The PaperBoats is an international partnership platform for theatre-makers invested in co-creating meticulously crafted performance events for children, which inspire their arts engagement. The platform was conceived and founded by  Dave Brown in 2016 after 20 years as Artistic Director of Patch Theatre Company.
THE FIRST FOUR YEAR PHASE of The PaperBoats theatre-making activity (2016-2020), was prompted by a simple animating idea ~ explore TWO in any which way.
Especially on Birthdays ~  A poetic visual theatre work for 3-8 year olds about a pair of twins and a 6th birthday one of them doesn’t want to have. This visual narrative about sameness and difference was directed by Dave Brown and co-created by many artists in Adelaide, South Australia and abroad.
“I was so captivated by the beauty and energy of Especially on Birthdays.   

So many of the images left me breathless.

Jonathan Shmidt Chapman

Executive Director, Theatre for Young Audiences/USA

 The Strangest Dream ~ A 70 minute online performance from the US composer of Especially on Birthdays, Matthew Wilder.
Directed by The PaperBoats AD, Dave Brown, Matthew shares his roller coaster ride across four decades to finding his path as a pop-star, record producer, movie composer, song-writer, TikTok celebrity, writer of musicals and parent to two talented sons. Watch it at your leisure, via video rental. (link below)
The Strangest Dream is a partnership project between The PaperBoats, Hallelujah Productions and Boat Rocker Entertainment.

Gimme Please!  ~ Two friends persist in getting what they need from one another in the process of finding their path. This poetic, visual theatre work for 2-5 year olds about control and letting go was directed by Megan Alrutz and Sam Provenzano in  Austin, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia in a co-creation process between Australia and the US. Learn more … 

“Oh the audience loved Gimme Please!

Everyone was laughing and feeling everything that the performers were feeling on stage.

It was really remarkable.”

Natasha Small

Artist and Choreographer, Austin, Texas

Sam Provenzano and Megan Alrutz (theatre-maker/directors ~ USA) are guiding an Egyptian team in a remount of  Gimme Please! for performance by an Egyptian cast for the Hakawy International Festival in partnership with The PaperBoats, UT Austin and the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta. 

When the Mirror Bird Sings – an immersive visual theatre experience unfolding a mythical tale of kindness overcoming greed. The performance is orchestrated by Max Richter’s astounding recomposition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, with children’s participation amplifying the themes of hope and renewal. This visual narrative about “lines that connect and lines that divide” was directed by Dave Brown and co-created with Juliette and Scott Griffin in Adelaide, South Australia. 

From the very beginning of When the Mirror Bird Sings,  I was completely captivated, mesmerised!

It was a deeply moving performance which was archetypically layered and elegant. 

The Vivaldi was sublime!”

Nicole Lamprel

Parent and Educator

THE SECOND FOUR YEAR PHASE of The PaperBoats theatre-making activity (2020-2024) has been prompted by another simple animating idea ~ explore wonderment.
seventological.wonderment is a cluster of projects which will explore the wonders of light, colour, music and the number seven
This framework was inspired by Sir Issac Newton’s discovery in the 17th Century that white light could be split into the colours of the rainbow using a prism.
Because seven was a magical and mystical number in those times, Newton imagined that he saw seven colours in the rainbow (ROY G BIV ~ red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) which beautifully coincided with the observation that there are seven notes in the musical scale.
Thus he conjectured that light, colour, music and sound were intrinsically intertwined as a wonder of the universe.
Our seventological.wonderment framework is finding expression in the following projects: 
Sevenwell is an open-ended, unabashed, come what may, playground of whimsical content-making by The PaperBoats being joyfully and  randomly brewed by Jon Bode and Dave Brown. It is inspired a host of improbable characters who seem to be unwittingly connected to a mysterious force that is playing in their lives and linking them to something wondrous.
The game is being played out on in the form of songs, music, graphic art, video, community engagement and storylines.

Wonder  ~ is a dance-theatre project by director/theatre-maker, Sally Chance and her team in association with The PaperBoats and Insite Arts.

Using her Family Dance Labs process of working with babies to three year olds and their adults, Sally has created a work with communities ~ exploring the universe of us.

Together, mums, dads, grandparents with their babies, toddlers and two year olds have artistically explored light, star gazing and the interconnectedness of us all in a wide and wondrous universe to make Wonder!

Seven Little WondersDirector and conceptualist Dave Brown is working with Anya McKee, Gavin Clarke, Sarah Brokensha and Bob Weatherly to create a theatre-performance event for 3-8 year olds incorporating light, colour, music, sound, video projection and light paintng.
The work will explore the mysterious force that is wonder and how we might open ourselves to its enchantment and possibility 
In a parallel project, supported by a
Beyond seventological.wonderment are a number of more open-ended WONDERMENT  projects, being supported and scafolded by The PaperBoats.
The Chrysalis Box ~ Children in a K-3 class are sent a mystery box by an artist from The PaperBoats and the children and educators respond to the mysteries of the box through art and play.
When the children’s responses are shared back with the artist an artistic relationship emerges between the children, the educators, the artists and the box spawning wonder, learning and joy.
In one iteration of The Chrysalis Box project, artists Temeka Lawlor and Angus Leighton share their Chrysalis Box with students at Clare Primary School.
Temeka and Angus have been mentored and supported by The PaperBoats as emerging artist/theatre-maker/producers across the last 4 years in a project generously funded by Thyne Reid Foundation and auspiced by Patch Theatre Company.
The Chrysalis Box was a partnership between The PaperBoats and Patch Theatre Company.
Lift Off  is a research and development project by Stephen Noonan, working with students and staff at Kilkenny Preschool.
Each visit  to Kilkenny Preschool involves the presentation of a short self-devised performance to students and staff. The aim is to test these performance segments with students to see what they respond to and engage with.
Each subsequent visit will  be informed by the previous visit leading to the development of a solo non-verbal image and movement based performance for 4-6 year olds. Learn more … 
The Trick of the Light Fandango
Performer/theatre-makers, Eliza Lovell, Rory Walker, director/conceptualist Dave Brown and theatre-maker/technical consultant, Bob Weatherly  are playing together exploring the wonderment of life’s rhythms and their mysteries.
When there’s prismatic light,
And music around,
When your eyes see the colour,
And your ears hear the sound,
And you dance to the beat of the earth below,
That’s a trick of the light fandango.
We envisage that a visual-theatre performance for 4-8 year olds will emerge from our slow-brewing process.

Temeka Lawlor is the new Associate Artistic Director with The PaperBoats SA, where she will have artistic management of Especially on Birthdays and When the Mirror Bird Sings whilst developing  a new work of her own called Precious Things.

Temeka is has worked consistently with Patch Theatre and The PaperBoats since her graduation from the Adelaide College of the Arts in 2017.  She’s been a key theatre-maker/performer in Patch Theatre’s production ZOOOM and The PaperBoats Especially on Birthdays and brings her astute talents and insight to her new role with The PaperBoats.

Temeka will present Especially on Birthdays with Tim Mackie at the Goodwood Theatre and Studios as part of their exciting COMEBACK FESTIVAL from 17-23 September.

BOOKINGS: trybooking


The PaperBoats Partnership Directors: Dave Brown – Adelaide, SA, Dr Brant Pope, Dr Megan Alrutz – University of Texas, Austin, Jim Weiner, Boat Rocker Entertainment, New York, Luanne Poh – The Artground, Singapore, Stephen Blackburn, Kerryn Palmer, Wellington, New Zealand, Robyn Brown, Business Development Manager – Adelaide SA.

The PaperBoats Partnership Platform has been assisted by the South Australian Government through ArtsSA and Country ArtsSA and  the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory group.

 The PaperBoats thanks the many artists, advisors, educators, carers, kindergartens and schools who have offered their support and insights during the development and trialing of its works. We are also deeply grateful for the support of the following partner organisations without whose support our venture would not be possible.
Adelaide Festival Centre
Auspicious Arts Projects
Australia Council for the Arts
Adelaide College of the Arts
Alliance Theatre, Atlanta
Boat Rocker Entertainment
Commonwealth Games Festival 2018
Country Arts SA
Goodwood Theatre and  Studios
Hopgood Theatre
Hayawy International Festival, Egypt
International Performing Arts for Youth
Insite Arts
JonesMacQueen Business Consultants
Kueh Tutus, Singapore

National Arts Council of Singapore
Naracoorte Lucindale Council
Marion Cultural Centre
Patch Theatre Company
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre
Sally Chance Dance
The Artground, Singapore
Thyne Reid Foundation
University of Texas – Department of Theatre and Dance
Victoria University, Wellington, NZ
Wilder Kingdom Music ~ Hallelujah Productions, Inc