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.

2 May 2024 Education News

May Education News

A behind-the-scenes photo of the creative team, Paper Planet in specialist schools. They smile at the camera, and hold up colourful paper creatures and creations. Photo: Nick Barlow.

Polyglot’s in-school programs invite children to experience the joys of creativity and collaboration, while developing their critical thinking skills.

Over the past two years, we have shifted from single workshops to longer residencies. Our week-long model means we can connect across year levels, or ideally with whole school communities, ensuring deep impact and exchange. We recently refreshed our website, and our in-school and professional development programs can now be found under Education.

When the World Turns: disability inclusive theatre in schools

In May, we will begin touring When the World Turns into specialist and supported inclusion schools across Victoria. This is our collaboration with Oily Cart (UK), commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne, and is a free, in-school version of the show that premiered at Alter State 2022. It removes even more barriers to access by reaching students with complex disability in their familiar environments. We offer an enormous thanks to Glenroy Specialist School, who collaborated with us on the development in 2023.

For 2024-2025 enquiries, please contact Arts Centre Melbourne.

Wish Street

This year, Polyglot and Satellite Foundation will pilot Wish Street, a new in-school residency program that celebrates the unique and powerful intersection of theatre-making and family mental health awareness. Focusing on community, mental wellbeing and play, Wish Street sees facilitators engage young people to create a large-scale world inspired from their imaginations, where anything is possible, and everything can be done together.

Wish Street creative development began in 2022, and we’re excited to see how it continues growing as we share it with more schools.

A Wish Street photo. Children create and play with cardboard boxes in a large space, next to a noticeboard covered in drawings and notes on colourful paper. Photo: Sylvie Meltzer & Tamara Rewse
A Wish Street photo. A large cardboard box post office stands in front of a noticeboard covered in drawings and notes on colourful paper. Photo: Sylvie Meltzer & Tamara Rewse

Wish Street. Photos: Sylvie Meltzer and Tamara Rewse

A shared, magical world

“By collating the stories, artworks, and experiences from the children we were working with, the content of the devised performance began to reflect each culture and participant’s worldviews while culminating into something bigger than each on their own. As we concentrated on the theatrical aspects of the discoveries, such as story and the introduction of characters, the work we were doing in these different institutions highlighted the importance of accessing and honouring the unique relationship between our two places, practices and cultures. We started forming a creative outcome that was a celebration of both our worlds, as well as a shared, magical one.”

Since 2018, Polyglot has commissioned longer form features from our artists and associates exploring the value of arts experiences, creativity and play in education. Sylvie Meltzer recently wrote a piece about the role of schools and early learning centres in the long-distance creative collaboration process of Come Back Home. The show was 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. Sylvie, a Polyglot artist, was the Assistant Director.

A Come Back Home production photo. A Polyglot artist dressed in black stands in front of a group of children, who are moving towards them.  They are on a large, theatrically lit stage. Photo: Studio ZNKE, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore
A Come Back Home production photo. An artist in a glowing green helmet dances on a large stage under a spotlight. They are surrounded by children and families who dance in the darkened space around them. The stage is illuminated with disco ball reflections. Photo: Studio ZNKE, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

Come Back Home. Photos: Studio ZNKE, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore


It feels like the project actually might leave some vibrations in the school for some time to come.” Emily Tomlins, Associate Director

In December last year, our Term 4 Kids Collaboration with Coburg Special Developmental School culminated in an art and performance installation: BLOOM Festival. Students took over indoor and outdoor spaces around the school to showcase their creations to parents, staff and the wider community in the form of immersive, multisensory experiences.

Across the residency, designed to support the school’s transition to a new campus, the concept of BLOOM was explored as a locus of creativity: How do things change and grow? By spending an extended amount of time at the school, the Polyglot team cultivated deep relationships with the students and educators. There was safety and freedom for students to experiment with sights, sounds, scents and textures at their own pace, while honouring feelings and emotions that arose.

It was a privilege for Polyglot to work with Coburg SDS again: they were key collaborators in the original 2022 creative development of When the World Turns.

The BLOOM Festival was an absolutely fantastic experience for both kids and parents! It was wonderful to observe how each station seamlessly combined interactive elements with soothing activities, ensuring the children remained engaged with plenty of sensory stimulation.” Parent

A BLOOM photo. Colourful letters spell out 'Welcome to Bloom' on a black fence. Photo: Emily Tomlins
A BLOOM photo. Students use light, shadow, colour, and objects to create an image on a large white screen. Photo: Emily Tomlins

Thank You

When the World Turns: disability inclusive theatre in schools is a collaboration between Polyglot Theatre (AUS) and Oily Cart (UK), commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne and generously supported by the Cassandra Gantner Foundation. The 2024 schools tour is further supported by Arts Centre Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Education Strategic Partnerships Program, a Bank of Melbourne Foundation Community Grant, Dr John Leaper OAM, Mrs Jenny Leaper OAM, Mr Mark Robertson OAM and Mrs Anne Robertson. Polyglot thanks our ongoing plant sponsor ecoDynamics, and SÜK Workwear.

Logos: Arts Centre Melbourne, Cassandra Gantner Foundation, Victoria State Government Department of Education, Bank of Melbourne Foundation, ecoDynamics

Come Back Home by Polyglot Theatre is an Esplanade Commission, co-produced by Polyglot Theatre (Australia) and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore) in collaboration with artists in both countries.

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

BLOOM was supported through Creative Learning Partnerships – a Victorian Government Initiative.