South Australia’s premiere performing youth arts company, Patch Theatre have just returned from the United States having showcased their exceptional talent at the annual ‘International Performing Arts Showcase’ in Philadelphia.
Not only that but Artistic Director Dave Brown was awarded the Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award, IPAY’s highest award which recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to the performing arts for young audiences.
IPAY is a leading international membership organisation that supports the professional community of performing arts for young audiences. The annual showcase event, which was held over 4 days from 21 – 24 January 2015, is a platform for companies to showcase their work on the international stage with the endeavour to securing international touring in North America.
Mickey Miners is the former curator of Performing Arts for Children at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Dave Brown joins an illustrious group of individuals to receive the award, all of whom have made outstanding contributions to the performing arts for young people. Previous recipients included Mary Rose Lloyd, Saskia Janse, Onny Husinik and Jim Morrow.
After more than 20 years at the helm of Patch Theatre, the award is another feather in Dave’s hat. Dave is recognised nationally and internationally as a pioneer in creating new and highly innovative theatre work specifically for children, and is considered a leader in this highly specialised field.
Dave was granted the award as he exemplifies the energy, vision, experience and wisdom that are the hallmarks of those who care deeply about impacting positively on the lives of young people with live performances that entertain and enlighten.
“IPAY is so proud to be able to honour Dave Brown and his work at Patch in this way, and in doing so acknowledging the importance of our sector and the necessity of creating outstanding art for young audiences,” says Boomer Stacey, Executive Director of IPAY.
“Through the work that is created at Patch and his work in raising the bar on how we think about creating work for young people, Dave epitomizes the kind of impact we are looking for in this important award. Dave’s imprint and influence ripples throughout our professional members, to emerging artists and most importantly has positively impacted 1000’s and 1000’s of young people around the world.”
“Acknowledging Dave Brown and Patch Theatre also pays tribute to the amazing community of artists in Australia dedicated to creating and presenting outstanding performing arts for young audiences. They are an important voice at our gathering at IPAY Showcase.”
Patch Theatre was one of 17 companies selected from over 120 applications to showcase their work The Moon’s A Balloon – a vibrant production that celebrates balloons, play, friendship, creativity and connection. It’s a delicious visual-theatre feast inspired by the EE Cummings poem of the same name that reveals how amazing possibilities arise from the simplest of things. The showcase was well received and already a number of inquiries have been made to tour the work in North America in 2016 and 2017.
“We are absolutely delighted that Dave Brown has received this year’s Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Australia Council CEO, Tony Mr Grybowski.
“This is a very prestigious award, given to a person who has made a significant impact on the field of the performing arts for young audiences, and it is the first time an Australian has received this honour. The Australia Council supports a number of youth arts organisations and we are proud to support Patch Theatre.”
“Mr Brown has been at the helm of excellent productions for children during his time as Artistic Director, and earned the admiration of his peers both in Australia and internationally. On behalf of the Australia Council I congratulate Dave Brown for being recognised by the International Performing Arts for Youth as one of Australia’s international trailblazers and leaders.”
On receiving his award, Dave Brown said “What an absolute joy it was to receive the Mickey Minor Award. The IPAY community is a unique international community of passionate artists, agents, producers and presenters who care deeply about the performing arts for young people and it is wonderful to have our work acknowledged by them.”
“With wonderful support from the Australia Council, ArtsSA and Carclew, Patch has been able to present 9 productions in North America since 2002 in close to 30 seasons. This award is in recognition of all the performances created and delivered by Patch Theatre artists, technicians and administrators over that period.”
“I am deeply proud to have been a part of the Patch Theatre story over the last 20 years and am honoured to receive the award of behalf of the many who have been part of our journey.”
In 2013, Patch Theatre was one of 4 Australian companies selected from over 136 applications to showcase their entire work of the Helpmann Award-winning production of Me and My Shadow.
At the end of 2015, Dave will step down as Artistic Director. His replacement will be announced shortly. For more information, visit: www.patchtheatre.org.au for details.
Image: Dave Brown