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NZ Theatre Month to ‘celebrate and elevate’ New Zealand performing arts
A new initiative that will run throughout September 2018, with the aim of showcasing theatre in New Zealand all its forms, has been announced. NZ Theatre Month plans to increase public awareness of not only the amount of New Zealand theatre taking place all the time, but its quality.
With the theme ‘celebrating and elevating New Zealand Theatre’, NZ Theatre Month is highlighting the long, rich and storied history of New Zealand theatre, with hundreds of productions that go on around the country every year, of all kinds: plays, musicals, devised work, physical theatre.
The month is not only about celebrating the present but is also about honouring the long history of theatre in this country that dates all the way back to 1848.
Popular playwright Roger Hall is one of NZ Theatre Month’s main backers, having championed this cause for several years.
Delighted that the initiative has finally come to fruition, Hall explains “theatre is performed at the mighty Civic and the intimate Garnett Road Café; in bars, basements and buses; in purpose-built theatres, community centres and school halls.
“All over the country, from Northland to Invercargill ... thousands of people go; and thousands take part.”
The main aim for NZ Theatre Month is that as many theatres as possible will perform a New Zealand work during that month.
Hall has confirmed involvement from professional companies from across the country to take part, including Auckland Theatre Company (Auckland), Circa Theatre (Wellington), Centrepoint (Palmerston North), The Court (Christchurch) and The Fortune (Dunedin).
Community theatres across the country are also scheduled to take part, with many already committing to perform New Zealand works during this time.
Hall states “even if a theatre hasn’t scheduled a New Zealand work, we still want them to take part. There are many ways to elevate our theatre with talks, debates, and displays.
“The fact is that theatre in New Zealand has never been so strong. The amount of work produced, the range of venues and the number of people actively involved has never been so high. Audience numbers are strong yet I can sense little national public awareness or pride in what we do and what we have accomplished.”
Hall has worked closely on NZ Theatre Month with well-known arts manager Malcolm Calder and the pair plan for the initiative to become a registered charitable Trust in the near future.
The pair are in the process of reaching out to those who make New Zealand theatre, and of devising partnerships and goodwill while putting a substantial and effective promotional strategy and campaign together.
A comprehensive website will also be launched to support all participating theatres and presenters.
Hall also sees the month as a chance to celebrate theatre heroes, local as well as national, dead as well as living, concluding “talk to many young people in theatre, and they know very little of all this.
“We don’t seem to be proud of our history - or even of our present - we don’t have a national voice, it’s time we did".
New Zealand Theatre Month will run from 1st to 30th September 2018.
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27th September 2016 - ASB WATERFRONT THEATRE OPENS IN AUCKLAND
16th August 2016 - THEATRE WORK FOR DEAF AND HEARING AUDIENCES WINS AWARD
27th April 2016 - TIM BRAY PRODUCTIONS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF CHILDREN’S THEATRE
16th February 2016 - POP-UP GLOBE SECURES NAMING RIGHTS SPONSOR
13th September 2015 - $1 MILLION BOOST FOR REGIONAL ARTS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN WELLINGTON
27th November 2013 - CHRISTCHURCH REVEALS PLANS FOR TOWN HALL AND PERFORMING ARTS PRECINCT
6th December 2011 - COURT THEATRE OPENING A VITAL STEP IN CHRISTCHURCH’S RECOVERY
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