ABC Kids has partnered with popular Aussie children’s entertainer Justine Clarke (Play School) on a new locally produced preschool series entitled Justine Clarke’s Ta Da!.
With funding from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW, the theater-inspired 15 x seven-minute series is being produced in Sydney by Fredbird Entertainment (My Great Big Adventure) in association with Ta Da! Productions.
Justine Clarke’s Ta Da! takes children behind the curtain as Justine and her trusty stage manager friend Dash the Dog prepare for the host’s live theater performances. The imaginative play-based series aims to teach preschoolers about the craft of theater and music production through original songs, set dressing, dancing, singing, costume design, improvisation and acting.
Guest stars will include musician Tim Rogers, actress Denise Scott, dancer and TV personality Paul Mercurio, hip hop artist Hau Latukefu and actor David Collins.
Justine Clarke’s Ta Da! will air on ABC Kids and the broadcaster’s video-on-demand and catch-up TV service iview later this year. The series may also mark a new trend in preschool curriculum. It’s the second to pursue a performing arts focus, following Julie’s Greenroom from The Jim Henson Company. The Netflix original debuted earlier this year and sees international superstar Julie Andrews teaching a group of students (who happen to be puppets) about the theater and the performing arts.
The announcement of Justine Clarke’s Ta Da! comes on the heels of a major reorg at ABC TV that features a more streamlined divisional framework, a new director of television, 80 new regional jobs and a US$38-million (AUS$50-million) internal contestable content fund.