A dramatisation of the Thomas Foods fire has reduced audiences to tears at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Murray Bridge South Primary School students performed a six-and-a-half-minute version of the story last Wednesday night as part of Wakakirri, a performing arts event.
Principal Stuart Kitto said the children's performance was amazing.
"For a group of kids who have never performed, to go down and spend almost 12 hours at the Entertainment Centre with 13 other schools, they blew away all the people," he said.
"There were people in the audience who didn't know the story of the fire who were moved to tears."
The experience was both powerful and empowering for the participants, he said.
"They're starting to understand they're great and can do some great things," he said.
"They haven't always believed that in their hearts, but they're starting to understand.
"That's the great thing about this – they can see themselves the way we (staff) see them.
"We know there's greatness inside all our kids.
"Sometimes we need to hold up a mirror to let them see they're strong people who can change the world if they can work together."
Mr Kitto said the school had been considering entering Wakakirri for several years, but the stars had finally aligned when teacher Rachel Baltussen had arrived at the start of this year.
She started a conversation with the students about what was important to them, which led to the idea of retelling the fire story.
Among schools entering Wakakirri for the first time, South Primary School's performance was named the best community story in South Australia.
On the night on which the students performed, they also won recognition for having the best backstage crew; an excellent lead cast, ensemble, soundtrack mix and staging; and a well-rehearsed performance.
Mr Kitto said the school was already thinking about next year, as it wanted to build on its success while it was fresh in everyone's minds.