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Dare to Dream

About Dare to Dream

Dare to Dream is about the transformative power of theatre at its most simple, most raw, most potent.

JUTE Theatre Company initiated the ‘Dare to Dream’ program with the intention of featuring new theatre works by, about and for First Nations peoples. JUTE initially commissions a First Nations playwright to create the work, assembles teams of First Nations creatives to rehearse and produce the work before the residency program takes performances and First Nations creative teams to regional and remote communities for up to ten weeks. The team stays in each community for a week after the performance, working for the school day with a group of students creating their own stories of hope. The students then get to perform their own version of Dare to Dream at the end of the week back to their community. This program is big. This program is changing lives. 

 Nothing else like it currently exists in Australia. 

Dare to Dream was a brilliant experience for our students, especially in terms of the residency for Indigenous students, culminating in a performance to Elders. It was a professional operation from beginning to end and we are looking forward very much to their return.


JUTE piloted the program through commissioning the work ‘Proppa Solid’ by Stephen Oliver. The creation of this work was informed through consultations with Traditional Owners and Elders and their desire to have young people learn about and value culture through seeing performances featuring positive stories about Indigenous experience and featuring Indigenous professionals as role models.

In 2018, JUTE toured Bukal by Indigenous Australian playwright Andrea James with Henrietta Marrie. In 2019, Dare to Dream toured the award-winning show The Longest Minute by Rob Kronk and Indigenous Australian playwright Nadine McDonald-Dowd.

In 2021, JUTE is touring two Dare to Dream productions with exciting new works by Indigenous Australian playwright and director Isaac Drandic.

Over the years, in order to be able to bring Dare to Dream to the various communities, JUTE has partnered with ArTour, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Partnerships and the Department of Education, and is generously supported by the Tim Fairfax Foundation. Our first tour in 2021 is also supported by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Dare to Dream is an initiative to develop the capacity of JUTE Theatre Company to deliver ongoing Indigenous programs to regional and remote communities in Queensland.

Key Objectives:

  • Engage Indigenous young people in education
  • Nurture the aspirations of Indigenous young people through celebration of Indigenous success stories and exposure to positive role models.
  • Provide opportunities for Indigenous young people to build their self-confidence and self esteem, team work, writing and performance, self-expression
  • Provide access to theatre/based skills development to Indigenous young people
  • Build the capacity of schools and teachers to understand, engage and respond to the needs of Indigenous students through the development of material aligned with the Australian Curriculum.
  • Stories are only written by First Nations artists
  • These stories are based on First Nations people and experiences
  • Work is produced by JUTE with First Nations artists and groups
  • Work is created for First Nations peoples
  • Dare to Dream only deliver positive stories of aspiration and inspiration

A touring program targeting Indigenous communities consisting of an all-Indigenous cast and crew:

  • One new Indigenous theatre work developed, produced and toured each year
  • One week in each community
  • Ten regional and remote communities per year in Far North Queensland, Cape and Torres Strait
  • One school performance of touring show
  • Four school days of intensive workshops with young people
  • Student showcase of work developed at end of the week
  • One community performance of touring show

JUTE has consistently toured regional and remote communities with its Dear to Dream program. Here is a map of destinations visited thus far:

Dare to Dream Productions


JUTE Theatre Company’s Dare to Dream initiative is a powerful endeavour aimed at creating positive change in Far North Queensland and Cape York Peninsula. Through a captivating play, engaging workshops, and a comprehensive wrap-around program, we seek to promote early intervention and provide better access to support networks for those at risk. Our innovative play tackles sensitive topics, with a particular focus on preventing childhood trauma—a key objective of the Westpac Safer Children, Safer Communities work program. What sets us apart is our exceptional First Nations Crew, trained by Bravehearts, who possess the expertise to identify individuals in need and offer them emotional support. Moreover, our bespoke wrap-around support program ensures a holistic approach to healing. Over the course of the next two years, this transformative educational performance and workshop theater program holds immense potential to positively influence the lives of children, young people, and their families in these regional and remote communities. Together, let us dare to dream and make a lasting impact.

We will be visiting five communities on the Cape York Peninsula in 2023:

22/5/2023 – 26/05/20231Mossman SHS
29/5/2023 – 02/06/20232Weipa W C C
5/6/2023 – 09/06/20233Mapoon
12/6/2023 – 16/06/20234Lockhart State School
19/6/2023 – 23/06/20235Normanton State School

I Gut This Feeling

by Isaac Drandic

I Gut This Feeling is written as a two-hander touring show and presented to students ranging from Grade 4 to Grade 9. The work has been commissioned by JUTE Theatre Company as part of the Dare to Dream initiative’s, Safer Children Safer Communities work program.


I Gut This Feeling is a clever and comical theatre experience to entertain and educate audiences, both young and old.

Djirra is a young girl just trying to make her way safely back home through a strange world. But where is home? Which path to take? She has no idea!

Along the way she meets some very odd creatures; a crafty water spirit who tries to lure her to the water’s edge, a roaring Hairyfella who seems so scary but maybe he isn’t, and a peculiar old cook who is making stew in the middle of nowhere with crazy ‘secret’ ingredients. Djirra even gets messages from a little lizard! All of them have advice for her, but who should she trust?

Why this performance?

Stories exist to help explain and describe the world we live in. Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories are told to ensure caution is taken in unsafe situations; transmit and maintain culture and lore; embed and impart Indigenous epistemologies- ways of knowing and being, orally, through music, song, dance, and the visual arts.

Isaac Drandic’s I Gut This Feeling uses these techniques with a creative mix of fantastical fairy tale characters from around the world making a modern moral tale that delivers the serious message of staying safe. This is a play about how to safely navigate the weird and wonderful world using your instincts. It’s about working out who to trust. It’s about how to trust yourself.

Contact our First Nations Creative Producer Monica Stevens for more information: or 0742816832.


Jamaylya Ballangarry-Kearins
Maurice Sailor

Creative Team

Playwright: Isaac Drandic 
Director: Ian Wilkes
Set, Props & Costume Designer: Simone Tesorieri
Composer: Getano Bann

Stage Manager: Serena Thompson
Creative Producer: Monica Stevens
Photography/Videography: Colin Pett / Modfilms and Mimi Tannaka

  • 24/7-28/7: Woorabinda (Wadja Wadja High School)
  • 31/7-4/8: Ayr (Kalamia SS)
  • 7/8-11/8: Abergowrie (St Theresa’s College)
  • 14/8-18/8: Charters Towers (Millchester SS + Charters Towers Central SS + Distance Education)
  • 21/8-25/8: Charters Towers (Richmond Hill SS + Charters Towers SHS)
  • 28/8-1/9: Tambo (Tambo SS)
  • 4/9-8/9: Blackall (Blackall SS)
  • 11/9-15/9: Townsville (Townsville High School)

Safer Children, Safer Communities Program is sponsored by


Winner of the Queensland and National Award for Planning Excellence (Community Wellbeing and Diversity) from the Planning Institute of Australia 


Eric is a 10-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a daredevil motor-cross champion, just like his hero, Chad Reed. Eric lives with his grandmother (Nan), who has laid down the law about motorbikes and road safety. Nan insists Eric wear a crash helmet, and he is not allowed to practice with other kids. Eric wonders how he is ever going to be a champion with such tough rules. Nan has good reason to be cautious; both Eric’s parents died a few years back in a car crash when someone threw a rock at their moving car. Eric alone survived the crash because he was wearing a seat belt. Eric lies to his Nan and sneaks off to the practice racetrack with the bigger boys, where his hero, Chad Reed will be watching from the sidelines. It’ll be a wild ride, and how far off track will Eric go? How off track can he go? Between playing it safe and taking risks, Eric has to find a way to make his dream come true, which means getting back on track and listening to his own instincts — and his Nan.

Student Feedback

“This theatre workshop has been amazing. It gave me more confidence to act and taught me a lot of new and exciting skills like focus.”
“It was encouraging (road) safety but was also funny and relatable which made me more hooked.”
“I enjoyed showing my school our cool performances.”
“It was funny and taught us about road safety.”

Teacher Feedback

“Our students have learnt many performance skills and grown in confidence from watching the performance and participating in the workshops with the professional artists. We would jump at the opportunity to have the artists visit again in 2023.”
“At the conclusion of the residency, students stated how much they liked working with the actors and director and how they wished they could stay for longer. Parents of students involved were extremely happy with the program and explained their children where excited to participate and come to school each day during the program.”

2023 Touring schedule

  • 24/7-28/7: Woorabinda (Wadja Wadja High School)
  • 31/7-4/8: Ayr (Kalamia SS)
  • 7/8-11/8: Abergowrie (St Theresa’s College)
  • 14/8-18/8: Charters Towers (Millchester SS + Charters Towers Central SS + Distance Education)
  • 21/8-25/8: Charters Towers (Richmond Hill SS + Charters Towers SHS)
  • 28/8-1/9: Tambo (Tambo SS)
  • 4/9-8/9: Blackall (Blackall SS)
  • 11/9-15/9: Townsville (Townsville High School)

2022 Touring schedule

  • Mossman: 23 – 26 May
  • Herberton: 30 May – 2 June
  • Abergowrie: 6 – 10 June
  • Bamaga: 20 – 23 June
  • Tully: 11 – 14 July
  • Mapoon: 18 – 21 July
  • Weipa 25 – 28 July
  • Aurukun 1 – 4  August
  • Lockhart 8 – 11 August

2021 Touring schedule

  • Yarrabah: 27 – 30 April
  • Djarragun: 4 – 8 May
  • Pormpuraaw: 17 – 21 May
  • Kowanyama: 24 – 28 May
  • Mapoon: 31 May – 4 June

Cast: Back on Track 2023

Maurice Sailor
Sheyan Walker 

Creative Team Back on Track 2023

Playwright: Isaac Drandic 
Director: Ian Wilkes
Set, Props & Costume Designer: Hayley Gillespie
Composer: David Hudson


Stage Manager: Serena Thompson
Creative Producer: Monica Stevens
Photography/Videography: Colin Pett / ModFilms

Cast: Back on Track 2021-2022

Leonard Donahue
Taeg Twist

Creative Team Back on Track 2021-2022

Playwright: Isaac Drandic 
Director: Nathan Maynard (2022) / Isaac Drandic (2021)
Set, Props & Costume Designer: Hayley Gillespie
Composer: David Hudson


Stage Manager: PJ Rosas
Creative Producer: Monica Stevens
Photography/Videography: FrontRow Fotos

This initiative is supported by funding from the Queensland Government’s Community Road Safety Grants scheme.

Arts Queensland logo



12-year-old Djirra is a science whizz; she knows how to make a robot walk and volcano pop bright coloured fizz. Her hero is David Unaipon- you know the bloke who’s on the Australian $50 note! He was an Australian Indigenous inventor, and just like him, Djirra wants to make an invention that changes the world for the better … the world’s greatest ever invention! But what?? Djirra is excited that the school science fair is coming up and she wants to take out top prize with a great invention. She’s got some competition, though. Her classmate and archrival in the invention game, Kevin, will do anything to take that first prize instead of her.

2021 Touring Schedule

  • Innisfail: 28 June – 2 July
  • Cooktown: 5 – 9 July
  • Mapoon: 19 – 23 July
  • Weipa: 26 – 30 July
  • Pormpuraaw: 2 – 6 August
  • Aurukun: 9 – 13 August
  • Kowanyama: 23 – 27 August
  • Mossman: 30 August – 3 September
  • Ravenshoe: 6 – 10 September
  • Innisfail: 13  – 17 September

Cast: Get your Geek on

Sean Dow
Taeg Twist

Creative Team: Get your Geek on

Playwright: Isaac Drandic 
Director: Isaac Drandic
Set, Props & Costume Designer: Simona Cosentini & Simone Tesorieri
Composers: David Hudson & Nigel Pegrum

Stage Manager: PJ Rosas
Creative Producer: Monica Stevens

Dare to Dream is funded by

Arts Queensland logo

JUTE Theatre Company is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. 
Our on-tour audio and related equipment such as laptop was funded by the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.  
The Back on Track Initiative is supported by funding from the Queensland Government’s Community Road Safety Grants Scheme. 


Dare to Dream is sponsored by

Ergon Energy Network Primary logo transparent