Barking Gecko is a local theatre company that creates and tours world-class theatre for children and their families. The company’s vision is to create a space in which children can be courageous, creative and culturally engaged with a commitment to artistic excellence, regardless of age.

When it comes to kid’s theatre, Barking Gecko’s motto is “for the smallest, only the finest”. The theatre company creates one to two new productions each year that premiere in Perth before touring regionally, nationally and even internationally. The productions are linked to creative learning programs delivered in classrooms and communities with children feeding into the creative development process through the Gecko Ensembles program of weekly drama classes.

Gecko Ensembles are designed to stretch imaginations in exciting directions. Workshops focus on the learning that comes from engaging with drama processes through exploration of life’s big question. Kids are challenged to collaborate and communicate to build resilience and empathy.

Barking Gecko

Currently on show is the company’s production of HOUSE. Previously showcased at this year’s Perth Festival, HOUSE is being performed for nearly 5,000 students and teachers from schools across Greater Perth. A new contemporary fairy-tale, HOUSE is a mad-cap adventure story of loneliness, belonging and flying houses that takes the heroine, Cathelijn, on a journey of self-realisation and self-determination. Featuring a cast of memorable characters, and a living breathing house, this fun-filled escapade will set students’ imaginations soaring.

Prior to the students’ excursion to the theatre, teachers are provided with a Creative Learning Pack that includes a range of classroom activities and educational resources linked to HOUSE. In addition, teachers also receive links to a digital workshop by Barking Gecko Teaching Artists for students to engage with pre or post excursion.

Barking Gecko

For many children, their first experience of theatre is made possible because of a school excursion. In efforts to further increase children’s accessibility to the theatre, Barking Gecko established its Inspire Program in 2020. The program supports principals and teachers from 28 primary schools located in low socio-economic suburbs with the goal of enriching students’ learning through access to theatre performances and in-school creative learning programs. As a part of the program, fully subsidised tickets and bus transportation to the theatre is provided so students can witness performances. Around 65% of students attending HOUSE are able to attend thanks to this program.

“Getting to bring our students to a Barking Gecko performance, and watch their reactions, is a clear highlight of my teaching career. For so many of our students this was truly a once in a lifetime experience…a wonderful, authentic learning experience that I never would have been able to provide for the students…I’m so grateful for our school to have been included, comments an Inspire Program Primary School Teacher.

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