The internet is a complex and rapidly changing space. Technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the metaverse have the potential for great benefit but also carry the risk of great harm for children and young people.

Live theatre provides a unique platform for students to learn about the opportunities and challenges of the online world. The performing arts offers a safe space for students to explore different perspectives, formulate creative solutions and learn from the stories of others. 

Why are cyber safety programs important?

Two primary school students are using a tablet together in a classroom

The eSafety Commissioner recently reported a 40% jump in cyberbullying reports, with 2,383 reports last year compared to 1,700 reports in 2022. There has also been an explosion in reports of online child sexual exploitation and abuse, with millions of reports being made every year on the most popular platforms.

Children and young people are being exposed to distressing and inappropriate content from a young age, and this can have a significant impact on their emotional wellbeing.

Rather than be overwhelmed when confronted with a problem of this scale, we need to empower students manage the risks. This learning should start early in life and be prioritised as a key aspect of their education.

Cyber safety programs play an important role in protecting students from online harms, providing them with practical skills for critical thinking, resilience and respectful behaviour. Students need to understand their rights and responsibilities in the digital world, and be equipped with the skills and knowledge to build safe and respectful online communities.

Using educational theatre to empower and inspire

A male actor is wearing a virtual reality headset and using a VR controller. A still from the high school online safety program The Flipside by Brainstorm Productions

Brainstorm Productions has been delivering live online safety programs in primary and high schools since 2007, with performances updated annually to reflect current trends and online safety priorities. The programs are designed to energise students and engage them in important discussions about their safety and wellbeing.

Our creative team includes movement director Matthew Wells (Rhum & Clay, UK) and multi award winning composer Sean Peter. The content is created by teachers and a clinical psychologist, to ensure the messages are relevant, age-appropriate and closely aligned with the curriculum.

Every performance includes a facilitated discussion with the actors, and curriculum-linked lesson plans to continue the conversations in the classroom. The company is also endorsed by the eSafety Commissioner as a Trusted eSafety Provider and supports important online safety initiatives like Safer Internet Day and Privacy Awareness Week

Case Study: Zanna & the Lost Code live performance for primary schools

Zanna and Eddie

In 2023 we launched a new cyber safety show for primary schools. Zanna & the Lost Code was informed by current research and expert knowledge in the field of online safety. The live performance takes a hopeful approach to cyber safety, empowering students to find their voice and take positive action in the online world. The performance tackles key priority areas in an age-appropriate way, including privacy and security, unwanted contact with strangers, managing screen use, emotion regulation, and bullying and exclusion in friendship groups.

The action begins at a coding camp, where Zanna and Eddie are zapped into the Camp Captain’s new game for kids. The audience is transported into the world of the game with immersive soundscapes, movement, an exciting narrative, and talented actors. The show includes an uplifting song that empowers students to take control of their digital wellbeing. 

The protagonists are flawed and relatable, helping students to apply the strategies to their own lives. The interactions between Zanna and Eddie provide a model for healthy friendships, as they lift each other up and cooperate to complete the challenges.

A girl is wearing a gaming headset and smiling, holding a frame around her face. A promo image from Zanna and the Lost Code by Brainstorm Productions.

Together, they discover that they can change the game from the inside, to create a safer and more inclusive experience for players around the globe.

Five star review

Zanna & the Lost Code reflects a move towards a more positive, student-centred approach to online safety education. Research has found that the most effective online safety programs are those that frame technology in a positive light, while also building awareness of factors that increase and decrease the risk of harm.

Five star review

Zanna & the Lost Code is currently touring in Sydney and surrounding areas, including Wollongong, Central Coast, Newcastle and Blue Mountains. This performance will also be available to Brisbane primary schools in 2025, including Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Northern Rivers NSW. 

Cyber safety programs for primary and high school

Learn more about our cyber safety incursions for primary and high schools including programs available in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

We are still taking bookings for 2024, with limited dates available in some areas. Contact our bookings team to make a booking for your school!