Hijabi Girl: A Musical Puppet Show

By Larrikin Puppets

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A celebration of multicultural Australia

Hijabi Girl is a children's book for ages 7-9 that Larrikin Puppets will transform into a musical theatre performance featuring puppets.

Co-authored by prolific Australian author Hazel Edwards OAM and children's librarian Ozge Alkan, and illustrated by Serena Geddes, pictured below, Hijabi Girl is a refreshing look at the diverse mix of cultures within most Australian schools. With themes around diversity, identity, anti-bullying and creative problem solving that align with Australia's national school curriculum, Hijabi Girl is a celebration of multicultural Australia, and a statement about acceptance and coping successfully with being different.

8 year old Melek always finds answers. Some are under her super hijab. For others she needs the help of newcomer Tien (who draws fantastic worlds as an escape), dress-ups-guru Lily and even soccer-mad Zac (who NEVER agrees with her). Melek wants to start her own Aussie Rules girls' football team.

Unable to find a book character in a hijab for the Book Parade, Melek writes her own, with illustrations by awesome Tien.

Melek solves all problems, even rescuing Zac in the pool. And luckily her fashionista mother designs club colour-coded hijabs for footy fans.

Our challenge

While Larrikin Puppets is a thriving, sustainable puppetry business, most of our puppet shows cater for children aged 6 and under and their families, delivering child development outcomes through talking, playing, singing, dancing and interacting with zany monsters and fun animal puppets.

Creating a puppet show for an older children's audience based on a book full of cultural sensitivities requires concerted research and development: new puppet builds, custom stage sets, converted scripts and original songs.

While we are happy to invest our time into developing the creative project (e.g. script development, songwriting, rehearsing), as we are neither puppet builders nor set designers, we need funding to support the creation of the puppets and the set, including materials.

Help us make a difference

We - Principal Puppeteer Brett Hansen and Artistic Director Elissa Jenkins - are honoured to have been entrusted by the authors of this book to bring these children's voices to life, transforming the written word into a musical puppet show that will shine a spotlight on much-needed, multicultural themes around diversity, identity, anti-bullying and creative problem solving to children across Australia.

This is us actively 'showing up' in supporting Muslim Australians and we are seeking your financial support in a gesture of solidarity to 'show up' too.

Elissa herself is 'Multicultural Australia'. As a first generation Australian of Italian and British descent, she's enthusiastic about ensuring each new wave of migrants and refugees is welcomed into Australia in the same way her parents and grandparents were, but with less challenges rather than more. Elissa believes food is a great equaliser - and that's the passion behind creating a rice paper roll puppet and a kebab puppet.

With age relevant puppets, music and songs for 7-9 year olds, Larrikin Puppets will transform the Hijabi Girl storybook into a visual extravaganza using 21 spectacular human puppets, fish puppets, pencil puppets and food puppets in the style of The Muppets & Fraggle Rock as well as Larrikin Puppets' first foray into black light (UV) puppetry.

Any funds raised over $8000 will help support our work as performance artists in script development, songwriting, rehearsing and public promotions.

Any funds raised over $20,000 will help contribute to a state or national tour depending on the amount raised.

While all proceeds of this Chuffed campaign will be used to create and produce Hijabi Girl: A Musical Puppet Show, 50% of every ticket sold to our launch show will go to Democracy In Colour.

You can join us

While we intend to tour this show nationally at schools, the first performance - should we achieve the $8000 goal - will be a public performance at a theatre in South-East Queensland. One of the major perks will be a ticket to this public event.

Other super cool rewards available.

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Team Members

Elissa Jenkins

Brett Hansen