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Return to the Village


Return to the Village is an interactive and immersive storytelling experience for children and their families.


It was first presented in 2019 thanks to the support of an Arts and Cultural Grant from the City of Adelaide. After a successful round of creative development, it went on to the 2021 Adelaide Fringe Festival with support from an Adelaide Fringe Artist Fund and a grant from the City of Charles Sturt Council. The show received great feedback, positive reviews and won a weekly fringe award in the 'Best Children’s' category.


Return to the Village was also selected to be part of The Nature of Cities Festival - a 5-day virtual festival connecting local places and ideas on a global scale. The concept of the pop-up village was selected as part of their virtual exhibition whose objective was to imagine bold, new cities for the future.  

The show returned for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Festival, again with support from the City of Adelaide via an Arts and Cultural Grant. This time the show took place in the beautiful surrounds of the Adelaide Zoo and took out the 2022 Adelaide Fringe Award for the BankSA Best Kids and Family show. Return to the Village was invited to perform at the Adelaide Festival Theatre as part of the 2022 Families program.


Audiences to date have loved the experience of stepping into and helping to create a village. The structure of the show allows families to create their own story while also being part of a greater narrative for a shared and social experience. The show has been described as ‘a really magical experience’ and we’re often thanked by parents who relish the chance to bond with their children.


Return to the Village promotes the idea that our future wellbeing is linked to our ability to live in closely linked communities while celebrating our natural world and communal spaces. We’re excited to develop further shows and share the concept with future audiences.


Here are some of the highlights:


  • It is a completely interactive and gentle experience where families can connect and cooperate.

  • It gives children scope to take on responsibilities, solve problems and interact with adults and children they don't know.

  • It is thoughtfully developed so that all children are valued and can participate in their own unique way.

  • It broadens children's experience of the world.

  • Each performance starts with a Welcome to Country as well as a Kaurna a language learning session. The Kaurna storyteller is integral to the show as a mock village cannot be built without first acknowledging we are on unceded Aboriginal land.

  • A series of pre-planned storylines and challenges gives children the chance to develop and practice teamwork and empathy.

  • It is a visual and tactile show that appeals to diverse audiences.

Marina Barbaro - show creator


As a writer, producer and event maker, Marina is passionate about telling stories and creating shared experiences. She loves writing for young audiences and has produced children’s theatre for previous festivals. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Adelaide University and studied Professional Writing at the Adelaide College of the Arts where she received an Arts Excellence Award upon graduation.


For more information about her skills and experience, please take a look at her CV.

The Full Story


"Marina is a results driven professional who is a pleasure to work with. A creative with passion for engaging and empowering her audiences, Marina makes theatre that is both informed and entertaining."


Libby Trainor Parker


Expressions Media

"As a freelancer Marina consistently delivers work on time and to a professional standard. Her work is a cut above the rest."


Lieu T Pham


Content Marketing Advisory Services, NewsCred

For more information contact Marina via
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