Auckland. I would be happy to travel to other parts of the motu if there was appropriate remuneration, travel costs, and accommodation provided.
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.