The House of Dreaming

Models Mitali Reilly, Heidi Opaluch, Milo Cosmas Photo by Guy Lavoipierre

Presented by Melbourne Festival, Perth Festival, Auckland Arts Festival and Brisbane Festival. Melbourne production presented in association with Betty Amsden OAM.

An incredible interactive maze of robotics, storytelling and theatrical wonder, for children aged 5 and over. 

Melbourne’s revolutionary Arena Theater Company presents a new, interactive, live-theatre work for children aged five to eight. Staged inside a house, The House of Dreaming is a life‐sized, three-dimensional storybook world of imagination and wonder, inspired by children’s daydreams.

Come inside…

In groups of three, children are invited to enter into this incredible interactive playground where anything within reach can be touched and explored.

Littered with the exotic bric-a-brac of its former occupants, the slumbering house dreams wistfully of its past, evoking memories in each room and with each object. The House of Dreaming comprises of nine interconnected chambers, and its story is told through an innovative combination of robotics, performers and projections.

More information is available via the Melbourne Festival

How do you make an oribot?

Oribots are folding origami robots.

They are motion and heat sensitive and look like flowers.

They're created by Matthew Gardiner, who here explains how you make them.

Schools information

Designed specifically for lower-primary students, The House of Dreaming engages with  VELS Domains from Levels 1 to 4:

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs will answer all your questions and more, including:

Learning Resources

Download the supplementary Education Pack, filled with fun activities and background information on The House of Dreaming.

Origami Pack

Learn how to make some of the items you may see in The House of Dreaming, like a flower, a house or a crown.


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Director Chris Kohn
Designer Danielle Brustman
Composer & Sound Designer Jethro Woodward
Video Artist Martyn Coutts
Interactive Systems and Robotics Designer Paul Lim, Matthew Gardiner
Lighting Designer Richard Vabre
Assistant Director Christian Leavesley
Performers Sam Routledge, Penelope Bartlau, Phillip McInnes, Sarah Kriegler
Production Manager Bernadette Sweeney (2010)
Writer Halcyon Macleod
Production Manager Emily O'Brien
Front of House Manager Daria Wray
Set Construction Justin Green
Textile Artist Kim Simon
Stage Manager Nadia Bobaly
Oribotic Electronic Design and Software Ray Gardiner

Thanks also to:

Hedge Construction and Design - Gonzalo Varla

Hat and Cape Designer - Michelle Boyde

Video Performer - Katherine Tonkin

Voiceover - Chris Brown

Systems Installation Assistant - Bianca Mastroianni

Set Construction Secondment (VCA) - Leah Popple

Presented by Melbourne Festival, Perth Festival, Auckland Arts Festival and Brisbane Festival.Melbourne production presented in association with Betty Amsden OAM.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals. Arena Theatre Company Ltd is assisted by the Australian Government through its arts funding and advisory body; Arts Victoria’ City of Melbourne and 21-19. 

This project was supported by an Extended School Residency through Arts Victoria.

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The House of Dreaming has been developed with the generous support of:

Ian Potter