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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, spoon dancing and kids playing spoons and other percussion instruments, sing-alongs, and tales of city-slickers, tricky strangers and country bumpkins.
Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky began his career as a front man of the famousBushwackers Band – which was three lifetimes ago. Since then he’s kept himself alive (in more ways than one) working in music, theatre, publishing, education, television documentary and radio, plus lots of travelling. Whatever he gathers en route is rolled into the show: great songs from all over Australia, home made toys from Indigenous friends, or sea shells that help Jan tell a yarn.
“Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Family Show is a joyful and intriguing hour of music, storytelling and history. Jan draws the audience in with his warmth and humour, delighting adults and children alike with arcane skills such as spoon-playing and stick puppetry. No-one even notices they’ve been learning something about Australia’s culture while they’re itching to have a go up on stage in Jan’s spontaneous band.” —Jennifer Andersen, La Mama for Kids coordinator, 2007-2010
Anything and everything
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]