Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


The Udnerstudy – Second best can be a bitch

Media Release

22nd July 2014


THE UNDERSTUDY – Second best can be a bitch.

By Theresa Rebeck

Directed By Amie Bentall

Season – August 6th to August 9th, 8pm

Matinee – August 9th, 2pm


Tickets: $18 (adults), $15 (concession) and $15 (for groups of 6+). General admission with no allocated seating. Door sales will be available on the night. Running Time: 90 minutes (no interval)

The second production from the new HLT Studio gives Auckland theatre goers the rare chance to experience a work by one of America’s leading contemporary playwrights.

The UnderstudySecond Best Can Be a Bitch by Theresa Rebeck and directed by Amie Bentall, is a dazzling and humanistic look at people trying to do what they love in the face of obstacles that mount until all anyone can do is dance.

Charged with running the understudy rehearsal for the Broadway premiere of a previously undiscovered Kafka masterpiece, Roxanne has one afternoon to get it right. There’s just one problem – nothing goes right. Roxanne finds her professional and personal life colliding when Harry, a journeyman actor and also her ex-fiancé, is cast as the understudy to Jake, a mid-tier action star yearning for legitimacy. As Harry and Jake find their common ground, Roxanne tries to navigate the rehearsal with a stoned lighting operator, an

omnipresent intercom system, the producers threatening to shutter the show and her own careening feelings about both actors and her past.

Launched as the centrepiece of Howick Little Theatre’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the HLT Studio is a smaller theatre experience where experimental and innovative productions can be staged. The HLT Studio aims to encourage new and returning actors, new directors, new writers and new designers to experience community theatre in an environment tailored to nurture emerging talent.

HLT Studio Artistic Director, Terry Hooper explains: `Our mission is to present three short seasons of plays and a series of regular staged readings each year. We introduce new talent to all aspects of theatre, from the technical designers and crew to the production team, directors, actors and more.

`Our first production features a first-time director, with an established (usually NZ-based) play. The second production is an established play selected for emerging actors to shine, with an experienced director. Finally, the third production is a new work written by a new local playwright, supported by an accomplished production team – both on and off stage.’

HLT President, Rae McGregor explains: `For 60 years Howick Little Theatre has been producing high-quality, entertaining, accessible and enriching theatre as well as creating an environment that encourages and recognises the artist in each of us. Throughout its history, Howick Little Theatre has been a committed champion of New Zealand theatre, premiering a number of local productions and nurturing our native talent. We wanted to mark this special year by introducing the HLT Studio, which aims to bring new talent to community theatre as well as persuade old friends to come back, by getting involved in shorter and less demanding productions.’

HLT Artistic Adviser, Alison Mudford adds: `Our five main productions each year are some of the best and most professional community theatre experiences in New Zealand. In 60 years the theatre has evolved to become one of Auckland’s best-known and most respected community theatres.

The HLT Studio is designed to be a less intimidating, more intimate, but no less professional introduction to theatre and we are thrilled that Terry Hooper and Nick Martin brought the concept to us and have volunteered to help bring it into being.’

For more details check out:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - 'I, Daniel Blake' - Ken Loach's Bleak Masterpiece

'I, Daniel Blake' is a bleak masterpiece, a chilling and moving story of two people striking up an unlikely friendship under extremely adverse circumstances. It is both a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers, and a celebration of the decency and compassion of ordinary people who look out for one another when the state has abandoned them. More>>

Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter

  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news