JUTE ready to write new chapter in 2020 – Media Release

JUTE ready to write new chapter in 2020 – Media Release
With the curtains about to close on 2019 JUTE Theatre Company is ready for a new year of creative developments, workshops, season of plays beginning with its highly anticipated return to CoCA.
JUTE Theatre Company’s Artistic Director and CEO Suellen Maunder says 2020 will be the company’s 28th year of telling Australian stories through theatre – a craft that is nurtured and developed for an evolving, ever-changing generation of audience and artists.
According to Ms Maunder, 2019 was an in-between chapter in JUTE’s story thus far that provided opportunity to reflect.
“Despite being situated in our temporary headquarters at Tanks Arts Centre we were able to deliver our full suite of programs starting with a season of Bukal at Woodford Folk Festival and closing with last night’s review by the students from JUTE Actors Studio.
“Other highlights include a CPAC performance and 10-week Dare to Dream Tour with award-winning play, The Longest Minute, the company’s first ever international season with new work, Alice in the Antipathies,  playwright development program Write Sparks as well as a series of creative developments,” Ms Maunder said.
Launching 2020’s season of two plays in the new CoCA theatre is To Kill A Cassowary (11-21 March) by JUTE’s Write Sparks’ alumnus, Laurie Trott.  This heart-warming story is set in the rainforest with extraordinary design on a brand-new stage including a focal AV element destined to surprise and delight.
Mango Season by Mark Sheppard follows (4-18 July), as a satellite highlight of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.  A published playwright and national touring actor, Sheppard is a Muluridgi-Mbarbarrum man from Mareeba whose previous works include Chasing the Lollyman and The Clown from Snowy River – both featured in high school curriculums.  Mark will also perform this new work, combining clowning with comedy, song and great storytelling in an all-Indigenous cast that will also embark on a 10-week tour to regional and remote center’s as part of JUTE’s Dare to Dream program.
A pinnacle on JUTE’s calendar for 2020 will be when JUTE produces the inaugural Queensland Winter PlayFest at CoCA between 26 and 29 August as part of Cairns Festival.  This 4-day theatre development and networking Festival in Cairns is designed to connect and reinvigorate regional Queensland playwrights, practitioners and theatre companies.
JUTE’s role in producing seminal Australian works for theatre is one it takes seriously and is the objective behind the Company’s commitment to creative development which in 2020 sets an ambitious target of five new plays which will each undergo an intensive five day workshop between January and the end of the year.
JUTE will round out its year with the roll out of its three, key development programs – JUTE Actors Studio (four, school-based terms for students 9-12, 13-17 and 18+) developing confidence and excellence in performance skills.  Write Sparks & Black Sparks (diverse writing for stage residency programs) will resume, led by award-winning, published playwright and dramaturg Kathryn Ash as well as In School Programs in which JUTE undertakes workshops at schools aimed also at developing new work over three years.
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