The Shorebird Quest and Circus Activities Kick off 2019
Artistic Program 2019

Posted by Meredith Benke Bell

Winston Shoveller models an emu puppet designed and created by Karajarri Rangers on a previous TK puppet project. Photo by Julia Rau.

Salmon puppets light up the night at Broome's Pearl Luggers. These puppets were also made during a previous TK project with Karajarri Rangers in 2016. Photo by Julia Rau.

Hello Theatre Kimberley friends,

I hope 2019 has started well for you.

It may be the ‘quiet’ time of the year for some, but at Theatre Kimberley, we’re busy getting the wheels in motion for our numerous projects and productions for the year. We’re planning with local schools, venues and community groups as well as with visiting artists and interstate partner organisations so we can finalise some really exciting collaborative projects for 2019.


We’re getting really excited about The Shorebird Quest, a project that partners TK artists with the Broome Bird Observatory and Yawuru Rangers to provide exciting workshop and performance opportunities for Broome school students and the wider community.  The project has a strong puppetry focus, and will result in the creation of very large shorebird puppets made by professional puppeteers (*with community participation opportunities – watch this space!) and smaller puppets made by school groups.  The project will include an original musical score by Jaime Jackett, of the Canadian-Australian band, the Belle Miners. Live music will be performed by local choirs and instrumentalists.

Puppetry workshops will begin at the end of March and will run through most of April with the finale performance taking place on the shores of Roebuck Bay on May 4. Keep your eye on the Theatre Kimberley Facebook page for more information about the performance and how you can be involved!  And if you can’t wait for updates, email me at  We’re looking forward to sharing more with you and getting keen folk involved!  

Hard to imagine what this puppet project will be like?  Have a look at some photos I've attached of the amazing work that lead puppet artist, Bernie Trench-Thiedeman has created on previous projects. We're still in the creative development stage, but big puppets of Kimberley fauna like these will be the stars of the stage!


In the meantime, circus programming for 2019 is about to commence! By the time you read this, we may be well underway with our annual Train-the-Trainer weekend (Feb 23-24), our annual skills and safety intensive for our Act-Belong-Commit Sandfly Circus trainer team.  Nel Simpson will return to Broome to energise our crew with new skills in numerous areas of circus arts.  This opportunity is offered to our teen trainers and our adult teaching team. Being so remote, it can be expensive and difficult to keep skills current, so opportunities like these are so important for strengthening our circus program.  Nel will also provide additional classes in stilt-walking and aerials, a great opportunity for our participants to get a jump-start on the year.

Weekly circus classes begin on February 21st.  We’re delighted to have Livia McKenzie teaching a new tumbling and handstands class to provide focused instruction in that important foundation area. Livia’s class is Thursdays 4:45-6:00 and is open to students school year 5 and up.  General circus classes are currently full, but if you or a friend would like to enroll a child, ages kindy and up, please don’t hesitate to contact us at  We keep ongoing waitlists to secure places for future.

From all of us in the office, all the best for now, and we hope to cross paths soon! Keep an eye on our Theatre Kimberley Facebook and Instagram pages to see what we’re getting up to and to get important info about upcoming projects.

Categories AAA Publish, Outreach, Sandfly Circus, Theatre