Stories in the Wall
Animal Adventures

Stories in the Wall 2023 – Animal Adventures is a collaboration between Arts Centre Melbourne and selected Victorian primary schools in which students work closely alongside professional playwrights to create and develop a radio play.

Students also stepped into the recording studio here at Arts Centre Melbourne to record the voice parts and bring the voices of their characters to life!

This year the students of Lancefield Primary, Sunshine Primary, Ardeer Primary and St Albans Meadow Primary explored the theme of "Animal Adventures" inspired by the trans-Tasman First Nations collaboration production 'Hide the Dog'.

Following the recording of the students' stories, the last creative component to bring these stories to life was music composition and sound design. This saw a collaboration with the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Fine Arts and Music - home of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. We worked closely with 13 emerging composers who created original music and sound to amplify the stories enabling us as listeners to immerse ourselves into the world created by our young writers!

As part of the final phase an activation was installed and displayed at Arts Centre Melbourne for the winter school holidays. We collaborated with First Nations artist Emmy Webbers on the creation of Stories in the Wall 2023 – Animal Adventures installation.

These stories will have you venturing through forests, desserts and even Antarctica as our young creatives take us on a grand old ANIMAL ADVENTURE!

Student Playwrights and actors:

Lancefield Primary

Darcy, India, Jake, James, Amelia, Lucy, Ella, Niamh, Charlee, Teddy, Luke, Ezra, Thomas, Lachlan, Abbi, Indie, Lily, Orbella and Evie.

St Albans Meadows Primary School

Eliza, Kaavya, Benton, Jayden,Kaitlyn, Elisha, Mackayla, Kaely, Alena , Olivia, Ayrton, Mason, Siena, Jessica, Ethan, Layla, Chloe, Riley, Jimmy, Tiffany, Ivy and Phillip.

Ardeer Primary School

Joshua, Billy, Nasa, Curtis, Marlaa, Xander, Blessing, Keneni, Ephraim, William, Shantee, Zehra, Aisha, Nahum, Ari, Rivah, Chelsea, Cailen, Callie, Joel and Mitchell.

Sunshine Primary School

Manha, Rugshana, Angus, Oliver, Oscar, Serena, Dibyansh, Eden, Augie, Lewis, Victoria, Ashriff, London, Jadyen, Autumn, Mia, Arkin, Luke, Jack, Jaxon, Kaitlyn, Emilie, Eshaal and Mohamed.

Supporting Partners:

Arts Centre Melbourne acknowledges the support of the Department of Education Victoria.

University of Melbourne's Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. Special thanks to Associate Professor Mark Pollard, Head of Interactive Composition.


Angus Conley, Asha Carslaw-Maher, Brandon Yang, Brianna Dahlstrom, Charlie Stewart, Dean Elliott, Kaylah Thomas, Keegan Joyce, Matthew Flattley, Miranda Kilby, Qinghua Tan, Thomas Fernando and Tom O'Rielly.

Playwright Teaching Artists:

Dan Giovannoni is a playwright and arts educator. Dan's plays for young people, families and adults have been produced across Australia. His plays include SLAP. BANG. KISS. (Melbourne Theatre Company), The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker, HOUSE and Bambert's Book of Lost Stories (all for Barking Gecko Theatre), Turbine(Malthouse Theatre's Suitcase Series), Air Race (Arena Theatre), Jurassica (Red Stitch Actors Theatre), and the adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas' short story collection Merciless Gods (Little Ones Theatre). Dan's writing has won three Green Room Association awards, an AWGIE and a Helpmann award. He is currently working under commission from Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company and Terrapin Puppet Theatre.

Emily Sheehan is a playwright and dramaturg based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her plays include MONUMENT (Red Stitch Actors' Theatre) HELL'S CANYON (Old 505 Theatre / La Mama Theatre / Regional Arts Victoria / Vimeo on Demand film of stage play), DAISY MOON WAS BORN THIS WAY (Q Theatre Sydney) and VERSIONS OF US (Canberra Youth Theatre). She completed her Masters in Playwriting at the Victoria College of Arts (VCA) University of Melbourne.

Emily's plays have been developed through Melbourne Theatre Company's Cybec Electric, Playwriting Australia's National Play Festival, Playwriting Australia's National Script Workshops, Red Stitch INK Development Workshops and Australian Theatre for Young People's Fresh Ink program. Awards include the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award (Winner), Melbourne International Fringe Festival Award (Winner), Patrick White Playwrights Award (Finalist) and the Max Afford Playwrights Award (Finalist). She is a regular guest lecturer in playwriting at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and hosts the Playwright's Process Podcast, a monthly podcast about writing, craft and the creative process.

Reed Phelan is an emerging writer and performer based in Naarm. Reed began her journey as a creative through her passion for musical theatre and the performing arts. Her experience as a performer prompted her to explore playmaking and the writing process.
Currently, she is studying for a bachelor's Degree in Arts with a specialisation in Gender Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her work centres themes of identity, gender, sexuality, and social justice.

Most recently, she has performed in Top Acts Drama 2022, and worked with the Arts Centre as a writer in the Stories in the Wall x Emilia program and New Writers Collective. Now, she continues her work as a writer, assisting as a peer mentor in the Stories in the Wall Animal Adventures program. Reed wishes to continue her work in writing and performing in the future.

Rufaro Zimbudzi is a Zimbabwean-Australian singer, actress and activist based in Naarm/ Melbourne. Recipient of the Nancye Hayes Scholarship for Musical Theatre (VCA Company ‘25), VCE honours in Theatre, Drama and Music, and the Premier's award for VCE Drama and English (2022). Her social justice and performance efforts have been chronicled in agencies such as The Age, Seven News and Daily Mail Australia. Rufaro is continuing her play-writing and dramatical efforts with multiple performances planned for the end of the year, and a revision of her 2021 Drama solo which was performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Gabrielle 'Gabs' Rota (all pronouns) is an artist, writer, and theatre maker from Gippsland, Victoria.

Gabs was a featured performer in Top Class at the Arts Melbourne Centre and Top Acts at the Melbourne Recital Centre for VCAA's VCE Season of Excellence 2022. Their most recent production was Nuworks Theatre's 'Puck', where they played the title role.

Gabs enjoys experimenting with new and innovative theatre works, and is excited and honoured to be a mentor for the Stories in The Wall project. They are currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Amelia Evans is a Melbourne based writer, director and dramaturg for stage and screen.

As writer and director her credits include Mad as a Cute Snake with Dan Giovannoni (Theatreworks 2019) and TRAPS: A Romantic Comedy for the Modern Sociopath (One Word/Melb Fringe 2017). She also written plays: Atomic (Malthouse Theatre 2018/2019), The Myth Project: Twin (Arthur/MTC NEON 2014), Cut Snake (Arthur, Theatreworks/TRS/Brisbane Festival 2011-2015), Lyrebird (TRS 2011), Waltzing Wooloomooloo: The Tale of Frankie Jones (Arthur 2012) and The Saturated World (Melbourne Fringe 2004).

Her short films include Unity (VCA 2021) and EXT. THE EDGE. DAY (VCA 2021).

As dramaturg her credits include Voices of Joan of Arc (Next Wave), The Sea Project (Arthur, Griffin Theatre), Wrecking (TRS), Dirtyland (Arthur, The Spare Room) and Private View (NIDA, Theatre Works). She was attached as the dramaturgy Besen fellow on Love and Information (Malthouse Theatre 2015) She graduated from NIDA in 2010.

Activation design – Emmy Webbers

Emmy Webbers (aka Wurruck Yambo) is a Gunai/Kurnai artist who was born and raised within the Kulin Nations of Victoria predominately on Bunurong and Wurundjeri Countries.


For Arts Centre Melbourne:
Creative Producer: Delsa Tuitea
Creative Learning Team: Joshua Cowie, Tom Dickins, Alex Clouston, Dani Weber and Sophie Laurenson.
Senior Producer, Creative Learning: Zoe Rinkel
Recording Engineers: Cale Sexton and Luke Meehan
Website: Ann Tran
Graphics: Emmy Webbers
Design: Sally Piskuric and Glonaida Quiapon
Marketing: Hayden Carragher and Ally Hartson

How does my school get involved?


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