Dot & the Kangaroo JR.
An all-new musical adaptation of the bestselling Australian classic.
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Show Essentials
24
Roles
+ Ensemble
U
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

It’s 1815, or thereabouts, in the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. It’s a bright sunny morning at a remote cottage deep within the Australian bush, where 8 year old Dot lives with her father Henry and older sister Matilda. Henry recounts to Dot the story of how they’re family arrived in Australia and how Dot’s mother died (“Overlette”).

With an adventurous spirit, Dot tries to convince her father to let her go exploring in a nearby gulley. Henry tells Dot that she is too young to go into the dangerous bush alone. He insists that they need to stick together as a family and that she should stay close to the farm and help her sister with the chores (“Everything, But Nothing Without You”). Henry promises that if all the chores are complete, they can discuss the possibility of visiting the gulley together when he returns. Henry leaves for work, to build a road through the mountains. Matilda ties Dot’s hair back off her face using their mother’s special blue ribbon and tells her not to go beyond the fence.

As Dot scrubs and cleans the pee- pots, she yearns for adventure and is frustrated by always being told “No!” (“See the Country”). A small sugar-glider possum appears. Dot is fascinated by this peculiar little creature that she has never seen before. Scared by the sound of a horse the sugar-glider possum scampers away. Dot follows the possum past the fence and chases it into the bush where it jumps into the gully, opens its wings and gently glides to the ground. Dot, after teetering on the edge of the gully, falls and tumbles down the steep embankment. Disorientated, she calls for help. Lost and alone, Dot searches for her mother’s blue ribbon that fell out during the tumble. While searching, she discovers some special blue and eats a few. Suddenly a large red mother kangaroo appears and begins talking to Dot. Amazed that they can understand one another, Mrs Kangaroo explains that Dot must have eaten the magical healing Blue Mountain Bush Berries that help all of the creatures of the bush listen and understand each other. Mrs Kangaroo explains that she has been searching for her lost Joey. They agree to help one another and it is decided they will ask for help at the waterhole, where many birds gather at twilight. Dot walks too slow so Mrs Kangaroo allows Dot to ride in her pouch so they can get to the waterhole quicker (“On Our Way”).

Arriving at the waterhole, the birds are initially frightened of Dot. They are used to other humans coming down to the waterhole with guns. Larry Lorikeet, Mal Magpie Goose and Wazza Waterheron explain to Dot how their mate Duncan the Double-eyed Figparrot had been shot by humans. They ask Dot if she has any mates that could help her. Dot doesn’t know what a mate is, so they teach her and explain the importance of having a mate you can rely on and occasionally make fun of, in a loving way (“Bottoms Up at the Waterhole”). With new found mates, Larry, Wazza and Mal suggest Dot visits Platypus for help.

Dot once again travels inside Mrs Kangaroo’s pouch (“One Our Way - Reprise”). Night falls and Mrs Kangaroo leads Dot to a sacred cave, where she suggests they shelter for the night. Worried and frightened, Dot wishes to leave and get home to her cottage and not stay out in the bush. Mrs Kangaroo, like Henry, explains that the bush is a vast dangerous place and that she can take care of Dot, but she will need to trust her. Dot asks how Joey went missing and Mrs Kangaroo recounts the sad tragic events of Joey's disappearance. Mrs Kangaroo reassures Dot, like her lost Joey, her family will always be with her whenever she casts her eyes to the moon and stars (“The Lullaby”). Dot falls asleep nestled against Mrs Kangaroo.

As the sun rises, Dot discovers that Mrs Kangaroo is gone and a Kookaburra sitting on top of her. Desperate to become a parent, Kookaburra, along with Koala, who share a tree together, try to hatch Dot, so they may fulfil their dreams of having a family together. Eventually, after Dot “hatches”, they are determined to feed her in order to keep her alive and be successful parents. Kookaburra destroys a snake and offers it to Dot for breakfast. Mrs Kangaroo returns with food for Dot just as Kookaburra and Koala are attempting to teach Dot to fly by pushing her out of a tree. Mrs Kangaroo explains that she asked if they could “watch” Dot, not “hatch” her. Disgruntled, Kookaburra and Koala leave. Mrs Kangaroo and Dot once again continue their journey to see Platypus (“On Our Way - Reprise 2”).

Arriving at the secluded creek home of Platypus, Dot is astounded by the strange appearance of this unique creature. Offended by the centuries of endured mockery, the Platypus has formed a defensive emotional exterior and transformed into a wise and learned creature of celebrity status (“King of the Burrow”). Known throughout the bush as having conquered adversity and human ignorance, Platypus is astounded that Dot is not like the other humans. Charmed by Dot, Platypus instructs Mrs Kangaroo to head for Echo Mountain, where the Council of the Animals meet. He agrees to send word and to have the Council gather to potentially help Dot find her lost way.

As Platypus leaves them to begin their journey to Echo Mountain, Dot and Mrs Kangaroo encounter a flurry of animals running from danger. Learning that a pack of Dingos are nearby, Dot and Mrs Kangaroo, in order to reach Echo Mountain, must pass the Dingo camp. They set off quietly in order to avoid danger, but the Dingoes hear Dot and Mrs Kangaroo and a dangerous, high-paced chase ensues through the bush with the Dingoes snapping at Mrs Kangaroo's heels. After a long chase with Dot in her pouch, Mrs Kangaroo grows tired. She hides Dot in a nearby bush and bravely faces the Dingoes. Mrs Kangaroo manages to fend off one of the dingoes, but realises that the only escape will be to leap across the wide gorge to safety. Proclaiming to Dot that she “will never leave another child alone ever again”, she encourages Dot to climb into her pouch and bravely leaps across the gorge and out of the Dingoes reach. They are finally safe, but Mrs Kangaroo is badly injured.

Bravely, Dot ventures into the bush alone to find help for her beloved Kangaroo. Dot stumbles across a bower made entirely of ferns and all things blue. Bowerbirds Babs, Belle and Bree, along with their friend Peacock Paul welcome Dot to their bower and are fascinated by the blue pinafore she wears. Dot pleads with them to come and help her injured kangaroo, but, caught up in their own priorities, Babs, Belle, Bree and Paul leave Dot to her own devices. They ignore and exclaim that if you want something out here in the bush, you have to get it yourself (“Ladies Lounge''). Other Bowerbirds arrive for a party and among the din of squeals and revelry Dot spots some Blue Mountain Bush Berries. The Bowerbirds agree to let Dot take the Berries if she will give them her blue pinafore, which they mistake for blue feathers.

Berries in hand Dot races back to Mrs Kangaroo, who eats the berries. As night falls, Mrs Kangaroo begins to heal and they fall asleep huddled closely together once again. Dawn breaks and the Council of the Animals have arrived. All of the bush creatures have assembled to discuss whether or not they should help this human find her way home to her cottage (“Council of the Animals - Part 1”). Many of the animals believe that humans have done the bush creatures wrong and that Dot should not be helped. The creatures that Dot has met along the way testify of Dot’s good nature and Mrs Kangaroo pleads as Dot’s defence. Finally, Platypus, the most respected creature in the bush, arrives and pleads Dot's case (“Council of the Animals - Part 2”). Dot recounts all of the lessons she has learned whilst she has been lost (“Dot’s Testimony”) and the trial is passed over to the jury who find Dot not guilty. Willie Wagtail, familiar with Dot’s cottage, reveals a blue ribbon found in a nearby gully and agrees to lead Dot home. Dot rides in Mrs Kangaroo’s pouch one last time.

Home at last, Dot and Mrs Kangaroo say farewell and Dot lets Mrs Kangaroo keep her mother’s special blue ribbon (“See the Country - Reprise”). Distraught, Henry and Matilda are shocked to see a Kangaroo on their farm and quickly try to shoo her away. Dot returns to her family and explains that the Kangaroo looked after her and that they shouldn't shoo her away. She explains to Henry that Mrs Kangaroo has lost her child, just like he did. Curious, he goes into the cottage and returns with a little baby Kangaroo that he found lost in the bush while searching for Dot. Mrs Kangaroo and Joey are reunited (“Finale (Everything, But Nothing Without You - Reprise)”).

Casting
← Back to Dot & the Kangaroo JR.
Cast Size: Large (21 or more performers)
Cast Type: Children

Character Breakdown

Dot

A smart, brave, and kind 8-year-old girl who lives with her family in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales in 1815 Australia. Quick- witted Dot is tired of doing chores and longs for an adventure. Dot is a major role with lots of stage time and carries her own song. Cast a strong singer and actor in this role who reads as younger onstage and makes a good team with Mrs. Kangaroo.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Mrs. Kangaroo

Wise, nurturing, and driven. Though she doesn’t trust the “new humans,” she is willing to help Dot get home as she searches for her missing Joey. Cast a strong singer and actor in this role who will pair well with Dot and can portray Mrs. Kangaroo’s compassionate nature and strength of resolve while allowing her sense of humor to shine through.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Matilda

Dot’s older sister. She loves her family and understands that they work as a team, with everyone contributing to their life in Australia – even if some of the jobs that need to get done aren’t as exciting as having an adventure. Cast a good singer and actor in this role who reads as older than Dot onstage.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: C4
May

Dot’s mother. Though she doesn’t survive past the first scene, she has a small solo holding Dot as a baby. This is a good role for a performer who may be new to the stage but can handle a solo. Whoever plays May should join the rest of the ensemble after her scene.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Henry

Dot and Matilda’s father. Though he sadly lost his wife, May, he loves his children and works hard to provide for the family. Cast a good singer and actor in this role who pairs well with Dot and Matilda and can depict Henry’s hard-working, good nature.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Willie Wagtail

A bird first onstage in puppet form but later leads the courtroom during Dot’s trial. He is a know-it-all and considers himself an expert on the court of law because he built a nest in the Gabble-Babble Courthouse and has listened to many trials. Willie doesn’t sing a solo, so cast a performer who can express Willie’s self-important attitude and command the courtroom

Gender: male
Larry Lorikeet

Larry Lorikeet, Mal Magpie Goose, and Wazza Waterheron are the best of waterhole friends and lead the rousing hoedown “Bottoms Up At The Waterhole.” These three function as a unit, so cast character actors with excellent comic timing who can move well and easily play off one another.

Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Mal Magpie Goose

Larry Lorikeet, Mal Magpie Goose, and Wazza Waterheron are the best of waterhole friends and lead the rousing hoedown “Bottoms Up At The Waterhole.” These three function as a unit, so cast character actors with excellent comic timing who can move well and easily play off one another.

Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Wazza Waterheron

Larry Lorikeet, Mal Magpie Goose, and Wazza Waterheron are the best of waterhole friends and lead the rousing hoedown “Bottoms Up At The Waterhole.” These three function as a unit, so cast character actors with excellent comic timing who can move well and easily play off one another.

Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Koala

Koala and Kookaburra share a tree and function as a comic pair. They have a hilarious scene with Dot and Mrs. Kangaroo but no sung solos, so cast two character actors with great comic timing who make an interesting twosome and can dial up the silliness onstage.

Kookaburra

Koala and Kookaburra share a tree and function as a comic pair. They have a hilarious scene with Dot and Mrs. Kangaroo but no sung solos, so cast two character actors with great comic timing who make an interesting twosome and can dial up the silliness onstage.

Platypus

Though Platypus is a genius and the king of the burrow, he is not very nice to Dot at first. Beneath his gruff exterior is a loyal friend with a strong moral compass who sees Dot for who she truly is. Platypus leads his own number, so cast a fantastic singer and actor in this role who can command the stage and embody Platypus’s grumpy dignity.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
"King of The Burrow" Soloists

SOLOIST 1 - G4-C5

SOLOIST 2 - F4-Ab4

SOLOIST 3 - G#4-C#5

SOLOIST 4 - F#4-A4

Bowerbirds Belle, Bree, and Babs

Bowerbirds Belle, Bree, and Babs are fierce, fashion-forward, and fabulous, darling, thank you very much! These divas have self- confidence in spades and remind Dot that, first and foremost, she must believe in herself. Cast a triple-threat trio that screams “girl power” and can handle close harmonies.

Vocal range top: Db5
Vocal range bottom: Db3
Peacock Paul

The Bowerbird girls’ best friend and matches their confidence level – not to mention their decor! Peacock Paul does not sing a solo but should be comfortable singing in close harmonies with the Bowerbird girls. Cast a fabulous actor and a good dancer in this fun, energetic role.

Pelican

The prosecutor in Dot’s trial. Pelican does not sing a solo, so cast a good actor who can command the room and lean into the courthouse drama of the scene.

Joey

Mrs. Kangaroo’s missing child. Joey has a cameo at the end of the show when he is finally reunited with his “Mimi.” This is a great role for a newer performer who is comfortable having a few lines and a brief duet line and reads as younger onstage.

Black Swan
Array
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Gb3
Cockatoo
Array
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Gb3
Ensemble

The Ensemble is a great place for any performer who’d like to be involved in the show. Featured ensemble roles are: Brolga, Snake, British Soldiers, Families, Bowerbirds, Brolgas, Dingoes, Rainbow Lorikeets, Waterhole Birds, Council of the Animals (which include Koalas, Possums, Wallabies, Kangaroos, Bilbies, Emus, Cranes, Plovers, Ducks, Frogs, Bandicoots, and Parrots).

Brolga
Array
Vocal range top: Bb4
Vocal range bottom: Gb3
Full Song List
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Prologue
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Everything, But Nothing Without You
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: See The Country
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: On Our Way
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Bottoms Up At The Waterhole
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: The Lullaby
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: King Of The Burrow
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: The Ladies’ Lounge
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Council Of The Animals (Part 1)
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Council Of The Animals (Part 2)
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Dot’s Testimony
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: See The Country (Reprise)
Dot & the Kangaroo JR.: Finale

Curriculum Connection

  • Australian History
  • Speech and Debate
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Fine Arts

Billing

Requirements

Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
100%
 
Music b
Daniel Mertzlufft
Lyrics by
Kate Leonard
Libretto by
Daniel Stoddart

50%

 
Based on the novel by
Ethel C. Pedley
35%
 
First nation storytelling by Sandy Greenwood
35%
 
Originally Produced by
iTheatrics
35%
 
In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, and online and mobile ads where in each case only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided and in outdoor advertising, transit and taxi ads and marquees where no other person is billed, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
DOT AND THE KANGAROO JR.
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
CHOREOGRAPHY VIDEOS DIGITAL1
DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES AND MEDIA1
GUIDE VOCAL AND PERF TRACKS DIGITAL1
PIANO VOCAL SCORE1
PIANO VOCAL SCORE1

Production Resources

Resource