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2008 Production Season Announced

Wednesday 12 March

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School 2008 Production Season Announced.

Toi Whakaari is New Zealand’s leading training ground for actors, performance designers, costumiers, sound and lighting designers, performance arts managers and technicians; forging the future of theatre and screen in Aotearoa.

This year we have a plethora of productions that show students from all disciplines collaborating to produce exciting and innovative theatre. Each year there is a different flavour to the performance programme at Toi Whakaari, arising out of the training demands of each particular year groups across all the disciplines. 2008 is shaping up to be the year of the political play.

We start the year with a devised piece in a new collaboration with the Museum of Wellington - Pakiwaitara; this is followed by a showcase of some of Britain’s most notable political playwrights in a series of one act plays by Edward Bond, Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill in After Democracy; a Shakespeare double bill of an all-male The Tempest directed by John Bolton and an all-female Macbeth which is the first piece Jonathon Hendry has directed as Head of Acting at Toi Whakaari. We also have Toi Whakaari’s regular Go Solo, Classic Cuts and Toi Cabaret.

In 2007 we trialled the idea of alternative graduation productions giving final-year students the option to pitch works that would sit alongside the production put together by the school. This resulted in Angels in America showing at Downstage under the direction of directing graduate Willem Wassenaar, while Arcadia played at Te Whaea directed by acting course graduate Tim Spite. Martyn Wood was nominated for the Most Promising Male Newcomer Chapman Tripp award for his role in Angels in America; Daniel Williams was nominated for Set Designer of the Year for the same production and Willem Wassenaar won the award for Best Emerging Director.

The process was so successful that this year we decided to show a season of four graduation productions from four parts of the globe. It is an exciting and challenging range of work and we are proud to bring it to you through the work and talents of tomorrow’s theatre professionals. On the main stage at Te Whaea, directed by Conrad Newport, is the beautifully crafted Canadian play, Unity (1918) set during the flu epidemic at the end of the First World War. This year’s student collaborations are: Sarah Kane’s confrontational and provocative Blasted produced for the first time in Wellington; a highly topical piece inspired both by the farces of Dario Fo and accusations of ‘terrorist camps in the Ureweras’ led by graduate director, Geoff Pinfield and playwright Jo Randerson - ; Orongorongo 7 (working title) and lastly the dark tales of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman which will play in Circa 2.

We hope that you will join us for a season of inspiring and stimulating work from New Zealand’s next generation of theatre practitioners.

Devised work
Tue 8 – Sat 12 April

Inside the ancestral house, surrounding the heart of the people, history is carved, plaited and painted into the walls. When Maori gather and speak, they draw living stories from these walls, giving meaning to their life today through this relationship with the past.

A devised promenade performance created from collaboration between acting, design and entertainment technology students that will take you on an intimate journey through the walls and into the history of the Museum of Wellington.

WHERE: Museum of Wellington, Queens Wharf
TIMES: 6.30pm and 8.30pm daily
TICKETS: $15/$10 (audience limited to 30 per show)
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

After Democracy
One act plays by Edward Bond, Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill
Fri 20 - Wed 25 June

A collection of modern one act plays by some of Britain’s most revered contemporary playwrights, Edward Bond, Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill. Using theatre as an instrument of change, we explore a world that follows the break down of democracy. We are shown a world that should be, might be or could be. Directed by Christian Penny, Bill Guest, Rachel More and David Neville.

WHERE: Te Whaea Theatre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: Mon - Sat 7pm, Sun 22 Jun 4pm
TICKETS: $15/$10
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

Go Solo
Devised works
Mon 21 July - Sun 3 August

Watch 22 original NZ short works in the solo form, presented in 6 different groups that showcase the abilities, passions and curiosity of the students involved. This year’s solos are directed by Annie Ruth and Jade Eriksen.

WHERE: SEEyD Space, Te Whaea, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIME: 7pm
TICKETS: $15/$10 per group or see all 6 for $40
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

The Tempest
By William Shakespeare
Fri 29 August - Sat 6 September

Elements of tragedy are combined with romantic comedy, in what is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest and final works. An all-male cast directed by acclaimed British director John Bolton.

WHERE: Te Whaea Theatre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: Mon – Sat 6.30pm, Sun 31 Aug 4pm
TICKETS: $15/$10
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

By William Shakespeare
Sat 30 August – Sat 6 September

Blending the theatrical and supernatural, Shakespeare explores the darkest side of human desire. Jonathon Hendry directs his first piece at Toi Whakaari with an all-female version of the ultimate Scottish play.

WHERE: Basement Theatre, Te Whaea, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: Mon – Sat 7pm, Sun 31 Aug 4.30pm
TICKETS: $15/$10
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

Classic Cuts
Thu 9 - Sat 11 October

This studio showing of scenes from Shakespeare and his contemporaries is the first public performance for Toi Whakaari’s first year actors. A pick and mix theatre event from Toi Whakaari’s latest editions.

WHERE: Basement Theatre, Te Whaea, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: Thu – Sat 7pm, Matinee Sat 11 Oct, 2pm
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

Toi Cabaret
Tue 14 – Sun 19 October

A light and ‘swelligant’ evening of music from Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. Second year actors showcase an all-singing all-dancing spectacle of songs directed by Jane Keller and costumed by second year costumiers.

WHERE: The Museum Hotel
TIMES: Tue – Sun 7pm, late night shows Fri & Sat 10pm
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

By Sarah Kane
Wed 28 – Saturday 31 May

Cruelty and compassion strangely collide in Sarah Kane's profound and horrific first work. It looks at a world literally blowing up in our faces. Kane is part of the ‘in-yer-face’ generation of young British playwrights, whose experiential work has challenged and shocked the British stage.

WARNING: Contains content that will offend.

WHERE: Basement Theatre, Te Whaea, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: Wed – Sat 9pm
TICKETS: $15/$10
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

Unity (1918)
By Kevin Kerr
Thu 23 October – Sat 1 November

This award-winning epic, set in Unity, Saskatchewan, Canada at the end of the First World War, explores what happens when a town faces a new enemy on the homefront, more deadly and horrifying than any army: one of the worst influenza epidemics of the modern era. Directed by Conrad Newport.

WHERE: Te Whaea Theatre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: Mon – Sat 7pm, Matinee Sat 1 Nov 2pm (No show Labour Day and Sunday)
TICKETS: $15/$10
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

The Orongorongo 7 (working title)
By Jo Randerson and The Company
Fri 24 October - Sat 1 November

A political satire that probes the questions and fears of a post-9/11 New Zealand, inspired by the events pertaining to the New Zealand Terrorism Suppression Act and the arrests of the ‘Urewera Seventeen’. Directed by Geoff Pinfield.

WHERE: Basement Theatre, Te Whaea, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown
TIMES: 7.30pm
TICKETS: $15/$10
BOOK: 04 381 9253 (automated line)

The Pillowman
By Martin McDonagh
Fri 31 October – Sat 8 November

Treading the fine line between comedy and cruelty, writer Katurian Katurian entertains his younger brother with shocking fairy tales. But when these grisly tales of murder start to become a reality, two sardonic secret policemen come knocking.

WHERE: Circa Two, Circa Theatre
TIMES: Tue – Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4.30pm
TICKETS: $38 - $20
BOOK: 04 801 7992 (Circa)


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