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Hello.  My name is Dave Brown and I’m a performance-maker with an insane curiosity for how we as humans function as “creators”.

What is this drive that leads us to make meaning? How does it work? As a theatre thinker and tinker, I offer a digest of provocations and insights designed to incite and inspire like-minded enthusiasts of creative practice.

My playground will be the seven principles of performance-making.

Two stonecutters were engaged in a similar activity.

Asked what they were doing, one answered,

I’m squaring up this block of stone.”

The other replied, “I’m building a cathedral!”

Clearly what counts is not so much

what work a person does …

but what we perceive we’re doing it for.

Willis Harman, Global Mind Change, 1988, p144

I’ve spent the last 20 years as Artistic Director of Patch Theatre Company creating professional theatre for 4-8 year olds. I can’t remember ever having taken a sick day. Surely I did!

The point is, I’ve been incredibly privileged to “work” at something that is inherently joyful, challenging, absorbing and worthwhile! I loved every minute of it!!

The ideas and experience that I accumulated across my time at Patch Theatre has led me to my new venture called The PaperBoats, which I describe as an international partnership platform for theatre-makers, that investigates and pioneers new ways of connecting and creating. photo: patch theatre production – emily loves to bounce

As part of this venture, I have designed seven principles of performance-making which I’ve cobbled together across the years.

I am using these “principals” to pioneer new ways of performance-making.

I believe we’re on the cusp of some trail-blazing possibilities in the way we “collaborate to create”, prompted by new technologies and the open-source, co-creation movement.

“Trail-blazing?”  “Pioneering?”

Forgive my enthusiasm. This is my new passion!

I’ve conceived the parameters of a five-year performance project called The Tutu Shows, arising from a germinating idea entitled Tw2o of a Kind.

This project will pioneer the possibilities of The PaperBoats platform and its 7 performance-making principles.

It will begin as a partnership between Adelaide artists connecting with performance-makers in Austin, Texas. (Brant Pope/Megan Alrutz, University of Texas and Nat Miller, ZACH Theater).

project overview


a one minute video, briefly outlining The PaperBoats platform and the theatre-making project designed to test its possibilities.


Dr Brant Pope and I will co-author a book that investigates and reflects upon the platform, its principles and the performance-making project as it unfolds.

A precursor to this book will be my own reflections on creative processes, which will draw on the experiences of my 20 years with Patch Theatre Company.

In doing so, I will delve into the 7 performance-making principles and explore how they can serve the way we “connect and create”.

I’ll deliver these as a monthly blog. I invite you to receive an e-mail version, delivered fresh and newly-baked by filling in the form below.

principle 1 - the germinal idea

principle 2 - limiting the palette

principle 3 - whimsy and logic

principle 4 - slow brewing

principle 5 - collaboration, co-creation, participation

principle 6 - modularity

principle 7 - artistry


The PaperBoats  projects are underpinned by these principles

The PaperBoats ASSOCIATES are a starting group of artists and producers, who will share and develop their theatre-making practice and networks, alongside the evolution of the paperboats platform.

The PaperBoats ASSOCIATES include: dave brown, nat miller, luanne poh, stephen blackburn, katrina lazaroff, amanda jones, belinda macqueen, thom browning, sally chance, dan aubin, roz hervey and dr. brant pope.

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