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.


Polyglot Theatre is honoured to have a warm, long-standing connection with Japan.

In 2011, the east coast was devastated by a massive tsunami and Minami Sanriku was one of the areas most deeply affected. As part of the Australian Government disaster recovery initiative, Polyglot was invited to visit the town, offering our creative play, art and theatre as healing tools for residents and children.

A Paper Planet workshop photo. Children and Polyglot artists wearing various paper costumes crowd around a large cardboard structure. They are in a classroom filled with tall brown cardboard trees.

From this first project, Polyglot returned regularly throughout the community’s long journey of recovery. In 2013, we took a special installation of We Built This City (We Built This Town) to Minami Sanriku, along with a building project where children designed and built their own little dream houses. In a place where so many houses were lost, this was a powerfully hopeful project.

In 2015, we collaborated with NPO Acchi Cocchi from Yokohama, a Japanese organisation that delivers music and arts projects, focusing on disaster-affected communities in the Tohoku region. Together we made Tusgi Wa? (What Next?) in the form of a giant Kamishibai (a form of Japanese street theatre and storytelling) presenting a popular local story through drawings and puppetry. The work created links between Minami Sanriku elders and children, and demonstrated how recovery after a major disaster is more complex than simply rebuilding roads and infrastructure.

In 2018, again in collaboration with Acchi Cocchi, we presented performances of Paper Planet in all five Minami Sanriku elementary schools (Shizugawa, Tokura, Iriya, Isatomae and Natari) for students in Years 1 and 2.

In 2023, Polyglot was thrilled to return to Japan and reunite with Acchi Cocchi. Together, we delivered performances across the Yokohama region, in specialist schools, elementary schools, and a children’s hospice. This project had been postponed from 2020 due to COVID-19, and the subsequent travel and touring restrictions.

Our 2018 and 2023 tours were 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.


“International collaboration for Polyglot is very important. We really value meeting new people, and working in different cultural contexts. It’s very rewarding as an artist, and really helps us to grow as our company. Every time we do a new collaboration, every time we work with a new community of families or children, we learn more.” Rainbow Sweeny, Producer.

In 2024, the Australian Embassy in Japan shared an article about the long-standing creative collaboration between Polyglot Theatre and Acchi Cocchi. What can we learn from each other’s art and culture, and how can we give back to society? Rainbow Sweeny, Polyglot Producer, and Mikako Atsuchi, Acchi Cocchi President, were interviewed. Read this here:

Visit the Australian Embassy website
  • We’ve done two days of shows here, at specialist schools, with students mostly in wheelchairs. It has been amazing to see how Paper Planet overcomes barriers… We all wear masks so our communication is done with eye contact, gesture, and (silly) vocalising. It’s been a JOY! Chased by laughing kids (I was a sea monster, fair play to them), decorating them to become sea creatures… It’s uplifting, heartwarming and a blessing that we can bring this gift to another country and to kids who may not otherwise experience it. Polyglot makes magic.

    Mischa Long, Polyglot artist, 2023

  • We have had such a full and emotional time with new friends and huge stories, with townspeople who are brave and optimistic and prepared to give the most they have for the happiness and future of their children. This project was right, in that we brought an experience to the kids that was as resonant for the adults, in terms of the town’s spirit as well as seeing the children having fun outside the rules and structures of their school. Play was still a thing that seemed important there since the construction site of the town has only just opened up the potential for gardens and family areas.

    Sue Giles

  • The children were having so much fun. I never knew there is such a way that children can enjoy themselves. It was great to see them smiling.

    Jin Sato, Mayor of Minami Sanriku