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.

22 Mar 2024 E-News

March e-news

A Forest development photo. A Polyglot artist, a small child and the child's parents, closely examine and engage with a tree. Photographer: Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore

“Play, Theatre, Art; it lifts and broadens and educates”

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People is celebrated annually on 20 March, through the message, “take a child to the theatre today.” It promotes the benefits of theatre and the performing arts for children as a vehicle for creativity, imagination, and learning. The initiative is led by ASSITEJ International, where Sue Giles AM (Polyglot’s former Artistic Director and co-CEO) has been President since 2021.

On Wednesday, Polyglot shared a World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People message by Emily Tomlins, our Associate Director:

“Play, Theatre, Art; it lifts and broadens and educates. It enables children to see others and to see themselves. It makes them feel heard and invites them to speak. It holds their hand and gives them a much needed push. There’s something about Theatre: the act of sharing something live, the act of breathing together, entering an imagined world side by side, hearing and feeling others’ reactions to what you can also see and feel. 

What would it mean if everyone had access to this imaginative and communal world? What if access truly meant that there is a space for the boisterous and energetic, and also for the quiet and thoughtful? What if this space invites us to explore this spectrum for ourselves; imaginatively, physically, sensorily?” Emily Tomlins, Associate Director

L: Bees. Photo: Dan Welk, Des Moines Performing Arts. R: Paper Planet. Photo: Jacinta Keefe, Footscray Community Arts

Engaging with nature

“Playing in the forest with the grown ups made me feel happy.” Child

Amidst the natural beauty of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne last month, children and families joined Polyglot artists for the creative development of a major new show, Forest. Together, we explored and played, creating with curiosity, joy and care.

Directed by Cat Sewell, Forest is a participatory, theatrical experience that will take place in real forests. Research has shown the importance of connection to and being in natural spaces, and how this improves physical and mental health and wellbeing. Play and creativity are also integral elements of healthy childhood development. Forest celebrates these strengths, and leaves families with a new appreciation and understanding of the imaginative possibilities of forests, even small patches in urban environments.

Forest creative development. Photos: Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore

The February workshops formed part of an extended creative development process, and we are excited to see how Forest continues growing.

“[Our family felt] Inspired. Connected. Our senses heightened, more open to our surroundings, more aware and present. More excited to be alive!” Parent.

During the school holidays, Polyglot returns to Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne for a three-day season of Bees. Join us in the Woodland Picnic Area Nature Playground for FREE performances (no bookings required), plus all things nature play with the Royal Botanic Gardens Learning team, before and after the performances.

This development of Forest was supported by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Logo: Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

Pram People: Perth to Hong Kong

Earlier this month, Polyglot travelled to Boorloo/Perth for the Western Australia premiere of Pram People. Presented by Joondalup Festival, it was a delight to transform Tom Simpson Park into a colourful, sun-drenched spectacle of movement and activity. Despite the heat, families (and an entire parents group!) participated with enthusiasm. It is always deeply moving to see how Pram People encourages families to make new connections, and celebrate their shared experiences together.

Tomorrow, Melbourne families who speak Cantonese are invited to join us for a special free, bilingual dress rehearsal of Pram People (Hong Kong Edition), ahead of the international premiere in West Kowloon Cultural District. Taking place in Jones Park, Brunswick East, thanks to our friends at Merri-bek City Council, the creative team are currently rehearsing in the space before they depart for Hong Kong on Monday.

L: Pram People. Photo: Travis Hayto, Joondalup Festival. R: Pram People (Hong Kong Edition). Photo courtesy of Learning and Participation Team, Performing Arts Division, West Kowloon Cultural District.

The premiere season of Pram People (Hong Kong Edition) is supported by supported by the Victorian Government through the Creative Victoria International Engagement program. The development was assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body. This programme is co-presented and co-produced by WestK and Polyglot Theatre.

The original development of Pram People was supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, and the City of Melbourne through the Arts and Creative Investment Partnerships fund and ArtPlay.

Return to USA

Further north, we loved sharing a sold-out season of Paper Planet at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Children and families joined us in the Samueli Theater; a beautiful space that imbued our forest with a vast sense of blue sky and warm sand. On Saturday, Bees was also presented as part of the Segerstrom Beckman Arts & Science Family Festival. This was a hugely popular free event in the Julianne & George Argyros Plaza, with hundreds of families exploring the connections between science and the arts. The bustling excitement was complemented by a quiet, contemplative afternoon Paper Planet session.

This week, Paper Planet is in Arizona, at Tempe Center for the Arts. Marking Polyglot’s first season in Tempe, we’re intrigued to see how our forest transforms as it reflects the surrounding desert. Perhaps an inaugural saguaro cactus will be discovered among the tall cardboard trees…