Panel One - Devising & Directing for Solo Performance

An invitation to reflect on the creative process of creating a solo performance - tools, rehearsals, translations, training, movement, props, choreography, relationships. An exploration of the big question: How did you do it?

Panel Speakers are Richard Huber, Kerryn Palmer, Moira Fortin and Sally Richards.

This panel will take place in the Random Stage on the 23rd of August at 3:30pm.

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.

Sally Richards has a PhD in Theatre from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, holds a Master of Theatre Arts in Directing from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University, and a Bachelor of Theatre with Honours from James Cook University of North Queensland. Her research interests include solo performance, pedagogy of theatre, diasporic theatre and theatre for social change. Sally’s most recent directing work includes Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at Victoria University in 2018, and co-directing with Kerryn Palmer the premiere of She Danced on a Friday, a devised solo by Nicola Pauling at the Meteor Theatre, Hamilton and at BATS Theatre, Wellington. Sally is currently teaching on the Theatre Programme at Victoria University.

Richard Huber is a professional director, teacher, actor and playwright. His career began in Christchurch in the early 1980s, where he worked extensively in theatre in education and street performance. During that time he set up the Christchurch City Council’s first full time Theatre in Education Programme and worked with the innovative Splinta Stilt Theatre Company. He also was one of the establishing members of the Christchurch Playback Theatre Company. In 1993, he moved to Dunedin to take up a position teaching theatre at the University of Otago, which he held for 18 years. His areas of teaching speciality were directing, acting, improvisation and devising. During this time, he also worked extensively as a director producing works for the Fortune Theatre, Wow Productions and wide range of other independent professional groups and amateur companies. His work as an actor includes work for the stage, film and for the Dunedin Medical School’s Simulated Patient development Unit. His work as a writer includes a large body of short scripts and commissioned works for First Church of Otago, Knox Church and the Fortune Theatre production of his highly acclaimed Glorious. Recent directing work includes One Day and Backwards in High Heels for the Otago Festival of the Arts and the award wining Waiting for Godot at the Globe Theatre. His most recent script Songbird voted best new script at the 2013 Dunedin Theatre Awards.

Kerryn Palmer has worked as a freelance director, actor, and teacher of drama for over 20 years. In 2003 she completed her MTA in directing at Toi Whakaari-New Zealand Drama School and VUW, graduating with distinction.In 2016 She set up Bedtime Stories from Inside, a programme that goes into prisons and records family members reading stories to their children. Kerryn has just finished a four-year Teaching Fellowship, lecturing at Victoria University (Theatre Programme) and is part way through her PhD in Theatre for Young Audiences. She has directed many touring shows that have traveled around New Zealand for; Duffy Theatre,Capital E National Theatre for Children, Handstand Productions, Ensemble Impact and most recently, Arts on Tour’s production of SEED. She also devises and creates large scale site-specific/generic works, (Pandemic, Sniper, Adrift, My Shout- Another Round at the Thistle Inn, Black November 1918) Her upcoming work includes a new initiative of theatre classes for the elderly, with Voice Arts Trust.


Panel Two - Autobiography & Navigating Borders in Solo Performance


A discussion about the representation of the self in solo performance. How we present different stories, different abilities, different memories, ideas, voices and sources of inspiration from a variety of cultural backgrounds. How we celebrate different world views and perspectives in life and how these thoughts all come together in the conceptualization, devising and production of a solo performance.

Panel Speakers are Jaime Dörner, L’hibou Hornung, Rose Kirkup, Victoria Abbott Jacob Dombroski

This panel will take place in the random stage on the 24th of August at 3:30pm

Rose Kirkup is a Wellington based theatre maker. The artistic director of Everybody Cool Lives Here a theatre company producing work that empowers the creative voices of marginalised people in Aotearoa. Rose is passionate about shaping our stories into challenging yet accessible shows for all. Rose has had many roles in theatre directing (Versions of Allah, 2016), stage management World of Wearable Art (2011-14). As a designer she has collaborated with companies such as Capital E (2016), Barbarian Productions (2015, 2018), and Taki Rua (2011). Rose has been a key creative in cutting edge works like Big J Stylez (2018) and Wake Up Tomorrow (2015). Rose created her own semi autobiographical solo work I AM Tasha Fierce. This work about a Hutt girl obsessed with Beyonce. It was a away for her to work through some tough times in her life. The gauntlet that is solo work is a form Rose is extremely passionate about.

Jacob Dombroski (Ngāti Porou / Ngāi Tūhoe / Asau, Samoa) Jacob presented his solo work ‘Big J Stylez ‘2018 in the Fringe Festival. The triumphant work received several awards. Including a highly commended for Jacobs performance. ‘Big J Stylez’ as also presented at the Herald Theatre in Auckland June 2018. His passion for music and dance empower Jacob to tackle heavy subjects, challenging audiences to seek love not fear. Jacob’s previous works include devising ‘Wake Up Tomorrow’ (2015 Best in NZ Fringe) and ‘No Post on Sunday’ (Circa Theatre, 2016). In 2019 Jacob debuted onShortland Street as Winston Kimiora, a role he hopes to reprise in the future. Jacob plans to tour Big J Stylez in 2020 and is pumped to see where film work may lead him.

Jaime Dörner, 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.

Victoria Abbot 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 EmergingArtist 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.