New decade, new stage, new play: JUTE launches 2020 season with a killer comedy

To Kill A Cassowary

New Decade, New Stage, New Play.
JUTE launches 2020 season
with a killer comedy.

Post by Pip Miller

One hard-headed bloke…
One hard-hearted daughter…In a battle for the future’

To Kill A Cassowary (13-21 March) by JUTE’s Write Sparks’ alumnus, Laurie Trott will launch JUTE’s  2020’s season of

To Kill A Cassowary (13-21 March) by JUTE’s Write Sparks’ alumnus, Laurie Trott will launch JUTE’s  2020’s season of two plays in the brand new Bulmba-ja Arts Centre.

No one has been more surprised by the creative process of crafting a work for the stage than the writer herself, Laurie Trott – a Mission Beach local whose ‘sense of place’ living in the tropical rainforest community has imbued her work with warmth and wit and what is important.

According to Laurie, To Kill A Cassowary is a play about inheritance and legacy, ageism and the importance of looking after relationships, including the one that people have with the land. “This is a play with a strong message and yes, it is also very funny,” said Ms Trott, adding that while her script is fictional, its ultimate aim is not only to increase public awareness of the urgency of Cassowary Coast conservation but more broadly provide education to all communities about the importance of preservation.

“Preservation of natural environments represents the preservation of a rich inheritance for our descendants, which I have approach as both a blessing and responsibility,” she said.

A first-time playwright, Laurie acknowledges the supportive scaffold of JUTE’s Write Sparks writing development program and the professional support and encouragement of the company’s Creative Producer, Kathryn Ash. “It hasn’t been easy, but I have embraced every moment, and have been truly humbled by peoples’ responses to the work while it was still in development.

“The support I received from early readings was fantastic and the very boost I needed to keep going.  It is frightening at times. You wonder if anyone will understand what you are trying to say or indeed, find your jokes funny.  That feeling of relief when people laughed or nodded their head was palpable.  I then knew that, yes, I was hitting the mark and I had to keep going.

“Writing a play is such an internal struggle, an intimate expression of one’s self, and yet, it must result in an outward resolution, a production for the stage, a performance and a story that is relatable,” she said.

Kathryn Ash as both Dramaturg and Creative Producer has only high praise for Laurie in the lead up to launching the play’s first season in March. “Laurie has worked hard, and she has listened and what she has achieved is a hilarious comedy with a salient message.

“It explores some of the many threats to biodiversity including introduced species, habitat modification and loss, unsustainable tourism and climate change,” she said.

The story, which features a conservationist father and his pro-development daughter, who are ready to do battle over a patch of rainforest on the Cassowary Coast, is being directed by the same awarding-winning director of JUTE’s play, The Longest Minute, Bridget Boyle and is supported by a stellar cast of three; Steven Tandy (of The Sullivans fame); Natalie Taylor who people will remember from Here We All Are. Assembled and Yvette Walker, new to the JUTE stage. Rounding out the production as only JUTE knows how is an award-winning creative team who will transform the stage of the new Bulmba-ja Arts Centre into a verdant rainforest – a rich and familiar setting from which the might of the actors and the power of Laurie’s story will be told.

Tickets for To Kill A Cassowary at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre for the season, 13-21 March 2020 can be purchased from | | 4281 6832

~Issued by:Pip Miller PR Mob: 0419 681543 Email:

About JUTE

JUTE came into being in 1992 when three passionate theatre makers living in Cairns met and creative sparks began to fly. The three founding members of JUTE are Kathryn Ash, Suellen Maunder and Susan Prince.  JUTE’s first production launched International Womens’ Day in March 1993 at the height of summer in the un-airconditioned arts centre (shed!).  The work was fiery, raw and unique in the region….it was an instant success!  JUTE produces plays, tells stories, tours and provides a vast and diverse range of training and development programs for emerging and established writers, actors and theatre professionals. JUTE is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

About the playwright, Laurie Trott

The author is a knowledgeable and passionate environmentalist and a Wet Tropics Management Authority-certified tour guide. She is a long-term active volunteer member of Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation (C4), a member of Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society, and Birdlife Australia. She takes part in field activities such as the annual Pied Imperial Pigeon count.

To Kill a Cassowary

Why is the project needed? What makes it an important and significant project to the environment?

The Cassowary Coast shares in part of the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics of North Queensland, where large tracts of high-biodiversity rainforest land are under significant pressures from climate change, the threat of invasive flora and fauna,  and fragmentation by development for tourism, housing and agriculture.  Communities and individuals need to be constantly engaged in the themes surrounding biodiversity conservation with innovative, striking projects in order for an enthusiastic dialogue toward positive change be continued. The To Kill A Cassowary project is seen as a vehicle for delivering that engagement, manifesting community education benefits in an entertaining and impactful manner. The theatrical nature of this project and the intrinsically theatrical elements of the work is seen to play a critical part in grabbing the attention of the public, specifically that of the Far North initially, but also the wider Australian audiences.The challenges and needs of biodiversity conservation will benefit with the increased media engagement and social discourse that will be generated.

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