the Boy & the Ball

Conceived and Performed
by Stephen Noonan
Direction and Dramaturgy by Dave Brown
Design, Making and Dramaturgy by Greg Cousins
Music Production by James Brown
Early Childhood Advisors: Anne-Marie Shin, Sally Chance

Highly credentialed early-childhood theatre-maker, Stephen Noonan has created an intimate performance designed exclusively for kindergarten audiences.

Developed over a two year period in close consultation with a highly experienced team of artists and educators alongside the participation of kindergarten children, Stephen’s performance is exquisitely nuanced to engage kinders in storytelling wonder.

Premiere Season: August 2022
Goodwood Theatre and Studios COMEBACK 2022 Festival
Touring to Regional SA from 13th Feb to 1st March, 2023


“It was a great show!  The children were absorbed throughout and the involvement of children came at exactly the right moment to keep them engaged to the end. I loved the observation in conversation afterwards that even though you didn’t speak you still made friends and that this resonated with our group because of 2 children with selective mutism.  The children loved the ‘magic’ and the play with light. We have moved straight onto playing with tubes and balls!”

Kindergarten/Reception Teacher, Ngutu College

“Thanks so much. We had a great afternoon. We have recorded lots of children’s voices about the performance. Normally our children are all most excited about the bus ride but this year it has been all about the performance. This was also our first time at Goodwood. Typically we  have found the shows we have seen there are pitched too high for our age group  as we have many children with learning delays and from non English speaking backgrounds.  This show worked beautifully for them.”
Leah Ramandanis

Kindergarten/Reception Teacher, CaFE Enfield Children's Centre

The Boy and The Ball – The PaperBoats – Sheer innocence and simple technical prowess. Abetted by generous vulnerability and simple cardboard plus tennis balls, made this production an exemplar of how to reach a very young audience in such a way they are both engaged and deeply enthralled.
David O'Brien

Theatre Critic, The Barefoot Review

“”It is a masterpiece in exploring the subtle niceties, insecurities and joys of play, making friends and sheer magic…The mastery of this work is its delicacy and respect for its young audience, their capacity to respond to it and be rewarded in that response by what happens before them by a supremely aware performer in Noonan.”

“Undeniably elegant and intimate work.”

“A theatrical gem! ” 

The Barefoot Review, Stage Whispers and Theatre Travels.



the Boy & the Ball began as a research and development project titled Lift Off funded b y ArtsSA.

In this research and development project Stephen worked with students and staff at Kilkenny Preschool between January and July 2021. Each visit to Kilkenny Preschool involved Stephen presenting a short self-devised performance to students and staff. The aim was to test these performance segments with students to see what they respond to and engage with. Each subsequent visit informed by the previous visit lead to the development of a solo non-verbal image and movement based performance for 4 year olds which was given the title ‘the Boy & the Ball’.

The work in 2021 was documented in text, photographs and video under the sessions tabs 1-10 at the site


Phone Stephen on 0417 835 687