Secret Schoolyard

Image Credit: Jolyon James

Creatures hide in plain sight, work with Arena to bring them to life!

Ever seen a face in the clouds or a wizard in a tree-trunk? Now you can uncover these hidden creatures and meet them face-to-face.

In just one day students develop original characters born out of places important to them and use live animation technology to perform them for an audience.

Arena artists work with participants to identify places within their surroundings that are significant to them. Hotspots may have stories or memories attached, intriguing physical features or provoke imaginative responses.

Students using photography, visual art, cutting edge digital technology and storytelling to create the appearance and personality of their creature. They learn to ‘puppet’ their characters with live animation technology, giving both movement and voice to their digital character. The workshop culminates with students performing their characters for the whole school community. 


Secret Schoolyard introduces students to new technologies, new modes of performance, promotes creative expression, teamwork and provides a rare opportunity to work alongside professional artists. In creating their characters’ students reflect on their school and community and develop an understanding of what is important to them in their school and environment.

Workshop Details

Secret Schoolyard is an Arena Theatre Company Workshop.

Age range: 7 - 12 years or Grade 3 - 6

Participants: 20 or one school class.

Duration: 5 hours or one school day

Arena Artists: 3

Curriculum Areas: Technologies – Digital Technologies, The Arts – Media, The Arts – Visual Communication, English, Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking Capability

Curriculum Links


Secret Schoolyard is suitable for schools, local arts and community centres, holiday and festival programs and is available for booking throughout 2019. For more information please contact 


For secondary aged young people please see Secret Schoolyard's sister workshop Artificial Intelligence.

In late 2017 Arena presented Secret Schoolyard in three schools in remote East Gippsland. Arena would like to thank the East Gippsland Specialist School, Omeo Primary School and Lakes Entrance Primary School for hosting our artists.

The three original characters seen above were created by students at each school.