian song, poetry, oral history, maps and political statements, Jan tells two sides of the Gallipoli story, linking them with his personal experiences from […]
Buckley: The Go-Between is storytelling theatre. It tells the story of escaped convict William Buckley, his 32 years with the Wathaurong, and as the go-between in the establishment of Melbourne. Buckley: The Go-Between deals with Indigenous Australia and European colonisation of the Port Phillip area, from 1803 – 1837, including the founding of Melbourne. It does so […]
A free-wheeling hour of entertainment for all ages that bounces along from musical fun and dancing to hushed storytelling, stick puppets and daggy theatrical sketches, with Jan on 5-string banjo, mouth organ, spoons, bones and ukulele. Meet the World’s Best Violin (or Vile Din) Player, stick-puppet Jack the Dancer and his friend the dancing cow, […]
Jan has a suitcase of items collected on his Australian travels, and with each item there is a song or story, such as: * a photo of Jan’s refugee family for a song of migration * a conch shell leads to the story of the origin of fire * a piece of quartz rock inspires […]
The Storyteller’s Guide to Australia is a multi-themed presentation of music, song and story, covering many areas of Australian history and heritage. All presentations have strong song, music and story elements, and students participation, playing simple instruments, singing and taking part in sketches. Teachers may like to contact Jan and discuss a particular approach to […]
In Wominjika: The Thank You Workshop Jan teaches students to sing a song called Thank You for the Welcome, to be used as a meaningful and dignified musical response to Indigenous Welcome to Country, school concerts and other occasions. As students learn the song Jan tells them the black-white history stories embedded in the song. Format It takes a […]
In the Singing Australia Workshop Jan teaches students to sing and perform Australian songs relating to our history and culture. Format The workshop may run over one or two days, with up to 4-6 class groups over a day. Each class learns 1-2 songs, depending on time available and age level. There is a show-and-tell performance at the […]
Writing & Music Residency – Lee Fox & Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky. This workshop/residency is all about literacy. Jan and Lee involve students in various activities that link the Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening domains of the English curriculum, and combine this with the music, poetry and performance areas of the Arts curriculum. So it’s an all […]
Jan’s Story Workshop is all about storytelling: how stories work and to inspire students and teachers to use stories in their work. Jan’s Story Workshop is available in two parts, each 60 minutes, but can be varied according to the needs of the school. In Part One Jan tell stories and talks about storytelling, and in Part […]