Acknowledgment of country

Polyglot acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and create, and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. For more than 65,000 years, children and families have created and played here, and we are grateful to make our art on this country too.

24 Aug 2023 Announcements

Our adventures in 2023 (so far!)

A Paper Planet production photo. A forest of tall brown cardboard trees adorned with colourful tissue paper creatures and plants grows in a large space filled with natural light. Children and their families create and play with paper and tape amongst the trees. Photographer: Sarah Walker

“This has been an incredible journey.”
Child, age 8, Paper Planet

From soaring seasons welcoming thousands of people, to deep, ongoing engagement with local communities, Polyglot’s 2023 adventures (so far!) have certainly been an incredible journey. We recently finalised our 2025-2028 Strategic Plan, weaving together all the learnings from the past few years, and envisioning our future.

New leadership

August marks Cat Sewell’s seventh month as our Artistic Director and co-CEO. She writes, “It feels like it has simultaneously been an eon and a second since I started at Polyglot! I have learnt so much; about process and people and the richness of Polyglot’s work and reach; but I’m also savouring moments in the here and now. It is a special thing, to be invited into a community, and I look forward to knowing and growing more.

A highlight for me is always when I see our art in action – experiencing Polyglot works and the impact it has on children and families, seeing artists connect with each other and deepen their practice, and dreaming into new creative ideas. I am looking forward to seeing how our community projects at The Venny and Coburg Specialist School flourish over the second part of the year and visiting Paper Planet at the iconic Sydney Opera House.”

Earlier this year, we farewelled our Chair, Sarah Hunt, Secretary Dr Mark Williams and Board member Rasika Mohan. We are grateful for their contribution across their terms, and thank them for their service and commitment.

We’ve since welcomed our new Chair Sandra Robertson, who has been a Board member since 2019, and four new Board members: Angela Aroozoo, Romi Kupfer, Vivian Romero and David Ryding. We are delighted to have these extraordinary leaders join us, and we look forward to their expertise and guidance in supporting Polyglot’s ambitions. Sandra writes, “It’s a privilege to be appointed Chair of this incredible organisation whose culture of care and leadership in theatre for young people impacts so many people. I welcome our new Board members and look forward to the fresh thinking and deep commitment they bring to Polyglot.”

Artistic horizons

Polyglot’s return to touring has been a whirlwind. A mainstay of our annual program pre-2020, we have thoroughly enjoyed once again packing our passports and pink suitcases. We’ve reached more than 24,000 children and families in Singapore, Norway, Hungary, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. Nationally, we’ve been to Cairns, Hobart, Sydney, Melbourne, Shepparton (VIC) and Kempsey (NSW).

In March, our new in-theatre work Come Back Home premiered at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore. An Esplanade Commission, we co-produced it in collaboration with artists in both countries. Come Back Home is an immersive, theatrical tale that winds through the past and the present to seek out a child who went missing a long time ago.

We’ve delivered numerous seasons of our much-loved repertoire works, including an exquisite homecoming of Paper Planet at Fed Square, where it premiered in 2011. National and international demand for this truly accessible experience is only increasing, and with touring confirmed for 2024, it brings the whole team great joy that this work flexes and grows with us.

At 45 years old, Polyglot’s commitment to sustainability is paramount. In planning how we continue growing our reach, and sharing our work, its impact and its benefits with children everywhere, we’ve established two flourishing local delivery partnerships. We work with Cleveland-based company Inlet Dance Theatre to deliver seasons of Ants and Bees in the US and CanadaIn Norway, we’re working with DKS Innlandet (The Cultural Rucksack) and local company Rom for Dans, to tour Ants, or Maur, into primary schools.

Throughout 2023, these partnerships have allowed Polyglot to deliver simultaneous tours in Australia and overseas, doubling the presenters and audiences we can connect with. Our Generator artists trained both Inlet and Rom for Dans, and with the ongoing artistic exchange, Polyglot’s practice expands and evolves.  

It was an honour to return to Japan this year. This was postponed from 2020, so it was particularly moving to reunite with our creative collaborators Acchi Cocchi. Together, we shared a music-filled underwater kelp forest version of Paper Planet with a kindergarten, specialist and primary schools, and a children’s hospice.

Totems is one of our newest works, currently in development with a school in Kempsey, NSW. A First Nations-led interactive experience focusing on animals and stories from different places and communities, it asks children: What do you want the kids of Australia to know about this place? Totems is devised by Blayne Welsh, a Wailwan man, and Tamara Rewse, and the 2023 development will culminate in a performance for the school community, led by the students.

A heartfelt thank you

Our impact and reach is made possible by a wonderful, warm community of supporters, many of whom have been integral to Polyglot’s story for years: presenting partners, government funding bodies, philanthropic bodies, sponsors and donors. Forging and maintaining these strong, reciprocal relationships is a daily highlight for our team, and we are so appreciative of our champions. We offer a heartfelt thank you for your friendship and advocacy.

An Ants production photo. A Polyglot artist in an intricate black Ant costume crouches on a paved surface, offering a giant crumb to a small child. They are surrounded by a formation of crumbs on the ground, and children and families are visible in the background. Photographer: Lucy Parakhina, courtesy of Bondi Festival.
A Bees production photo. A Polyglot artist in an intricate black and yellow Bee costume crouches down, engaging with a small child. They are in a busy indoor space, filled with children and families. Photographer: Richard Termine, courtesy of the Lincoln Center.

L: Ants. Photo: Lucy Parakhina, courtesy of Bondi Festival. R: Bees. Photo: Richard Termine, courtesy of the Lincoln Center. Top: Paper Planet. Photographer: Sarah Walker


Come Back Home by Polyglot Theatre is an Esplanade Commission, co-produced by Polyglot Theatre (Australia) and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore) as part of March On, in collaboration with artists in both countries. Polyglot Theatre was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore; March On Festival; Creative Australia

Polyglot’s tour to Japan was supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Logos: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia-Japan Foundation; Creative Victoria.

Totems is assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body, and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation.