Dead Puppet Society

Welcome to 2020

We’re not quite sure how it’s 2020 already, but coinciding with this intensely satisfying date, DPS is entering its second decade, and we’re thrilled to be able to share with you what we have in the works for the coming year.

2020 sees more DPS productions than any previous year. We’re kicking off with the return of two old favourites, Laser Beak Man and The Riddle of Washpool Gully, before turning our sights to the creation of Ishmael, a reimagining of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, premiering in co-production with Brisbane Festival and QPAC before transferring to the Sydney Opera House later in the year.

Once again we’re also offering a suite of core workshops alongside more intensive residency programs, all of which have been updated to fit within the evolving curriculum and are now available across Queensland and New South Wales. All of our engagement activities can be tailored to suit a wide range of study areas, forms, and interests — we’d love to hear what you’re looking for, and work with you to craft a bespoke experience for your students or community.

Behind the scenes, we’re continuing work with our international collaborators and partners as we look to the future, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming Jen Livingstone to the DPS fold who will be working as Creative Producer across a range of new outdoor activation works.

We can’t wait to kick things off, and hope that we get the chance to collaborate with you in the near future.


Nick, David, Helen and Jen.


November 14th, 2019 in


Dead Puppet Society is seeking to commission a Queensland writer to develop a script for a new visual theatre work to be considered for production by the company.

As a small organisation that has benefited from the incredible support of the Queensland theatre industry, Dead Puppet Society is committed to providing opportunities that broaden the base of artists working in visual theatre forms in our home state.

In addition to the commission fee, Dead Puppet Society will work closely with the writer for dramaturgical and directorial support through drafting and development readings. We have partnered with La Boite, who will offer space for a two-day workshop of the script.

What we’re looking for:

  • A compelling idea with contemporary urgency, with preference given to social/ecological themes.
  • A story that lends itself strongly to visual theatre forms and poetics.
  • An idea that is suitable for a broad audience and with significant programming appeal.
  • A concept that could be realised within reasonable production parameters.

What we’re offering:

  • A $12,000 commission.
  • A development opportunity through La Boite’s HWY festival in March 2020.
  • Guidance and dramaturgical support.
  • A two-day workshop/reading with actors and showing to critical friends.


  • Must be based in Queensland or have strong professional links to Queensland.
  • Must have had at least one new and original play professionally produced.
  • Must be able to provide work samples from professionally produced work.

Applications should provide:

  • A one-page concept outline, including a brief synopsis and rationale, with direct reference made to the visual nature and contemporary urgency of the proposed work.
  • A work sample of up to ten pages.
  • A current bio or CV outlining professional practice.


Closing date – Friday 20thDecember 2019, 5pm.

Email submission documents to info at


We’re more than happy to discuss potential submissions. Please feel free to get in touch:

Nicholas Paine | Executive Producer | nicholas at


This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.


What do you mean by 'professionally produced play'?

- This is defined by productions that paid award rates to all cast and creatives involved.

Can I apply with a concept that has already been programmed?

- You will need to submit a new idea in order to qualify for this commission. The DPS writers commission is designed to support the development of a work from the ground up in the hope that we can produce the world premiere in the future.

Is this opportunity available to emerging artists?

- If you meet the above eligibility then you're welcome to apply. DPS does provide other opportunities to emerging artists, including the DPS Academy and Adult Masterclass Series. Keep your eyes peeled for our call for EOI's for these programs soon.

November 8th, 2019 in


In 2018 Dead Puppet Society will produce an original large scale roving puppetry work in Brisbane as commissioned by Festival 2018 and Flowstate.



Following their migratory route down the Brisbane river, three ancient giants have become lost in the city. Where they expected to find their seasonal feeding grounds there is now only a jungle made of concrete.

Designed and created by the artists at Dead Puppet Society, MEGAFAUNA will take up residence at Flowstate in a prehistoric installation, and wander through the South Bank Parklands as a part of Festival 2018.

As they try to make their way in the altered landscape, these three visitors from a forgotten time provoke a reflection on how the landscape of our country has changed and the effect that humans have had on the creatures that share our island.


We are currently seeking performers for the project.

Rehearsals will take place on 3-5 April 2018, and performances on 6-8 and 13-15 April 2018. Professional award rates will apply.

Due to the nature of this work, performers who have physical performance training, puppetry experience, or similar skill sets are encouraged to apply.

Auditions will take place in the week of 19 February 2018 and will take the form of a skills-development workshop.

If you’re keen to take part or have any questions we’d love to hear from you!

Please send a headshot and relevant CV to to register your interest. Applications close on 11 February 2018.

January 31st, 2018 in

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