DreamBIG 2021 program inspires and reunites curious kids

DreamBIG Children’s Festival will inspire curiosity and wonder as children reconnect and return to the world of arts, with the 2021 school program unveiled today.

One of the first festivals to be announced for South Australia since COVID-19 restrictions began, more than 50 shows, events and workshops will be on offer during the celebration to be held from May 19 until May 29.

The Adelaide Festival Centre event will present 10 world premieres, two Australian premieres and 10 Adelaide premieres with the full family and general public program to be launched in February 2021.

Next year’s theme of “Be Curious” encourages children to ask questions about the world through circus, puppetry, music, dance, play, poetry, quirky creatures, orchestras, technology, robots, monsters, a magic beach and a galaxy far, far away.

DreamBIG Children’s Festival Creative Producer Susannah Sweeney is ecstatic to welcome children and schools back to the festival to reconnect through joy, fun and theatre following a difficult 2020:

We are living through strange times that highlight how essential the arts are if we want our young people to have strong, curious, empathetic minds. Being able to offer the schools of South Australia an inspiring 2021 DreamBIG Children’s Festival that encourages curiosity and empathy, is a wonderful and important thing to be doing.

Education Minister John Gardner said after almost 50 years, DreamBIG Children’s Festival remained one of the most loved and longest running events in SA for students and families:

DreamBIG is a South Australian institution, offering children a great opportunity to engage their creativity and further their learning through the arts. DreamBIG 2021 offers a really exciting program of activities. I know that families and teachers all have their fingers crossed that children will be able to enjoy and participate in the live performances next year and unlock some of the educational opportunities from the teaching and learning resources that support the event.

Jade Fuda in The Magic Beach | Photo by James D Morgan

The DreamBIG Opening Event, at Adelaide Oval’s Telstra Plaza on May 19, will see school children gather and The Mighty Choir of Small Voices, ably guided by the Public Primary Schools Music Festival team, sing a new arrangement of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. It will finish with an uplifting gig by 2019 Australia’s Got Talent finalist Mitch Tambo who will perform with a group of young dancers from SA’s own fabulous Kurruru Dance Ensemble.

Program highlights include:

  • Magic Beach – from the team behind The Gruffalo and the Treehouse series, this play is based on the best-selling book by Alison Lester, where the quintessential Aussie holiday is brought to life on stage. The show will also head to Port Lincoln.
  • Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus – Circa returns with a new show that combines brilliant acrobatics and physical comedy performed to Mozart’s beautiful scores.
  • Spirit – A moving show weaving together storytelling, song and dance with fire, language and ceremony by Yellaka. Described as “The history lesson that everyone should see” (Glam Adelaide.)
  • Project Ludwig – an interactive show featuring SA performers from The Australian String Quartet that allows students to choose their favourite Beethoven playlist.
  • Still Point of a Turning World – An immersive performance installation where three performers create poetic stories that inspire students to question who they are.
  • Tröll – An Adelaide premiere, this show follows the story of a young pre-teen exploring the jittery edges of the online world with the help of Icelandic folklore, music and puppetry.
  • We Come from Far, Far Away – A moving tale about the refugee experience, exploring themes of survival, fear and friendship in an Australian Premiere.
  • Listen to See – A beautiful and intimate participatory dance piece by SA’s Restless Dance Theatre.

More than 2000 performers and students are involved in the 2021 program. While the majority of shows and activities are being held at Adelaide Festival Centre, some will take place in venues around the city, surrounding suburbs and regionally.

Magic Beach will also perform in Port Lincoln, and Carclew’s Gig Rig – a mobile sound and vision machine that spins tunes – will visit Gladstone Square in Port Augusta in addition to events run by Country Arts.

Every South Australian child has an opportunity to engage in DreamBIG through the various state-wide projects and the Teaching and Learning Resource created by the Department for Education, due to arrive in schools this week. Teachers can utilise this resource for the entire year.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM said more than two million children had participated in the festival since its inception:

Of all the festivals in Adelaide Festival Centre’s proud portfolio, DreamBIG perhaps invokes the most long-lasting possibilities because it connects with children at an inquisitive time, inspiring lifelong engagement with cultures and learning. Adelaide Festival Centre values our important role bringing communities together and we look forward to welcoming students, teachers and families to DreamBIG Children’s Festival 2021.

Full details for the school program can be found on the new schools’ specific website 

Stay up to date with general public on sale dates, to be announced shortly at www.dreambigfestival.com.au

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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