The world’s longest running children’s festival, DreamBIG, will return to Adelaide Festival Centre this May. Launched today, the family program focuses on the theme ‘Our World’ and features more than 50 shows, activities, and exhibitions for audiences from babies to teenagers across 10 days.
Audiences can expect giant life-like dinosaurs, interactive light installations, thought provoking theatre and more from the family program which includes eight world premieres, one Australian premiere and seven Adelaide premieres.
To celebrate Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th year the 2023 festival will feature The BIGGEST BIG Family Weekend yet from 20 – 21 May across Adelaide Festival Centre and Festival Plaza, including free events for children of all ages, performances, exhibitions, workshops, installations, markets, food trucks by Fork in the Road, and the Big Family Weekend Gala – a variety hour celebrating some of SA’s best young performers.
Paint your way across the seas in Patch Theatre’s Sea of Light, learn to dance like an animal and be still like a tree with Guru Dudu’s Mysteries of Nature Silent Disco Walking Tour, and unleash your inner musician with Wallabeats’ handmade instruments.
Let your imagination run wild in Massive Maker Space, play amongst 200kg of swirling, shredded recycled paper in Fluffy and join the Tutti Choir as they sing all your favourite tunes in Tutti’s Big Singalong. More activities to be announced.
“We welcome children and their families to Our World – a place of celebration, joy, and wonder,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM.
“The world’s first children’s festival has been delighting young South Australians for generations and we can’t wait to celebrate Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th Anniversary with our youngest audiences over a fun-filled 10 days,” said Gautier.
“We hope that participating in DreamBIG will encourage young people to become creative, compassionate, and thoughtful citizens by inspiring them to look at and learn from the world around them – from the prehistoric to the future, from Afghanistan to Ireland, from the natural world to the imagined,” said DreamBIG’s Co-Creative Producers Susannah Sweeney and Georgi Paech.
International shows include North Ireland’s Removed – a funny, moving, and critically acclaimed story of a young man’s experiences in a state authority system, and Norway’s We Come from Far, Far Away – an epic story of people, places, survival and friendship, following two boys from Aleppo.
Two of Mem Fox’s classic Australian stories will come to life on stage with Monkey Baa’s award-winning adaptation of Possum Magic featuring live action, magic, puppetry and animation, and Australian Chamber Orchestra’s immersive and intimate performance of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge weaving together captivating storytelling and mesmerising music.
Babies and toddlers will enjoy The Thing That Matters – a dance performance for 0 – 3 year olds presented to live music, and A Song For Your Child, where families can create a lullaby for their child that will last a lifetime.
Watch dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures take to the stage in Erth’s Prehistoric World – an enchanting show from world-renowned Erth Visual and Physical. In another feat of technology, Here and There brings together six stories, from six different and diverse artists via an extraordinary performance that is live streamed between Australia, Malaysia, India, and Singapore.
A unique collaboration between two neurodiverse men and WA Theatre Company, award-winning ARCO is a heartfelt show about living with autism, and the struggles of a young man trying to make connections with the world around him.
Another performance opening the doors for honest conversations about mental health is AWGIE Award winning show Claire Della and the Moon, exploring depression and anxiety through puppetry, music, striking visuals and poetic storytelling.
Older children can look forward to Guthrak – a unique interactive theatrical experience inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, as well as Ruby Award-winning theatre company AJZ productions’ I AM – an immersive theatre experience that explores the ultimate question: “What is my one true purpose?”
“Adelaide’s enviable family lifestyle is further enriched with our exceptional cultural offerings for young people and their families,” said Minister for Arts, the Hon. Andrea Michaels MP.
“DreamBIG Children’s Festival provides the highest quality arts experiences for all South Australian children and I am delighted that 2023 will showcase The BIGGEST BIG Family Weekend yet.”
“A love of the arts starts with experiencing magical, memorable moments that the whole family can share. I look forward to attending with my family too,” said Minister Michaels .
The DreamBIG Opening Event at Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre on Wednesday 17 May will feature 1200 students from 15 schools converging on Adelaide Festival Centre to sing My Island Home.
In a DreamBIG first, the event will be live streamed into classrooms around the state and the choir will be led in a mass dance event by youth dance ensemble, Dusty Feet Mob.
Formerly known as Come Out Festival which began in 1974, DreamBIG has two programs – one for schools and another for families/general public. It is held every two years and is proudly presented by Adelaide Festival Centre.
The DreamBIG Children’s Festival runs 17 – 27 May 2023. For more information and full program, visit: www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au for details.
Image: Removed – photo by Hi Jump Design