DreamBIG Children’s Festival | 22 May – 1 Jun 2019

DreamBIG Children’s Festival

DreamBIG Children’s Festival is South Australia’s iconic biennial arts festival for schools and families that places its audience at the centre of fresh, inventive, imaginative and inspiring arts experiences.

More than 2 million South Australian children have participated in the festival since its inception in 1974 (as Come Out Festival), and it remains an intrinsic part of growing up in South Australia.

Adelaide Festival Centre has produced DreamBIG since 2015, and has embraced the responsibility that comes with putting on an event that holds such an important place in the hearts and souls of South Australians of every age.

DreamBIG Children’s Festival is divided into two program streams – the school’s program where children participate in events and performances through their school, and the general public program for families.

The next DreamBIG Children’s Festival will take place from 22 May – 1 June 2019 and the theme is ‘People Together’.

DreamBIG Opening Event – People Together

This year’s event promises to be just as BIG as ever. The 2019 Festival will be opened by 13-year-old Audrey Mason-Hyde, an impressive poet, actor, thinker and public speaker, who will speak to this year’s theme, People Together.

Attendees will then join the rest of Australia in a simultaneous reading of Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove for National Simultaneous Storytime.

Next, students will become The Mighty Choir of Small Voices and sing the High School Musical hit ‘We’re All In This Together’ (practised in Term 1 as part of the Public Schools Music Festival Program).

The event will finish with a high-energy gig by South Australian group Electric Fields, whose exuberant music perfectly embodies the festival theme. To launch DreamBIG 2019, students and teachers will perform a specially choreographed dance as they make their way across the footbridge for an afternoon of performances, workshops, exhibitions and other activities.

Wednesday 22 May 2019 | Telstra Plaza, Adelaide Oval | Ages 5–12

Family Events

Big Family Weekend | Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 May 2019

This FREE family event for children of all ages will take over the North Terrace Cultural Boulevard for two fun-filled days. Theatres, galleries, museums, universities, libraries, and gardens will be full to the brim with hundreds of children and families immersed in arts activities and dreaming BIG. Follow the trail for your age group and discover a world of art and wonder around every turn.

More information about this popular event will be available in April 2019.


A Hymn to the Hateful

By Finegan Kruckemeyer | 20 – 24 May 2019 | Ages 13 and up

A Hymn to the Hateful is a brand new play written by internationally acclaimed playwright for young people, Finegan Kruckemeyer. Currently in development, this emotive and insightful work has been specially commissioned for Adelaide High School’s Running With Scissors Theatre for Young People. A Hymn to the Hateful is an important inquiry into the spread of hatred in today’s society, performed by students for their peers. Turning negativity on its head, this empowering new work is a how-to guide for the hopeful.


By Sally Chance Dance & Insite Arts | 22 – 26 May 2019 | Ages 3 and under

Smell the sea air and imagine the sand beneath your feet as this playful group of children brings the seashore to life through dance. Through Seashore, DreamBIG is pioneering the cultural lives of very young children. What happens when very young children are the creators of a show? How can adults be artistic collaborators with children? Will it be the same show each time?

Panda’s Home

By Compagnie TPO & TONG Productions | 28 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 2–6

Traditional Chinese culture meets digital technology from Italy in this international collaboration that proves there are no barriers to global understanding. Step into a kaleidoscope of colour, sounds and imagery set against the soundtrack of traditional Chinese instruments in Panda’s Home.


By Windmill Theatre Company | 29 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 2–7

From the makers of Grug, comes this slightly sideways tale about unexpected friendship, finding where you fit, and learning to mix it up a little. With Windmill’s trademark design, gentle storytelling, music and puppetry, Beep tells the story of what happens when someone new comes to town.

Robot Song – South Australian Premiere

By Arena Theatre Company | 30 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 8–13

When the arm of a giant robot appears on Juniper’s doorstep, her eleven-year-old world is turned upside down. Embarking on an unexpected journey to find the rest of its body, Juniper discovers bringing the robot to life is the easy part. Now she must achieve the impossible….teach it how to feel. Incorporating live animation, video and performance, Robot Song follows the journey of a young girl on the autism spectrum learning to understand her unique way of relating to the world.

Fear (Not)

By Prospect Theatre for Young People and Cirkidz in association with Woodville Town Hall | 30 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 10–14

The world can be a pretty scary place for young people. This show teaches students to Fear (Not)! From the schoolyard to screens, and with social media bringing everything ever closer, there is little respite for today’s teenagers. In this highly imaginative and theatrical production, the Woodville Town Hall will transform into a series of strange worlds where young people will face their fears head on. Fear (Not) has been created through a dynamic collaboration between Prospect Theatre for Young People and Cirkidz, and will be performed by young artists aged 11–16.

Game Theory

By Joshua Monten Dance | 22 – 24 May 2019 | Ages 6 and up

 A 20 minute dance performance in which order and precision give way to chaos, havoc and a whole lot of mess.

Katie’s Birthday Party

22-26 May 2019 | Ages 11–13

Internationally acclaimed performer Mary-Frances Doherty gives a stunning solo performance in this insightful show about a young girl’s journey from childhood to adolescence.

New Owner

By The Last Great Hunt | 22-26 May 2019 | Ages 9-14

Combining puppetry, live action and animation, New Owner takes us on a world of adventure through a dog’s eyes. Nominated for Best Presentation for Children at the 2017 Helpmann Awards, this is a deeply moving tale about loss, friendship and new beginnings.

Same Like Yesterday

Virlkuthalypila and Other Stories from Our Country | 22 – 31 May 2019 | Ages 7 and up

This colourfully animated visual performance sees six Adnyamathanha women share stories of their ancestors and the memories of growing up on their country.

The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things

By Zoë Barry, Drop Bear Theatre & The Seam | 22-24 May 2019 | Ages 8-12

The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things is a unique participatory theatre work that celebrates wonder, curiosity, caretaking and story making. You’re invited to go on a journey, to take time to slow down and notice, play and share, as you explore the South Australian Museum and contribute to an enormous collection of precious tiny things nestled within The Armoury.

Impersonal Space

Tutti Arts presents a Company AT production | 23 – 25 May 2019 |  Ages 10 and up

‘Nameless’ is a nine-year-old girl who loves her family, stargazing and hot chips. But she isn’t like the other children – she’s hyper-intelligent but sometimes does strange things, and the bullies call her “dopey” and “weird”. She feels isolated, sad and confused, until she discovers she has autism.

Drawing on the personal experiences of its autistic cast, Impersonal Space offers a warm and funny insight into an experience shared by thousands of school-aged children.

The Gruffalo

A CDP Kids and Tall Stories production | 22 – 26 May 2019 | Ages4–8

After sell-out seasons across the world, including London’s West End and Broadway, The Gruffalo returns to Australia. Join Mouse on a daring adventure in this magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.


10 Minute Dance Parties

By Joseph O’Farrell (JOF) | 22 – 31 May 2019 | Ages 5 and up

10 Minute Dance Parties is an interactive dance party like no other. Enter the converted shipping container and experience an explosion of sound, colour, light and art.

Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour

22 – 31 May 2019 | Ages 7-14

Pop on some headphones, feel the beat and follow your funky leader around the Riverbank Precinct – with plenty of stops for dance breaks. You will enjoy interpretative dancing around local landmarks, spontaneous flash mob routines and lots of crazy improvised fun.


Imaginary Architecture

22 – 31 May 2019 | Ages 4–12

Calling all town planners, master builders and architects extraordinaire to come together and create a mega mini-city for all to explore. Use nothing but your bare hands, wondrous imaginations and a whole lot of recycled materials to help build this interactive wonderland.

Playable CubbyTOWN

22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 4 and up

Modern technology meets old fashioned storytelling in this interactive cubby house experience bursting with sights and sounds.


An Anthology of Un-Kept Secrets

22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 10–14

An Anthology of Un-kept Secrets is a book of real, living feelings, revealed and written by the children and young people of South Australia and curated by award-winning Australian playwright Sally Hardy. Commissioned by DreamBIG Festival, the book will be exhibited as both a handcrafted artefact and an interactive display at Adelaide Festival Centre.

Animate My World

22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | All Ages

Animate My World is a dynamic stop-motion animation project from the Living Arts Program at Life Without Barriers. Working with young people throughout SA Youth Week, plus other events and programs, young people tell their stories about their future, who inspires them and the other people in their lives. Visit the Story Hut and be immersed in their animated worlds, if only for a moment.

For Country, For Nation

25 Apr – 19 Jul 2019 | All ages

Honour our First Nations people with these fascinating and revealing stories of wartime and peace.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a long-standing tradition of fighting for Country, and continue to serve with honour among our military forces. In a major exhibition from the Australian War Memorial, ‘For Country, For Nation’ tells stories from the First Nations experience during wartime and peace.

Wonder – We All Eat Cake

16 May – 23 June 2019 | Ages 8-12

An exhibition examining how children see themselves and others, celebrating our difference and commonality.

Of All The People In All The World

By Stan’s Cafe | | 22 – 31 May 2019 | Ages 7 and up

Direct from the UK, this provocative installation uses grains of rice to bring abstract statistics to startling and powerful life. Witty, at times shocking, and always thought-provoking, this ever-changing landscape of rice will engage students of all ages, causing them to reflect on their own place in the world.

Firefly Forest

By Patch Theatre | 22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | All Ages

Firefly Forest is an immersive magical lighting installation created by Patch Theatre’s new Artistic Director, Geoff Cobham, and his longtime collaborator Chris Petridis. This timeless piece, sparked by an unexpected sublime moment in a paddy field under a full moon and next to a volcano, is an inspiration for all ages.

Phil Cummings: Stories Behind The Books

18 Apr – 21 Jul 2019 | All Ages

This is an interactive exhibition with an access all areas pass into the creative mind of award-winning South Australian author Phil Cummings.

Art Gallery of South Australia

Explore the New Rehang of Australian Art | 22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | All ages

 Step back in time and explore what life was like in the 1800s through these telling and emotive works of art.

Explore the history, stories and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a diverse range of historic and contemporary works of art.

Hello Rajasthan / Hello South Australia

22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | Ages 5 and up

Connecting local students with children in India, this international initiative breaks down cultural barriers through art, understanding and friendship.

South Australian students will exchange artworks about their lives (including postcards, photographs, drawings and stories) with children living in Rajasthan in India. All these artistic contributions will be exhibited during the festival and simultaneously at a location in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

SALA School Awards & Exhibition

22 May – 1 Jun 2019 | All Ages
DreamBIG is thrilled to present an exhibition of the winners from the 2018 SALA (South Australian Living Artists F estival) and Credit Union SA School Visual Art Awards.

For more information and all enquiries please visit the DreamBIG Festival website

What:  DreamBIG Festival 2019

When: Wednesday 22 May – Saturday 1 June 2019

Where:  Various locations around Adelaide

Who:  South Australian children and their families

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: DreamBIG Festival website


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