Dogs in the Schoolyard

By Flipside Circus, in association with Assembly of Elephants
Production history

May 2021: Premiere season, Cremorne Theatre, QPAC

Performance specifics

Running time 50 minutes.


Dogs in the Schoolyard

“… a masterpiece of creativity and PHYSICALITY that appeals to all ages.” – Brisbane Stage.

Dogs in the Schoolyard combines circus, storytelling, and original music to create an enchanting modern fable for families and children.

On a hot summer afternoon, the dogs in the schoolyard clamber over each other, leaping, running, eating, playing. By the big old fig tree at the bottom of the oval everyone knows the rules and everyone knows their place. But today things are different, the storm birds are circling, and a new dog has arrived…

Dogs in the Schoolyard explores themes of friendship, play, inclusion/exclusion, and resilience through the lens of young dogs’ experiences with other pups. It brings together sensitive storytelling and phenomenal circus skills to immerse audiences in a world ruled by dogs and with unbounded opportunities for play!

 A visual poem” (Brisbane Stage), Dogs in the Schoolyard is an engaging performance for families and children of all ages.

“As with the best of children’s books, this is a deceptively simple story that can be read on many levels. The plot centres on the day the rhythm of the schoolyard is disturbed by the arrival of the storm birds, and of a new dog. During the 50 minute show, the new kid finds a friend, the storm birds rescue the dogs from the trees, and the lonely watcher is the catalyst for a joyful reconciliation between the dogs and birds.” – Creative Futures.

Dogs in the Schoolyard premiered at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre in 2021.

Creative team

Writer/Story/Creator: Elaine Acworth
Director/Writer/Creator: Robert Kronk
Director/Creator: Amy Stuart
Performers/Creators: Mia Hughes and Izzy Lawton and the Flipside Circus performance troupe: Abbey Factor, Aurora Bennett-Godde, Eden Vann, Emily Shearer, Indra Garvey, Jedda Bell, Lucy Hunterland, Luke Whitefield, Meg Barber, Oscar Morris, Samantha Giles, Teleah Richardson, Tula Holmes, Zebedee Davies
Sound design/composer: Guy Webster
Creators/trainers: Aliya Abeshiva, Amy Stuart and Chris Fleming, Alex Weckes Huck, Ellie Cox, Davy Sampford and Harley McLeish.
Production manager: Gabriela Gallardo
Set and costume designer: Josh McIntosh
Lighting designer: Jason Glenwright
Stage manager: Yanni Dubler
Co-stage manager/Associate artist: Kelsey Booth

Brisbane Stage

Dogs in the Schoolyard is such a superb masterpiece of creativity and physicality that it appeals to all ages.” – Mandy Plumb

Creative Futures

Dogs in the Schoolyard is youth circus at its finest… a moving ‘tail’ about friendship, trust and teamwork—told through exciting and skilful circus.” – Catherine Lawrence

Stage Whispers

“From the very youngest to the oldest member of the troupe, the performances are faultless and professional, working together as a true ensemble. Some of the human stunts were astounding…” – Beth Keehn

Audience REviews

“The show was a perfect length packed full of action and kept [the children] on the edge of their seats the whole time. Both children left the theatre that day to go home and try out some of the acro work they had seen. They were so impressed that children could make their bodies do those things.” – Audience member

“The kids sat still the entire time in awe. Both walked out giving it a 10 out of 10 and couldn’t wait to try some of the tricks they saw.” – Audience member


Flipside Circus is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and this project has received support through the Queensland Arts Showcase Program Fund.