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Telecom Hosts Event For Remarkable Women

To launch the Telecom season of Leah by the New Zealand Actors Company, Telecom's Chief Executive Officer, Theresa Gattung, is hosting a celebration of remarkable women after the March 23 show.

Guests include the Governor General Dame Sylvia Cartwright, author Joy Cowley, the Maori Queen Dame Te Ata-i-Rangi-kaahu, squash legend Dame Susan Devoy, political commentator and author Marilyn Waring, boardsailor Barbara Kendall and filmmaker Gaylene Preston.

Ms Gattung says the idea for the evening came from the play itself, "Geraldine Brophy is amazing, and the concept of Leah as a woman was fascinating. It made sense to take the concept of Leah, a remarkable woman, and use it to celebrate some of New Zealand’s remarkable women at a get together".

She says it is impossible to come up with the ultimate invitee list for this sort of event as everybody has their own list of remarkable women.

"We tried covering our bases by asking the invited women to bring a woman who is remarkable to them – perhaps their mother, coach, friend, piano teacher, whomever," she says.

Ms Gattung says the evening is a fantastic opportunity for those attending to catch up and she herself is looking forward to meeting those she has long admired.

"There is one group of people that I am particularly interested in getting to know better and they are the one's who do so much of the fundamental community work in New Zealand. These are some of New Zealand least celebrated yet most remarkable women.

"I am also keen to meet some women who have done remarkable things in New Zealand's education sector - because that is an area Telecom strongly supports.

“Our kids need to understand the possibilities that communication presents. They need to communicate well in order to participate meaningfully in society,” she says.

In line with its stance on education - Telecom has created the Encore! website at which is packed with information and curriculum-based activities about Shakespeare’s life and work, focussing on King Lear.

As part of the Telecom Season of Leah key cast members will conduct workshops for secondary schools in the Auckland area. The students will explore the emotional power of Shakespeare’s language and how actors communicate this in the theatre. Students will be shown how they can use their own emotional experience to give meaning and strength to an extract from King Lear.

Telecom’s sponsorship means students can attend the workshops free of charge.

The Telecom Season of Leah opens at Sky City Theatre in Auckland on 20 March and runs through to 7 April. The 21 performances will include three school matinees.


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