Children of the Sea

Jay Emmanuel

The UN Refugee Agency reports 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution at the close of 2018.

52% are children.

The culmination of a two-year research project, Children of the Sea is Jay Emmanuel’s new work-of-scale that shares the journeys of young maritime refugees who came to Australia by boat.

Using satire and humour, Children Of The Sea, centres around the stories of four intertwined characters who struggle with ideas of home, identity, adolescence and love as they navigate the absurdities of the adult world in which they drift.

The work will star emerging performers, all from migrant and refugee background, in concert with a youth choir led by Green Room Awarded Composer and Choir Leader Kavisha Mazzella.

A counter-response to one of the most pressing issues humanity is facing right now, the piece asks: What do children do to survive in the face of adversity? What gives them hope? What are the effects of separation from family and friends?


Created by
Jay Emmanuel

Shakthidharan Sivanathan

Script Dramaturg – 1st stage
Polly Low

Composer & Choir Leader
Kavisha Mazzella

Set Designer
Bryan Woltjen

Cultural Advisor
Ali Raza

Produced by
Performing Lines WA

Information for Presenters

This work is currently in development stage.

Rachael Whitworth Senior Producer
Zainab Syed Producer

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

Produced by Performing Lines WA, the work has been supported by the WA Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of our First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.