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Best Presentation for Children
Subcategory of Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts in Australia
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2019 winner y separately published work icon Robot Song Jolyon James , 2018 13972351 2018 single work drama children's

'When it comes to friends, Juniper has no idea what all the fuss is about. In fact when classmates tease her for being like a robot she takes it as a compliment. Through the unconventional eyes of a child on the Autism Spectrum, Robot Song takes the audience on an incredible ride of personal discovery.

'Robot Song introduces us to Juniper, a smart 11-year-old whose world is turned upside down when the arm of a giant robot appears on her doorstep and takes her on an unexpected journey to find the rest of its body. Surprised by the robot’s revelation that it has only ever wanted to sing, Juniper learns flexibility and unexpected outcomes are sometimes exactly what you need.

'Robot Song is drawn from writer director Jolyon James' experience raising a child on the Autism Spectrum. In celebrating Juniper’s unique way of interpreting the world Robot Song provides a window for all young people to recognise and embrace the differences within themselves and others.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 winner Emil and the Detectives Nicki Bloom , 2017 single work drama children's

An adaptation of the German novella about a group of clever children outwitting a thief.

2015 winner y separately published work icon The Rabbits Lally Katz , Kate Miller-Heidke (composer), 2015 8043706 2015 single work drama opera

'John Marsden and Shaun Tan's haunting picture book tells a story we all know: a story of colonisation, civilisation and progress — a story about displacement, destruction and culture clash. And in that landscape, it tells a story of hope taking root.

'It's a story for young people, it's a story for old people, it's a story for all of us.

'Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company have assembled some of Australia's foremost creative talents to collaborate on a new opera for children and families.

'Gabriela Tylesova's kooky sets and costumes realise Tan's pictures in all of their mystical wonder, while Lally Katz has turned Marsden's spare poetry into an enchanting libretto. To write the score, Kate Miller Heidke: the butterfly-voiced, classically-trained indie-pop singer who is as at home on the charts as she is performing at the Met. As well as composing The Rabbits, Kate will perform in this production.' (Production summary)

2012 winner Boats Finegan Kruckemeyer , 2008 single work drama musical theatre children's adventure 'Boats is a story about a man called Jof, told by his friend Nic. The two of them are life-long friends and sailors. They met through bizarre circumstances involving a chicken, a deserted island and a sombrero. It is a story of two mariners fleeing their past and embracing adventure. The play is enacted with puppets, acrobatics and sound effects created on stage with two microphones, one of which goes in water. Nic begins the story by blowing up a balloon and squeaking it into a microphone. He records this and the audience hear this sound played back as a "loop". He then blows into the microphone and loops that too. These two sounds are heard together, creating a strange but alluring effect. Throughout this Nic has been telling us about Jof, who is silently sitting on a chair working with a rope. When Jof stands up he reveals a bird which he has made by tying knots in the rope as Nic talks. The audience then see a bird and realise the sounds that they hear are the sounds of birds and the wind and sea.

'The play begins as the elements come together when the puppeteers lift the bird and fly it through the space. The bird is a gull that flies over Jof throughout his life.

'Boats is a poetic show where you watch the magic created in front of you. It is classic story-telling done up close. Jof and Nic transform the world in front of you using everyday objects that would be found on a boat's galley. Each scene is a unique and highly inventive use of space and puppetry. A boat is made from a piece of bread, and ropes. An island is made from a hat. A circus is made from a jacket. And a storm is made in a teacup.

'Boats is a moving story which ultimately tells the story and adventures of Nic and Jof with a twist at the end which will leave a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

'Boats has physical theatre, object manipulation, story telling, and of course the wonderful puppetry that has made Terrapin famous locally, nationally and internationally.'

Source: Terrapin website,
Sighted: 25/09/2012
2011 winner Me and My Shadow 2011 single work drama children's 'Children love to play with shadows. They are mysterious and magical and can do amazing things.

'But making friends with your shadow can be a tricky business. There are things to sort out, negotiations to be made, frustrations to be overcome, problems to solve, adventures to be had and laughter to be shared.

'Me and My Shadow is presented in the form of a visual poem for children. The show tells its story using the languages of paper, light, shadow, colour, water, music, sound and words. With fantastical imagery, quirky physical performances and an intriguing score, Me and My Shadow, seeks to ignite the imaginations of 4-8 year olds in a poetical experience that explores the frustrations and joys of friendship.'

Source: Patch Theatre Company website,
Sighted: 02/08/2011
2010 winner y separately published work icon Thursday's Child Eva Di Cesare , Sandra Eldridge , Tim McGarry , Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People , 2009 Sydney : Currency Press , 2011 Z1836419 2009 single work drama young adult

'Thursday's Child is Tin, born on a Thursday and like the old nursery rhyme, has far to go. A strange and lonely child who digs, his wanderings take him underneath the earth into the subterranean tunnels that he's pre-destined to roam. Told by his sister Harper Flute, it is a story of an Australian farming family's strength as they battle their way through the great depression of the 1930's. A surreal and epic piece of theatre that explores the themes of memory, fate, family camaraderie and the spirit of determination in a time of great change.'

Source: Monkey Baa.

Nominated for the 2009 Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People production.
2009 winner The Promise Sally Richardson , 2009 single work musical theatre children's
2008 winner Mr McGee and the Biting Flea Pamela Allen , 2005 single work drama children's

'Six whimsical stories by award-winning children's writer, Pamela Allen, are presented in this surprising, charming, funny and frenetic production.

'The stories emerge from dozens of suitcases and crates as three curious warehouse workers transform a storeroom into enchanting little miracles of music and play.'

Source: Patch Theatre Company website,
Sighted: 01/07/2008

2007 winner y separately published work icon Hitler's Daughter : The Play Eva Di Cesare , Sandra Eldridge , Tim McGarry , Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People , 2005 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2007 Z1415611 2005 single work drama young adult

'Did Hitler's daughter, Heidi, really exist? Four country children waiting in the rain for the school bus take turns telling stories. In an unusual twist, Anna's story takes the children to Nazi Germany. An intriguing tale about Heidi, a young girl caught in the turmoil of World War II, whose father was one of the most dreaded men in history.

'One of the children, Mark, becomes engrossed in Heidi's story. In his conversations with his friends, his teacher and with his parents, he explores the moral and ethical issues it raises.

'This intriguing play poses powerful questions about a frightening period in history and forces us to examine moral issues in relation to society's fears and prejudices in a fresh, compelling light.'

Source: Monkey Baa Theatre for Children website,
Sighted: 07/08/2007

2006 winner Stella and the Moon Man Richard Tulloch , 2005 single work musical theatre children's

'Ten year-old Stella loves living out at Narangarra. But when her family moves to town, the city kids think she's strange. In a dark room in Stella's cramped apartment block lives a blind astronomer. As Stella befriends Mr Pleiades and becomes his eyes, she learns that our greatest difficulties seem trivial when compared to the vast beauty of the Universe.

Using music and imagery, Stella & the Moon Man combines music, shadow puppetry and digital video to create a fantastic stage world with a cast of actors, puppeteers, musicians - and children. Suitable for children aged 5 - 12 years and their families.'

Source: STC website,
Sighted: 04/07/2005

Nominated for the 2005 Theatre of Image production.
2006 winner Theatre of Image
2005 winner Riverland Scott Rankin , 2004 single work drama Inspired by the art of Ian Abdulla, 'Riverland is the story of 13 year-old Luke and his family who go camping beside the river his Nana remembers swimming in as a girl before the flood. The river has changed - the cod do not swim there any more and the children live in the city. The audience is invited to come camping in a world of storytelling and play, where the real and the imagined combine, where the past and present are one.' (Windmill Performing Arts media release, 2004)
2005 winner Theatre of Image