About US

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About Us

JUTE Theatre Company

JUTE’s story is a simple one; the best stories are. Like all the best stories, ours is rich with courage, resilience, hope and joy. It began with a simple passionate idea, yet one that has endured for almost 30 years, engaging the talents and the hearts of artists and audiences alike. Over time, our story has developed a compelling plot; one that twists and turns, adapts and refines, delivering satisfying experiences time after time. But our story is also grounded in reality; with a clear eye on the practical challenges of the current world and foreseeable landscape.

It is a story with no denouement in sight – for it has a vision, a mission and a strategy to build upon its past successes and to forge ahead into a bright and ambitious future.

Vision and Mission

To be the leader in regional Queensland in theatre making, so that:
The diversity of our communities is more strongly represented on stage;
All stories are brought to life and regional voices are heard;
A culture of activated, civil society is fostered, grown and maintained;
The Bulmba-ja Arts Centre is activated with a diversity of programs; 
Regional capacity building transforms economic social and well-being outcomes; and
Regional communities feel empowered.

What we do

Develop new works and engage with audiences;
Tour and provide accessible, high-quality theatre to regional and remote communities;
Share lived experiences that resonate with the local community;
Build relevant skills and provide FNQ with industry experience and support for emerging artists;
Foster connected communities by partnering with community organisations, government departments, funders, sponsors, mentors and industry bodies;
Provide qualitative and quantitative input into the research and development of relevant programs and policies

Key programs

Write Sparks script development programs
Most of JUTE’s work arises from our script development programs where JUTE works with a diversity of new and emerging storytellers to develop their craft and their stories for stage.  JUTE supports storytellers over many years creating a community of artists connected to theatre. From time to time, JUTE also runs an online writing program, Write Out Loud. 

Creative Developments
An essential component of the development of new work is the testing and dramaturgical reshaping of the work through the creative development process. Each week-long process culminates in a public showcase, engaging the audience in the behind the scenes insights into the creation of theatre while developing an investment in the artists and the upcoming production of the work.

Production Seasons of new works
Our writing programs and commissions bring forth a range of stories that challenge, explore and expose contemporary themes.  While the themes can be challenging they are told through captivating stories that resonate with an audience on emotional, intellectual and visceral levels. These stories might include migration, racism, cultural heritage, women’s rights, domestic and sexual violence, mental health, environment, disability and LGBTIQ stories.

Dare to Dream Indigenous Theatre Tour and residency program
The Dare to Dream program exists to promote positive Indigenous stories by Indigenous writers, to provide access to remote Far North Queensland/Cape York communities to quality Indigenous theatre, showcasing leadership in the residency program from the all-Indigenous cast and crew in order to support young Indigenous people to voice their aspirations for the future.

JUTE Actors Studio
JAS is crafted to meet the needs of the students, the company and the broader capacity building of artists from the region, providing pathways through craft development while building resilience, self-confidence, problem solving and focus.

Theory of Change

What do we do, how do we it and why?

Stay up to date

Board of Directors

Gillian Townsend

Saurav Kataria

John Paul Fischbach

Patricia Courtenay

David Layt

Sangeetha Badya

Suellen Maunder


JUTE Staff

Suellen Maunder
Artistic Director / CEO

Kathryn Ash
Creative Producer

Monica Stevens
Creative Producer

Gabrielle Thomasz
Business Development / Marketing Manager

Nadia Thompson
Office Administrator

Vivienne Clüver
Production Assistant

Jade McEwan
Administration Assistant

Nathan Taiaroa

Company Opportunities


More info: Breaking Ground Project Manager_Job Description

EOI – Theatre Workshop Facilitators

JUTE is looking for EOI’s from experienced Theatre Workshop Facilitators for future opportunities in the Cairns region


Create change with small change

Help us tell the real stories of regional Australia with a tax-deductible donation to JUTE Theatre Company. Watch the power of performance turn small change
donations into boundless joy – touching the masses and elevating the spirit of the community one show at a time.
A donation to JUTE goes further than a single performance or season. Your support helps create jobs for locals spanning set designers to tickets sellers; it raises the
profile of theatre in regional Australia; and importantly, it encourages aspiring creative artists to believe in themselves, because the community believes in them.
You can support JUTE Theatre Company and your local community by making a single payment, regular contribution, or through a sponsorship package.

Your tax-deductible donation will go back into North Queensland

Our home at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre is committed to appropriate cultural protocols being in place. JUTE is also committed
to ensuring appropriate cultural protocols are observed across all our programs, and particularly our First Nations Programs.

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