Victoria Abbott is a writer, performer, voice artist, clown, devisor and actor. She studied at Otago University, Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and École Philippe Gaulier.
Awards include Best Theatre Performance and the PAANZ Touring Award 2019 Fringe Awards (Run Rabbit), The Chapman Tripp Emerging Artist Trust award for Most Promising Female Newcomer 2012, Best Theatre Production 2015 Fringe awards (Caterpillars) and Auckland Theatre Award for Most Original Production 2015 (All Your Wants and Needs Fulfilled Forever). She's been in various short films, which have travelled to the Clermont-Ferrand, Beverly Hills and Seattle short film festivals.
In the world of theatre she's made work with Red Leap Theatre, The Pop Up Globe, ATC, Circa, Kallo Collective, The Conch, Playground Collective, The Basement Christmas Show, various co-ops and was a founding member of Bare Hunt Collective. She pops up in ads from time to time and various other screen work including for Jane Campion directed Top Of The Lake: China Girl. 2018 she moved into the world of performance art, with a Stranger Things experimental electric guitar performance in Auckland and a work titled 'A Lady Drowns' which saw her floating in the harbour for Performance Art Week Aotearoa in Wellington. Other recent work includes a campaign for Shine, playing a virginal teacher in TVNZ's webseries Educators and the upcoming Sunday night drama Ablaze.
Nicola is an actor, improviser and group facilitator. She is the Artistic Director of Voice Arts, a not for profit that uses play and performance as tools for community and personal development. Nicola has led the development and delivery of many unique creative engagement projects that support people to tell their own stories in their own voice; projects that support social justice, active citizenship and wellbeing. Nicola has worked internationally with communities in Cook Islands, Ethiopia, Uganda, and New York. She is a recent graduate of New York based East Side Institute’s International Programme.
I am a professional actor, director and writer trained in Chile. In 2009 I completed a Masters Degree in Theatre Arts at Toi Whakaari Drama School. Currently, I am finishing a PhD in Theatre Performance at Monash University, Australia.
The heart of my work is the creation of evocative and provocative images rather than a coherent lineal narrative. I am interested in biographical material, gender and catharsis and the way in which these concepts interrelate to affect the audience. I like the idea of using my own biography and memories as a bridge to reach the audience in my work. Finally, my curiosity as a practitioner constantly leads me to question the craft of doing theatre, what the purpose of theatre is and how effective theatre can be. So far I believe theatre to be a trigger and a provocateur of emotional/intellectual processes.
Jan is a playwright, performer, choreographer and director of Wellington’s popular dance company for mature women, Crows Feet Dance Collective. Jan has written six plays. Bill Massey’s Tourists, a solo play about her grandfather’s experiences in WW1, finished a very successful month long national tour with Arts On Tour New Zealand in September 2017. It is the third in a trilogy of solo plays Jan has written about her family. Standing on my Hands tells the story of her father’s WW2 experiences and Here’s Hilda! is the dramatisation of her grandmother’s life which toured twice with AOTNZ. In 2013 her play Dancing in the Wake, featuring Sacha Copland and John Smythe and herself, toured throughout the country with AOTNZ. Double Portrait, her play about ex-patriate NZ artist Frances Hodgkins, also toured extensively throughout the country.
In 2017 Taking the High Ground was staged at BATS, about mountaineers Freda du Faur and Lydia Bradey, and written during a residency at the Robert Lord’s Writers Cottage in Dunedin. In November 2019 Jan’s new play about euthanasia Welcome to the Death Cafe will be staged at BATS.
Her solo play Here’s Hilda was nominated for a Chapman Tripp Theatre Award, and in the 1990’s the dance theatre work Takitoru, directed by Jan, Sunny Amey and Keri Kaa, won a Chapman Tripp for most innovative work.
Dr Moira Fortin, actress and Lecturer at the Programme of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago. As a performer and an interdisciplinary researcher, working across Theatre Studies and Languages and Cultures, Dr Fortin has been successfully contributing to the body of knowledge regarding Rapa Nui/ Easter Island. Prior to moving to Aotearoa, Fortin conducted research in Chile, specifically in Rapa Nui (1999 - 2012) where she was the team leader of the pre-production of the trailer of a TV series called Katamarangi. In 2016, Fortin completed a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, entitled Tensions and Possibilities: The Interplay of ‘Traditional’ Cultural Elements and the Creation of Contemporary Rapanui, Māori and Samoan diasporic Theatre. Since 2017 Fortin has been performing in The Motorway in Dunedin and Wellington. In 2018 Fortin performed The Motorway and The Subterranean based on the book Sub-terra by the Chilean Baldomero Lillo at the Dunedin Fringe Festival where she was nominated as Best Performer.
In 2013, I attended the National Youth Drama School (NYDS) for the first time. At NYDS, I discovered and followed my love for devising physical theatre. I don’t want words on a page to limit what audiences see on stage. I want to challenge mine and others’ imaginations. I want that challenge to excite the eye.
At Victoria University, I strove to learn all I could about what it means to create, spending much of my degree working off-stage, developing skills in props, costume, stage-management, lighting design, directing, and producing.
Before now, most of my work has been class-room facilitated. This year, some friends and I took a leap of faith and created Slapdash Theatre, curating our first, non-university affiliated show for Fringe. Months later, I’m taking another leap of faith as I step further away from the classroom and into my own career with Tea for Two.
My love for theatre began way, way back in the good old days of 2008 when I saw a local production of 'The Wizard of Oz'. I was told by my granny, that for the entire show, my eyes were practically bulging out of my head. I was in awe of this crazy world where we can cause tornados and make houses fall from the sky. I moved to the big smoke, Wellywood, in 2017 and started, like most do, with Young & Hungry; from then on I've been throwing myself into any and every show that I can get my hands on. In the process I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most talented young artists In this city, people I now call my whanau. Through sheer passion and determination we managed to make the shows 'Wellingtonians' and 'Some Sort of Boy' both of which snagged us a FRINGE award nom. for Most Promising Emerging Company. I also am lucky enough to be a member of Long Cloud Youth Theatre Company and PlayShop who from which I have learnt and grown so much as a theatre-maker, performer and artist.
When I think about the kind of art that I want to make I am drawn to a quote by one of my biggest inspirations, Marina Abramović, she said "In theatre the knife is fake and the blood is ketchup. In performance art the knife is real and the blood is real." I want to make theatre where the knife is real and the blood is real. Art goes nowhere when it does not push boundaries and explore territories out of our comfort zone.
Hannah Banks is an award-winning performer, producer, writer and director. Banks is one of the founders and creative directors of My Accomplice. Since 2009 the company have made over twenty shows together, including the Fringe award-winning A Play About Space (2013). In 2014 she directed and co-wrote Everything is Surrounded by Water which won Best Solo at the New Zealand Fringe Festival and was nominated for Outstanding New New Zealand Play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. In 2014 Banks also won The Richard Campion Accolade for Outstanding Performance at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for her performance in the My Accomplice STAB Production of WATCH, which re-opened BATS Theatre at its original Kent Tce home. In 2018 she completed her PhD in Theatre at Victoria University of Wellington where she researched women in devising in Aotearoa.
Rob is an award winning actor/writer who toured his show, Strange Resting Places nationally and internationally, with co-writer and co- actor, Paolo Rotondo. He was formally co-writer of the Māori musical comedy webseries, The Māori Side Steps. Late last year he was in the new TV series, The Deadlands, due to be released later in the year. After his public mental breakdown in 2009, Robs main focus is suicide prevention.