The Rainbow Tree

Fat Fruit

The Rainbow Tree is a metaphor for connection, community and family, those you are born into and those you find along the way. A safe haven for all those that colour outside the lines.
– Bec & Sarah (Fat Fruit)

What happens when you invite seven children from Rainbow Families to create a show? You end up with a disco koala, a wildebeest, a farting unicorn and a fairy that can freeze tickle monsters all co-habiting in a very tall, yet tiny Rainbow Tree. This is what it’s like living in a Rainbow Family. Everyone is welcome and anything is possible.

The Rainbow Tree is musical storytelling with moving image. Written with children from Rainbows families, it shares personal and imagined stories around the idea of family, identity and community. Performed by two queer super Aunties, Aunty Bear and ZaZa from Fat Fruit (Bec Matthews and Sarah Ward) with singing and live music, played on instruments and objects you could find around the house.

The songs are brought to life through the projected visual images of Jolyon James (Arena Theatre Company) featuring animation, illustrations and the children themselves.

The stories of The Rainbow Tree were collected through Zoom meetings during the six month Melbourne lockdown. These children were isolated from their friends and extended families and had limited opportunity for adventures. This did not stop them imagining new worlds to explore. Worlds inhabited by animals and magical beings, where they could be super versions of themselves and dig up 4005 golden cupcakes. The Rainbow Tree is playful, imaginative and interactive. It’s filled with fun visual imagery, wonderful original songs, live music and stories written by seven children from Rainbow families.

There will be two Auslan interpreted shows, brought to you by the extraordinary Kirri Dangerfeild, who has translated the songs into Auslan. Fat Fruit have a focus on making all shows as relaxed as possible. The Rainbow Tree will have a break out area, fidget toys, noise cancelling headphones and toys to cuddle and squish. A number of the performances will be interpreted for Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences.


Co-Creator & Performer
Sarah Ward as ZaZa

Co-Creator, Sound Designer & Performer
Bec Matthews as Aunty Bear

Co-Written with seven children from Rainbow Families

Directorial Eye
Susie Dee

Bridget Milesi

Lighting Designer
Monique Aucher

Animation Team
Jolyon James Animator

Performing Lines

Information for Presenters

This production is available for national and international touring.

Samantha Butterworth Senior Producer
A close up photo of Lauren Sheree. Producer, wearing a red shirt Lauren Sheree Producer

Presentation History

Bunjil Place
Narre Warren, VIC
Geelong Arts Centre
Geelong, VIC
Arts Centre Melbourne
Melbourne, VIC
Bendigo Venues & Events
Bendigo, VIC
Darlinghurst Theatre Company in association with Sydney WorldPride
Sydney, NSW
Yarra Ranges Council
Yarra Ranges, VIC

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

The Rainbow Tree is produced by Performing Lines. It was jointly commissioned by ArtPlay and Midsumma as part of the PRISM program at Midsumma Festival. PRISM was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. ArtPlay is supported by the City of Melbourne. This project is generously supported by Linda Herd.

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

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