Hijabi Girl: A Musical Puppet Show, featuring colourful Muppet-style puppetry rarely experienced live, explores diverse cultures within Australian schools.

Hijabi Girl: A Musical Puppet Show is a colourful and thought-provoking theatre production by Larrikin Puppets for ages 6-9 based on a children’s book by Australian author Hazel Edwards OAM and Turkish-Australian Muslim co-author, Ozge Alkan.

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, the show is a celebration of multicultural Australia and a statement about acceptance, and coping successfully with being different.

Hijabi Girl features 14 colourful hand puppets and creative rod puppets hand-crafted by seven different puppet builders from across Australia, Indonesia and the USA. The innovative show includes spectacular UV blacklight puppetry plus bizarre and delightful food, pencil, football, eye glass and shark puppets.

Larrikin Puppets, from regional Queensland, are writing an original script and original songs based on the book. For authenticity, the main puppet cast are voiced by seven Queensland child actors and singers aged 9-12 with a Turkish-Australian child as narrator, all prerecorded for the show.

Astonishingly, Hijabi Girl is performed by just two puppeteers - Brett Hansen and Elissa Jenkins – who were trained in the USA by Jim Henson puppeteers from The Muppets and Sesame Street.

Venue Format
Theatre, Hall
Technical Rating
Touring Party

Sound: We will bring our own PA speakers, but would prefer to connect to an inhouse sound system, particularly for large audiences. For this, we require the venue to provide a DI box or long cable that enables us to connect to the mixing desk our iphone of sound/music (which we control ourselves from behind the set). We have two wireless headset mics that will need to be connected. We will not be touring with a sound technician and would prefer to access someone local.

Lighting: The show can be performed in natural daylight without theatre lighting. However, it will be more spectacular in a darkened theatre with spotlighting and the ability to include our UV Blacklights. This requires the assistance of a lighting technician, with basic instructions provided. No rehearsal required. We will not be touring with a lighting technician and would prefer to access someone local.

Larrikin Puppets performs colourful and exciting puppet shows and interactive puppetry workshops featuring zany characters and catchy songs, live and online. They have a fun, catchy debut music EP for kids aged 3-9, available across 150+ music streaming services.

Highly entertaining and captivating, Larrikin Puppets’ fast-paced, feel-good puppetry celebrates fun, kindness and diversity while nurturing child development, encouraging audiences to talk, dance, sing and play along.

Award-winning Larrikin Puppets, established in 2012, is a thriving Queensland puppetry arts company founded by puppeteer and musician Brett Hansen. His wife Elissa Jenkins joins him as co-puppeteer and human host. They specialise in children's entertainment and kids’ music.

Brett and Elissa, who received training in the USA under Jim Henson puppeteers from The Muppets and Sesame Street, provide child and family audiences with wide-eyed wonder, joy and laughs from beginning to end.

A full-time professional puppetry arts company, prominent performances include Woodford Folk Festival, Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn (USA), Hamilton Island Resort, Horizon Festival, Cooroy Fusion Festival, Redcliffe Sails Festival, Ipswich Festival, Bundaberg Pageant of Lights, and Gladstone Harbour Festival.

Notable TV appearances include puppetry on The Bureau of Magical Things, Totally Wild and Juiced TV, and in music videos for Regurgitator and Tia Gostelow.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

The show features an all-puppet cast. In addition to a narrative, Hijabi Girl includes original songs in contemporary musical theatre style to make it dynamic and engaging. After the show, the puppeteers demonstrate how the puppets work and offer a behind-the-scenes tour. Hijabi Girl co-author Ozge Alkan, who wears a hijab, said the show holds appeal as it’s a story of a girl who dresses differently to everyone else and is totally fine with who she is. Unlike many fearful news messages that imply different is bad and scary, Hijabi Girl is a fast-paced romp that celebrates confidence and acceptance.

Marketing Materials

Larrikin Puppets' adaptation of Hijabi Girl is actively supported and promoted by the book's authors. The book features a teacher resource kit and a 35-minute play script for schools, available at https://hazeledwards.com/hijabi_girl.html. Larrikin Puppets will arrange a professional photo shoot of the puppets. Trained in TV monitor puppetry, we have a green screen studio and video editing skills, so we will create promotional videos. As an independent theatre company that regularly performs self-funded tours, we are savvy with high impact website SEO and social media marketing. We’ll promote Hijabi Girl using traditional media and contemporary digital media tactics.

Community Engagement

Our goal is to continue to instil in children and families, from city to country, Australia's strong history of accepting people from different cultural backgrounds.

8 year old Melek always finds answers. Some are under her super hijab. Unable to find a book character in a hijab for the Book Parade, Melek writes her own, with illustrations by Tien.

While the performance is suitable any time of year, the link to Book Week will be encouraged for August performances, with children invited to dress up in costume on the day of the show.

Themes around diversity, identity, anti-bullying and creative problem solving align with the Intercultural Understanding strand of the Australian School Curriculum and the puppetry is in line with the Design and Technologies strand.

After the show, the puppeteers will demonstrate how the puppets work and offer a behind-the-scenes tour. We will also provide the opportunity for children to ask questions about the content of the show and the puppets.

For any questions we can't answer on the spot, particularly cultural questions, we will film an answer later featuring the puppets (voiced by our child actors) and publish it on our website and social media for post-show community engagement.