Literature Comes to Life this Winter/Spring at Arts Centre Melbourne for Families- Win a family pass

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang. It includes a pre/post performance activity and a family pass giveaway to see a performance of Miss Ophelia.

Arts Centre Melbourne is launching an exciting season for families and youth, which will see favourite children’s books come alive on stage for the first time.

The season is made up of a number of shows playing between July and November, 2013.  The program is aimed at families and includes world-class international productions for children aged 3+, which are imaginative and educational.

The shows are unique, and are one-of-a kind experiences for parents to share with their children. The venues are small, allowing for an intimate audience and an ‘up close and personal’ theatre experience.


Arts Centre Melbourne presents Het Filiaal’s Miss Ophelia as the season opener

Direct from The Netherlands, Arts Centre Melbourne’s winter hero show, Miss Ophelia is adapted from Ophelia’s Shadow Theatre by Michael Ende – author of The Never Ending Story.

Ophelia is going to be a great actress who will travel the world – or at least that is what her parents want for her. When her tiny voice derails the dream, Ophelia stumbles upon a shadow that belongs to no one, and takes the solitary silhouette under her wing. When more shadows arrive, she tucks them into her little purse and soon, unlikely (and unforgettable!) friendships are forged as Ophelia and her sidekicks deliver extraordinary shadow puppet theatre in this heart-warming story full of light.

The performance is told using projections, shadows, small objects, life size actors, an old record player and 8 desk lights.

Performance details:

Dates: 3 August (11: 30am and 2:00pm)  and 4 August ( 11:30am and 2:00pm)

Theatre: Fairfax Studio

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: Tickets are $18 each or $16 each when purchased as a family or group pass (4+)

Read more about Miss Ophelia or purchase tickets now.

There are other shows on the program including Patch Theatre Company’s Theo and the Lion, a whimsical, dream-world adventure inspired by Pamela Allen’s picture book, A Lion in the Night.

To find out more about the other shows on the program, you can sign up to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Families & Youth eNews or visit


You can try this activity with your children before or after seeing a performance of Miss Ophelia. Children can explore and capture shadows, and use their imagination to create stories with the shadows they have captured.

This activity is inspired by two elements of Miss Ophelia:

1)  The use of lights and shadows in the production of Miss Ophelia.

2) The role shadows play in the storyline of Miss Ophelia. They belong to no one, but come together to create a story of their own.

Materials for lost shadow art_ My Little Bookcase

1. Set up the working station. Position the desk lamp at one end of the table and direct it towards the white paper.

2. Select one object and place it in front of the lamp

3. Using the charcoal, draw over the shadow that has been created by the object (charcoal is a fantastic medium because it can be rubbed to create a shadow effect)

4. Continue capturing shadows, using objects in a range of shapes and sizes

Capturing shadows with charcoal_My Little Bookcase

5. Once you remove the objects, you are left with ‘lost shadows’:  shadows that belong to no one

6. Look at each shadow and talk about what you see. The shadow might not necessarily look like the object it belongs to. Create little stories about each of the lost shadows.

7. Ask children to bring their lost shadows together to create a story. Depending on the age of your child/ren, this could simply be done verbally.


Courtesy of Arts Centre Melbourne, we have 1 x family pass (4 tickets) to giveaway for the performance of Miss Ophelia on Saturday 3 August 2013 at 11.30am (valued at $64).

The giveaway is open to Australian residents and closes at 5pm (AEST) on the Wednesday 31 July 2013. Please note the full Terms and Conditions of the giveaway.

To enter:

Leave a comment below, answering the following question:.

Why do you want to see Miss Ophelia at Arts Centre Melbourne?

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Literature Comes to Life this Winter/Spring at Arts Centre Melbourne for Families- Win a family pass


  1. We are avid readers and my daughter a wonderful dreamer! She speaks of being a mermaid, a fairy, an astronaut or a princess when she grows up. As she has started to understand the difference between the real and the imaginary age has settled on being an actress so she can be them all. She is very theatrical…. However as she has started prep we have discovered that she is funding it tricky to read. A potential stumbling block! We have discovered that she is gifted in one area but has deficits in others. We are always on the hunt for inspiring stories of overcoming life’s hurdles, in a format that she can learn. Miss Ophelia has my vote.

  2. Jo said: On July 29, 2013

    I think I would start by saying “Who wouldn’t wnat to see this brilliant production?”, but for our family in particular it would come at a wonderful time. Mr 5.6 is an imaginative, wonderful boy who has just hit the half year slump of prep …”I don’t want to go to school!!” I am not focusing on it, but trying to give him great experiences to WANT to write about them on Mondays (the thing he doesn’t like about school is the writing!!!)

  3. That looks like such a great activity Jackie! We will have to try it :-)

  4. Tam said: On July 29, 2013

    We love giving our children different experiences in life. I think we would all enjoy this together on a family day out.

  5. I was OBSESSED with the fantasy of Never Ending Story when I was young and so I’m sure Miss Ophelia will be just as wonderful. My little Possum has also just started to recognise shadows and is quite interested in them. Great post and thanks for letting me know about this.

  6. What a great activity to try even if you can’t get to the show!

    And I love that the Arts Centre are using children’s books to really engage their younger audiences!

  7. What a great activity. My guys are fascinated with lights. Looking forward to playing with shadows with them. Ophelia sounds like such a great show. Will they be coming to Sydney? xo P

  8. I do so wish we lived in the city so I could take my girls to something like this! Such a fantastic giveaway.
    We shall be trying the shadow activity though…looks like so much fun and I love the creations you made….very special!

  9. Laney said: On July 30, 2013

    It’s always great to find entertainment for kids that doesn’t involve a screen or licensed characters! My kids would love the light and shadows as we have fun playing shadow puppets with our hands when the sun hits the back of our house in the afternoons.

  10. Oh I love that shadow activity! Great giveaway – wish I was in Melbourne to see this. Sharing on my wall. :)

  11. Debs said: On July 30, 2013

    Fabulous activity Jackie and what a fun giveaway. The performances sound great!

  12. A few months back my daughters and I were enjoying using stencils to make our own shadow puppets using black card and straws. The possibilities and different themes seemed limitless and their enjoyment lasted weeks. Hubby even bought home an old unused overhead projector to continue the fun and the girls experimented with all sorts of toys and different items collected from the local park. We would LOVE to see Miss Ophelia!!

  13. Basically, the whole family loves to get on a tram, ride into the city and see a show together. Great family time. There is no way I can write anything even vaguely touchy-feely-vomity to earn the tix, especially at 11.20pm after I’ve finally finished the laundry. I especially can’t write about how gifted my children are. Suffice to say, my kids and I would really love to see Miss Ophelia. The tickets would be very well received.

  14. Wow Laurelee Jenna! I totally get that raising kids is exhausting and a 24 hour job but there is no excuse for bullying or making fun of others. When I said my child was gifted in one area but showed deficits in others, what I really meant was she has a learning disability. But she is also smart enough to know there is something wrong with her ability to learn. She is sad and anxious and I worry about her all night long. And that i have increased my hours at work to pay for her treatment and every spare cent is spent on that. And that I am desperately trying to find affordable yet enriching things other than plain hard work for her to look forward to. I am sorry if my ‘touchy feely VOMITY’ entry offended you. For the record Jackie I love this idea and will find the cash to buy tickets and follow up with your activity. Its genius! My vote goes for anyone else to win! I especially liked Elissa’s entry about using an old projector- you gotta love a repurposed item, and Laneys entry it reminded me of how much kids love plain old hand puppet shadows. Good luck ladies!

  15. Weekends are about quality family time, fun and laughter. The opportunity to enter a dream of shadows and make believe for 45 minutes sounds ticks all these boxes and will be enjoyed by the whole family.

  16. To thrill, excite & delight my little niece. Her name’s Ophelia, and it’s not a name you hear very often so will make her day!!

  17. Thank you for your lovely comments and entries. Many of the entries really tugged on my heart strings.

    Congratulations to Diana O who has been selected to receive the family pass. We hope little Ophelia enjoys the show.

Literature Comes to Life this Winter/Spring at Arts Centre Melbourne for Families- Win a family pass

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