Ana’s Big Adventure!

Touring as part of the 2023 Arts & Education Program

Courage | Kindness | Respect and Wonder

Ana’s Big Adventure is an inclusive puppet show, where audience members play an active role in the story as both puppeteers and music makers. The show shares the story of a brave little explorer (Either Ana, Sam or Nadia, depending on the different options selected), as they adventure through the Australian bush, making friends with a diverse collection of native endangered animals and learning important life lessons along the way. Funny, poignant and engaging, this puppet show includes a range of different styles of puppets which are also used in an interactive workshop, encouraging students to learn about the art-form of puppetry and get some hands-on experience bringing them to life. This delightful play introduces primary school students to innovative and engaging techniques in visual and audio storytelling, while simultaneously encouraging them to foster love and respect for creativity, biodiversity, the planet and each other!

In the workshop component, students are introduced to various types of puppetry (hand, rod and string operated) and are also guided to create their very own puppets using natural materials (E.g: sticks, string and leaves to create butterflies that are then brought to life through movement, guided to flutter and fly them around, considering how butterflies move and becoming puppeteers themselves, learning about how physical movement can transform objects into puppets). Students will also be encouraged to use materials to create soundscapes, music and sound effects, which are used in the performance so that audience members play an active role in the show. This project takes a holistic approach to education with a focus on experiential learning that is innovative, high quality and entertaining. The narrative storytelling is flexible, offering a range of performance durations and levels of student participation.


Option 1 is a set show suitable for younger audiences, where the audience are invited to participate in different scenes. In this option, the audience incorporate their self-made butterfly puppets into the show, when it’s time for them to emerge from their cocoons, as well as make sound effects for a storm using hand-made instruments as directed by the performers. The audience learn about stagecraft through an experiential understanding of stage directions and cues, that can be elaborated on in group discussions after the show.  

Ana arrives in the beautiful Australian bush the morning after a big storm. She discovers an egg in a nest that has blown down from a tree due to the strong winds and she sets off on a journey to try and find the mother owl. Along the way she meets various animals and learns important life lessons; the Hairstreak butterflies explain that we all go through big transformations in our lives, the Growling Grass Frog teaches her that sometimes things are not as they seem; the Red Bellied Black Snake reminds her that we need to respect each other, the energetic Damselfly shows that we all dance to our own song and can celebrate our own journeys, the shy Platypus reminds us to embrace diversity and the moody Echidna explains that there are all sorts of different families. A school of fish teach Ana that we need to protect the environment and care for each other, the Greater Glider reminds us that sometimes we need to be brave and take a big leap of faith, and mother Owl teaches that even the big and powerful can feel vulnerable. Ana realises that through being brave, curious and kind, she can make a powerful difference. Along the way, she learns some facts about animals as well! See if you can spot them.


The students will choose from a range of options and come up with their very own version of the story from beginning to end. How might different circumstances affect our characters’ choices and vice-versa? We shape the story together as a group, establishing a scene, devising a conflict, deciding a turning point and reaching a resolution. What can our characters learn throughout the journey? When our script is ready, audience members are invited to perform of Nadia, Sam and the animals they meet along the way. 

It’s night-time in the bush. Nocturnal owls and possums are foraging, hunting, and escaping from each other! A sudden flash of lightning heralds a big storm. As the sun rises, the storm subsides and Sam rolls up the ramp of the bush trail with a set of binoculars in his hands, as he does every morning, to meet his friend Nadia. They’re on a hunt to find the long-nosed bandicoot, believed to be locally extinct from this part of the Victoria. Will they find irrefutable evidence that it’s still around? Who will help them find the bandicoot? Maybe some of these animals have seen it, but will they give our protagonists a straight answer, or send Sam and Nadia travelling in circles?

Please note: Councils, Venues and Community Presenters are welcome to book through the Arts & Education program. Contact the team at [email protected] to confirm the program fee. 

About This Event

Metro: 30/01/2023-22/12/2023
Regional: 30/01/2023-22/12/2023
Presented by:

Imaginary Friends

Art Form:


Booking Details: D:4m x W:4m x H:3m minimum space required.

Minimum Fee: Ana’s Big Adventure $660 + GST. Sam & Nadia’s Big Adventure $990 + GST.

Additional Information

Max Students in Class: 60

Suitable for which years: Prep, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6,

Terms Available: Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Term 4,

Curriculum links: The Arts – Drama, The Arts – Visual Arts, The Arts – Visual Communication Design, Literature, English, Humanities – History, Humanities – Geography, Languages, Sciences.

Capabilities:  Personal and Social, Ethical, Critical and Creative Thinking.