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Creative ID: 204

Art form(s): Dance, Multi-disciplinary, Music, Ngā Toi Māori, Theatre
Language(s): English, Māori
Based in: Auckland
Where I'm available:
Auckland. I would be happy to travel to other parts of the motu if there was appropriate remuneration, travel costs, and accommodation provided.
When I'm available: I have major commitments February-March, and July. Other than this, I can be flexible.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

I have worked extensively in theatre and music performance as a practitioner both on and off stage (actor, dancer, musician, playwright, director, musical advisor/director, vocal coach), and a teacher in New Zealand and abroad for the last 15 years. I am particularly interested in applied theatre (the use of drama and music in an educational, community, or therapeutic context), and actively investigate social and cultural stigma through performance. This action-based research includes devising unique original work using traditional Māori and Aotearoa concepts to challenge attitudes, beliefs, and stereotypes, adapting scripted musicals/plays to highlight current and relevant issues, reimagining scripted musicals/plays to be set in New Zealand using our own voices, and contributing to the development of new musicals and musical theatre practitioners in New Zealand. As an actor, I have received media reviews and recognition for critically acclaimed projects, both nationally and internationally, and as a director I have worked extensively in community theatre, establishing outreach arts activities and community engagement in Auckland and Wellington. I have designed three workshop programmes for young people, and have directed 20+ high school musicals. I have been on the judging panel for the Auckland Theatre Awards and the Auckland Fringe Festival Awards since 2017.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

  • Originally from Tauranga, I have worked as a freelance actor, singer, dancer, director, vocal coach, musical director, and pianist.
  • I received outstanding reviews for my performance in the New Zealand premiere of ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ and my performance and musical direction of a show in the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival received 5-star international reviews.
  • I have performed in lots of other productions in New Zealand.
  • I have directed over 30 musicals, including one that won nine NAPTA awards.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I am currently the head of a Performing Arts programme, but this role (and the whole Creative Arts faculty) has been disestablished, and tenure is expected to end in December 2019 (final outcome still in negotiation). I have been contracted to direct and design over 20 full musical productions in high schools in Auckland and Wellington, with children ranging from Year 3 to Year 13. I have directed two National Youth Theatre Company musicals, and have designed and directed several holiday workshop programmes for rangatahi. I produced, designed, and directed the premiere touring production of my award-winning play with students (ranging from 17-27 years). 

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I have worked extensively with young people, and thoroughly enjoy building their confidence and skills through performing arts. I have excellent reviews and referees, and have lost count of how many of these young people are now working alongside me as colleagues in the industry.

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