Puppets at Fed Square is a free series of interactive theatre for children of all ages. But don’t expect a marionette Punch and Judy show, it’s an immersive experience that challenges, engages and excites.
About Puppets at Fed Square
Since 2010, Fed Square’s Creative Program has worked with leading Melbourne puppet and theatre organisations to present free performances during selected school holidays. Puppet shows have included giant human body parts, human-sized ants, huge snails and seagulls and whimsical characters that have surprised, delighted and entertained both children and adults.
Most of the puppet performances are free-form, where characters roam the Square and create an immersive experience for the audience. As children are naturally curious, they will quickly begin to follow and interact with the puppets, even the little ones who may be frightened at first.
Puppets at Fed Square, not only entertains children, it encourages their creativity, promotes interactive learning and provides an opportunity for physical play. This was most evident with the Puppets at Fed Square season in 2012 where the Creative Program commissioned Polyglot Theatre‘s Ants. See how the children initially react to the human-sized ants and how they learn to communicate and then lead the quiet creatures in the video below.
In 2013, puppetry and technology combined with Electric Puppet – free workshops of virtual play by Melbourne artist Georgie Pinn. The Creative Program also commissioned Australian premiere of Wedhus Gembel – a colourful and theatrical collaboration between Indonesian artists and Melbourne’s Snuff Puppets.
A giant walk-through comic book took over Deakin Edge in July 2014 for the Australian premiere of Drawbridge. A cross-cultural project by Melbourne’s Polyglot Theatre and Indonesia’s Papermoon Puppet Theatre, Drawbridge takes the child’s instinct to play and adds music, artwork and performance to create a story of gigantic proportions.
Polyglot toured to Merapi, Indonesia to create the firstDrawbridge project, which, inspired by local stories and the comic book form, brought together whole communities from the Mt Merapi volcano area in an exceptional outdoor theatre performance. Part two of the project in Deakin Edge extended the discoveries made in Indonesia, working with comic book artist Mandy Ord and school children from the Victorian College for the Deaf to create the playful comic book performance and interpret it into Auslan English.