Jobs Events Advertise Newsletter

JUTE Theatre Company's 'I Gut This Feeling' hits the road as part of 2024 Dare to Dream tour

Phoebe Blogg -


Set to hit the road on Monday 13 May heading to five remote communities with its two-hander touring show, JUTE Theatre Company’s award-winning First Nations residency program, I Gut This Feeling is not to be missed. 

Presented to students in grades 4 to 9, I Gut This Feeling is a play commissioned by JUTE Theatre Company as part of its First Nations-led Dare to Dream initiative.

Developed on the Westpac Safer Children, Safer Communities work program objectives, the program and play strive to cover sensitive topics, focusing on addressing and preventing childhood trauma.

Written by First Nations playwright Isaac Drandic, I Gut this Feeling is a clever and comical theatre experience that uses a relatable, modern-day fairytale to deliver a vital message about staying safe and how gut instincts can tell a lot about who to trust and who not to trust.  

Whilst the play features an all-First Nations touring cast and crew, it also includes two highly talented young actors in Sheyan Walker and Shahnee Hunter.

I Gut This Feeling tells the story of Djirra, a young girl just trying to return home safely from a strange world.

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 lizard.

All of these characters have advice for her, but who she should and will trust is the question.

I Gut This Feeling promotional material. (Image: JUTE Theatre Company) 

JUTE Theatre Company created the ‘Dare to Dream’ program with the intention of featuring new theatre works by, about and for First Nations peoples.

JUTE initially commissioned a First Nations playwright to create the work and assembled 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 then goes on to stay 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.

Since 2016, JUTE's Dare to Dream program has touched and transformed the lives of over 20,000 young people in regional and remote communities of Far North Queensland.

JUTE Theatre Company’s First Nations creative producer, Monica Stevens said Dare to Dream breaks from the convention of passive social teaching methods to thoroughly engage and empower young people.

“When visiting First Nations communities, JUTE’s touring team members become role models to the young people. This creates rapport and builds trust in its performances and residency program. Dare to Dream’s short plays all feature topical themes, both challenging and light-hearted, to deliver powerful messages in dynamic and ingenious ways,” she said.

“We have discovered that magic happens when children participate. The rapport in the theatre workshops is genuine and transformative for young people who may never have had this type of experience in remote and isolated communities.  

(Image: JUTE Theatre Company) 

“JUTE is incredibly proud of Dare to Dream for the way it uses a creative platform of theatre to propel powerful messages that culturally resonate with First Nations communities.  

“It starts with engagement, then comes the enlightenment and finally, empowerment. To witness this learning transition experienced by children across our region is truly humbling. The tour reports we receive from our crew and stakeholders are filled with genuine delight and amazement. They confirm that when young people are encouraged to find their voice, change can happen. It is truly rewarding.”

I Gut This Feeling will be JUTE Theatre Company’s first touring residency program for 2024. During May and June it will visit the remote communities of Cooktown, Pormpuraaw, Kowanyama, Croydon, and Mornington Island.   

I Gut This Feeling tour dates and locations:

13-16 May: Cooktown

20-23 May: Pormpuraaw

27-30 May: Kowanyama

3-6 June: Croydon

12-19 June: Mornington Island

I Gut This Feeling showcase and Q&A about the Dare to Dream residency program will take place on Friday 3 May 2024 at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre.

For more fashion, beauty and lifestyle news subscribe for free to the Style Up newsletter.        


First Nations stories to feature at the Australian National Maritime Museum during Vivid Sydney
Set to feature as one of the many ways Indigenous culture will be represented at...
Phoebe Blogg 23 May 2024
Handcrafted textiles showcased at Boab Metals Ord Valley Muster Art in the Park fashion show
Raptures of applause and cheers sang out from Celebrity Tree Park as nine Indige...
Dianne Bortoletto 23 May 2024
Naomi Hobson's 'WUKANTA: Life on the River' among finalists for 2024 Hadley's Art Prize
Naomi Hobson, a Southern Kaantju/Umpila woman and versatile artist residing in C...
Joseph Guenzler 23 May 2024
Raine Square presents Maar Koodjal, a seven week showcase of First Nations art and cultural experiences
A seven-week celebration will showcase First Nations art and artists during Nati...
Rhiannon Clarke 23 May 2024

   Phoebe Blogg   

First Nations stories to feature at the Australian National Maritime Museum during Vivid Sydney
Set to feature as one of the many ways Indigenous culture will be represented at...
Phoebe Blogg 23 May 2024
JUTE Theatre Company announces Queensland tour for David Hudson’s autobiographical play 'From Campfire to Stage Light'
David Bindi Hudson is set to tour his play ‘From Campfire to Stage Light’ across...
Phoebe Blogg 22 May 2024