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Six Degrees Festival 2024

Established In 2018, the Six Degrees Festival is a staple of the Victoria University MFA (Creative Practice) in Theatre programme. Fun, quirky, serious, or thought-provoking, the shows produced under the festival have served as launching pads for the careers of many successful arts practitioners.

This year, in response to an unprecedented struggle to represent the importance of theatre as an academic subject, The Six Degrees Festival becomes a vessel for reflection on the achievements of those who came before us, into a presentation of the theatre industry’s future—the emerging artists creating on the ground, right now.

This is why we #SaveVUWTheatre. Big hearts, big stories; we invite you to join us and meet some of the newest, most exciting voices in New Zealand theatre. Six Degrees Festival 2024 presents: 11 students producing 7 diverse, action-packed shows across 3 weeks. Staged at the iconic BATS Theatre, a true home for emerging artists, this is not theatre to be missed!

WHERE: BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace, Mt. Victoria, Wellington

WHEN: 16th January - 3rd February, 2024, shows at varying times (see below)

WHO: Victoria University—Te Herenga Waka Masters of Fine Arts Students: Anna Secker, Ditas Yap, India Worsnop, Isaac Hooper, Jimmy Williamson, Josiah Matagi, Kaisa Fa’atui, Katherine Keane, Romina Meneses, Sam Hearps & Tom Smith.

TICKETS: All shows on sale right now, book online at www.bats.co.nz

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WEEK 1

LIMBO - 17-20th January (THE STAGE)

Dir. Katherine Keane

Originally written by Dante Alighieri, Adapted by Jimmy Williamson, Tom Smith & Katherine Keane

Keane As Theatre

The opening play of the festival, Limbo, regales audiences with a modern kiwi adaptation of Dante Alighieri’s divine comedy, Inferno. MFA students: Katherine Keane, Tom Smith & Jimmy Williamson collaborate on this original script with Smith and Williamson managing the production, and Keane stepping into the director’s chair for the very first time. As washed-up comedian David Noble peels back the layers of wrongs never righted, he is forced to confront the sins of his past to better his future.

THE LOBSTER - 17-20th January (THE DOME)

Dir. Daniel Nodder

Originally written by Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthimis Filippou, Adapted by India Worsnop

Stuff & Things Theatre

THE LOBSTER is the world-premiere stage adaptation of the 2015 award-winning black comedy film of the same name. MFA students India Worsnop & Anna Secker collaborate as producer/publicist and dramaturg/actor Newly single David must conform to his world’s dystopian adult dating climate in a 45-day ‘Relationship Hotel’—or transform into the eponymous crustacean. An enthralling combination of classic absurdism and striking physical theatre, backed by a dramatic orchestral sound design.

WEEK 2

ON GOD - 24-27th January (THE DOME)

Written & Dir. Kaisa Fa’atui

IndiGENIUS

On God is an original work by Kaisa Fa’atui examining the effects of religion and colonialism in the Pacific. The show follows the journey of Nafanua, the Samoan goddess of war, and Jesus, the Son of God, as they bestow their wisdom and knowledge to various humans on earth that are experiencing their own trials and tribulations. As the play progresses, Nafanua and Jesus are constantly at odds with each other, with their different ideals and personal issues against each other getting in the way of aiding the humans on earth.

AT THE ALTAR - 24-27th January (THE STAGE)

Dir. Rosie Glover

Written by Sam Hearps

Beneath the Bed Productions

At The Altar is a horror mystery exploring relationships, wedding ritualism and how isolation can blur the lines of reality. The show is the product of a design-led writing process. Student Sam Hearps began with a horror-inspired set design which led to a fully realised script. Protagonist Laurel receives a distressing call from her sister Daphne, prompting her to make the trip out to the estate of Daphne's fiancé, Marcus Barker. Once there, Laurel is confronted with the news that her sister has disappeared a mere week before her wedding; she decides to stay and search for her sister, coming face to face with the ghoulish past of the Barkers and becomes the focus of a strange entity watching from the shadows.

WEEK 3

KIA ORA KHALID - 31 January - 3rd February (THE STAGE)

Dir. Ditas Yap

Written by Gareth Farr & Dave Armstrong

Kia Ora Khalid is a children’s opera by acclaimed composer Gareth Farr and award-winning writer Dave Armstrong. The musical focuses on the stories of four migrant children in Aotearoa, over a game of rugby during their school lunchtime. Tom, a Polish New Zealander; Serena, a Samoan; Trang, a first generation Cambodian; and Khalid, a Tampa refugee from Afghanistan. Their tales reveal the harsh history of refugees arriving from Poland in the 1940s, the troubled world of Cambodia in the 1970s, and ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

WE, THE OUTSIDERS - 31 January-3rd February (THE DOME)

Dir. Romina Meneses

Asst. Dir. Micah Nicholson

South Arts Collective

We, The Outsiders is a documentary theatre show created and inspired by real-life experiences of migrant workers living in New Zealand. Romina Meneses’ documentary theatre work is a thought-provoking theatrical experience that sheds light into the diverse challenges and issues migrants face while trying to fit in, to learn a new language and adapt to a whole new culture. Through a collection of real-life experiences and personal narratives, the show explores themes of identity, belonging, and integration. Raw, frustrating, hilarious and emotive, much like life itself.

BLIP - 31 January-3rd February (THE DOME)

Dir. Liam Kelly

Believable Arts Management

blip is a devised and interactive work by award-winning performance artist Isaac Hooper. SIx Degrees Festival presents the debut of a new art form, 'Cyborg sound poetry' which galvanises embodied technology. What lurks beneath our seabed? A plug. Earth's belly button. From whence we rose and now must return, to pull. Drain the excess. Before the sea swelling swallows us. A blip ventures below, braving the absurdities of life pressurised as their subconscious seeps out into the deep. Through experimental vocal techniques, live soundscapes, and anarchic improvisation, blip explores the power of the human voice against the cataclysmic wave of noise. Seize the means of vocal production and sing the body electric through this immersive experiment to the depths of your imagination.

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