News

HOW TOI WHAKAARI IS CREATING THE FUTURE OF THEATRE AND FILM IN NEW ZEALAND…

New scholarship for 2015 – the Fame Trust Award!

Toi Whakaari is delighted to announce the Fame Trust Award, a new scholarship for 2015! The quality of the candidates for The Museum Art Hotel Scholarship and Bill Guest Award this year was exceptional, and thanks to the generosity of … Continue reading

Museum Art Hotel Scholarship & Bill Guest Award 2015

Toi Whakaari is delighted to announce the winners of the Museum Art Hotel Scholarship and the Bill Guest Award for 2015. Museum Art Hotel Scholarship Second year acting student Olivia Mahood has been awarded the prestigious Museum Art Hotel Scholarship … Continue reading

One Day Moko to return!

REIMAGINED STORY OF AUCKLAND’S URBAN COWBOY TO OPEN AT Q Tim Carlsen’s award-winning One Day Moko returns this November as part of Q Theatre’s Q Presents season. One Day Moko, devised and performed by Toi Whakaari acting grad Tim Carlsen … Continue reading

Willem Wassenaar

E te whānau, On Monday the kura received the incredibly sad news of the passing of Willem Wassenaar. He was a dear and cherished friend to many of us and his work had a profound effect on a great many … Continue reading

Lashings of Whipped Cream…

Toi Whakaari Arts Management graduate Ricky Beirao’s drag diva alter ego ‘Rhubarb Rouge’ is playing Mistriss Dominique in Fiona Samuel’s Lashings of Whipped Cream: A Session with a Teenage Dominatrix, which opened at BATS Theatre last night (Thu 18th Sept). … Continue reading

Mini-festival of NZ work heads to NYC!

A group of 20 dedicated Wellington artists are flying to New York to share a mini-festival of 10 New Zealand works at the renowned La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in early 2015. The New Zealand New Performance Festival will showcase the creative cream … Continue reading

MTA enrolment suspended

Toi Whakaari and Victoria University to suspend enrolment in the Master in Theatre Arts in Directing. Statement from Associate Professor Thierry Jutel, Head of the School of English, Film and Theatre Studies, and Christian Penny, Director of Toi Whakaari: Students … Continue reading

The wonders of light with Wellington East Girls’ College

This afternoon, Lisa Maule, Acting Head of Technology and Management with Louise Tu’u, Creative Producer and Director, headed to work and explore the wonders of light with Year 12 Drama students of Wellington East Girls’ College. Their dynamic teacher, HOD … Continue reading

Crusaders coaches visit Toi Whakaari

On the last day of the Festival of New work we had the pleasure of hosting the Crusaders Rugby Management Team: Todd Blackadder, Tabai Matson, Aaron Mauger, Dave Hewett, Angus Gardiner, Richard Smith and Alex McKenzie (from High Performance Sport … Continue reading

Four Knights Films in koiwi today

Four Knights Films Producer Tom Hern and Writer/Director James Napier Robertson shared their inspirational stories of how they make their films with integrity, passion and bloody hard work. Ably hosted by second year Management student Nicole Arrow (pictured in the … Continue reading

Costume, Design and Light come together

Today, our 1st year costumiers, designers, technicians and managers came together and presented their work to each other and tutors Penny Fitt, Emma Ransley and Louise Tu’u in the Design Studios and Production Classroom as part of their interdisciplinary paper, Costume … Continue reading

Animated Anime dress a cr-edible winner!

Quiet achiever and 1st year Costume student Tessa Paymans won $500 and came 2nd place in the adult category of the Edible Fashion Awards in Hastings on Saturday 31st of May. She’s so quiet we only found out last week of … Continue reading

A korero with Esther Roberts from Taki Rua

One of our esteemed design tutors at Toi Whakaari and alumnus, Brian King, is also an established set designer with his current set, costumes and props design, featuring in Taki Rua’s latest production, Putorino Hill, which closes tonight at Q. … Continue reading

SHIPS by Moana Ete has set sail!

SHIPS is the latest play by Toi Whakaari Acting Alumna Moana Ete (2010). Busy acting, writing and producing, Ete follows in the entrepeneurial spirit as her father, Eteuati Ete, otherwise known as the one half of the Laughing Samoans. Eteuati … Continue reading

“The Pa Boys” opens 6th February!

‘Reggae road movie’ The Pa Boys is set to open on Waitangi day this week, featuring Toi Whakaari graduates Tola Newbury, Matariki Whatarau, Juanita Hepi and Francis Kora. The story’s stunning scenery combined with themes of identity, belonging, friendship and … Continue reading

Toi Whakaari at The NZ Festival

 This summer Wellington welcomes the world for the biennial 2014 New Zealand Festival, which brings the best in arts from around the globe to the capital. From classical to the cutting-edge, grand spectacles to intimate arts experiences, the Festival will … Continue reading

Taki Rua seek Kai Arataki – CE

Taki Rua Productions has been at the cutting edge of theatre in Aotearoa New Zealand for almost 30 years. Their objective is for Māori voices to be celebrated and proudly owned by all the people of Aotearoa, inspiring and encouraging … Continue reading

Expressions of interest sought

Expressions of interest for teaching on the Bachelor of Design programme Expressions of interest are invited from current practitioners with an interest in design education to join the Design Department at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School to work alongside us … Continue reading

Chapman Tripp Awards 2013!

Congratulations to everyone nominated for Chapman Tripp Awards this year! Especially to all of our graduates and students: Circa Award donated by TACT for the Most Promising Newcomer: Chris Parker Outsider’s Guide The Emerging Artist Trust Wellington / Whitireia Performing … Continue reading

Updated school information re earthquakes

Update: 21 August, 9.45am Our building has been inspected by Alistair Cattanach, Structural Engineer with Dunning Thornton. Alistair is very familiar with Te Whaea as he has been involved in engineering design work for several recent building projects within the … Continue reading

‘White Lies’ opens June 27th

Actor, director, arts laureate and Toi Whakaari graduate Rachel House talks about her life, career and latest role in the film ‘White Lies’ (based on the novella ‘Medicine Woman’ by Witi Ihimaera) where she plays Maraea. Read the whole interview … Continue reading

Shopping opens May 30!

Toi graduate Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston’s new feature length film ‘Shopping’ opens in cinemas this Thursday! Set on the Kapiti coast in the early 80s, the film centres on the relationship between two brothers, Willie and Solomon. Willie looks … Continue reading

Miranda Harcourt back on Shortland Street

Miranda Harcourt (Acting graduate 1984) has returned to Shortland Street for a cameo role in the classic NZ soap. Miranda’s acting career started in the 70s in radio, she played Gemma in the 80s TV series Gloss and her extraordinary … Continue reading

Alyx Duncan’s The Red House to be screened nationwide

THE RED HOUSE receives March cinema release Following a successful run at the 2012 NZ International Film Festival, Toi Whakaari MTA graduate and director Alyx Duncan’s award-winning feature film debut The Red House opens in theatres across New Zealand this … Continue reading

Toi Graduates & Staff win at the Moa Awards

Last night’s ‘Sorta Unofficial New Zealand Film Awards’ (or ‘The Moas’ as they’re also called) were a great success for all those involved with ‘The Orator – O Le Tulafale’, the first feature-length Samoan language film filmed entirely on location … Continue reading

Toi Graduates among Chapman Tripp 2012 nominees & winners!

A huge congratulations to all those who won or were nominated for this year’s Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards! And a special congratulations to all the Toi Whakaari graduates and staff who were in among them, there were quite a few! … Continue reading

Where Are You My Only One?

A bittersweet, funny and unconventional love story, written by Vanessa Rhodes (acting graduate 1997) and directed by Cameron Rhodes (acting graduate 1987), that explores the pursuit of happiness and the courage to love again despite all that has gone before… … Continue reading

Sad news for the Arts in NZ

David Carson-Parker, supporter of the Arts has passed away All at Toi Whakaari are saddened by the sudden death of David Carson-Parker at the weekend. He was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of not only Toi Whakaari but the Arts … Continue reading

Short film by Design graduate Claire Middleton

Former design student Claire Middleton, who graduated in 2007, made this short film with Davide Dominici in Vietnam in 2011: The Fisherman: Cha Ba Cut

Three Toi graduates receive Arts Foundation Awards!

The students and staff at Toi Whakaari are delighted to congratulate 3 Toi graduates who were recognised in the recently announced 2012 Arts Foundation Awards. They are: Rachel House (Acting graduate 1993), 2012 Arts Foundation Laureate Award Recipient. Fiona Samuel … Continue reading

Creation & Construction meet at Toi Whakaari

Toi was very pleased to welcome a group of staff from the construction company Downer on Friday 21 September. After their welcome the group were shown around the school by some of our students and also participated in a movement … Continue reading

George Webby Memorialised

Last night Toi Whakaari staff, students, alumni and friends farewelled George Webby in fine style. Danny Mulheron, Michael Nicholas Williams and Alice Canton played the piano and rousing singing echoed around the building. The George Webby Memorial Piano fund was … Continue reading

Sima Urale Appointed Head Tutor at Film School

Sima Urale has been appointed to the role of Head Tutor at The New Zealand Film and Television School, in Wellington City. Urale returns to her hometown to take up this new role.  With more than twenty years’ experience in … Continue reading

The Thought Exchange

The Thought Exchange Creating theatre that matters…to you. The Thought Exchange is an experiment by A Slightly Isolated Dog Ltd. in creating theatre that connects to and collaborates with the community in new and innovative ways. It consists of a … Continue reading

The Keepers

Acting graduates Veronica Brady and Julia Croft are raising money to bring their critically acclaimed show The Keepers to BATS Theatre in September. The Keepers was awarded the ‘Best Absurd Physical Theatre Show of 2011′ by Metro magazine. It is … Continue reading

Remembering George Webby

An event to remember the magnificent George Webby. Gather around the piano with a G&T, sing a few songs, enjoy reminiscing about George and the old days, catch up with people you haven’t seen for ages. Tea and scones served … Continue reading

One Day Moko

Created & performed by Tim Carlsen. Directed by Sophie Roberts. After three years in development, input from one of the most celebrated theatre companies in the United States, and a sell-out Auckland season – Tim Carlsen’s One Day Moko comes … Continue reading

Big Mouths

2011 Acting graduates Phoebe Hurst and Emma Fenton are raising money to bring their comedy theatre piece – Big Mouths: a.k.a. Come To Our Show Or We’ll Punch You – to The Basement Theatre in Auckland. Made from their two … Continue reading

THE RED HOUSE

Once again The New Zealand International Film Festival showcases work by Toi Whakaari Alumni. Alyx Duncan, Master of Theatre Arts in Directing graduate (2010), has directed her first feature film The Red House, an intimately observed drama of change in … Continue reading

IVY – Saviour of the Dinosaur

Familiar to many from Go Solo 2010, Toi Whakaari Acting Graduate Jennifer Martin’s (Ivy) whirlwind trip through history will warm the hearts and spark the imaginations of children of all ages at Capital E this June & July. Written by … Continue reading

PARTY WITH THE AUNTIES

Toi Whakaari Directing graduate Erina Daniels’ production of Party with the Aunties can be seen in the Denbigh Hotel, Feilding from Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 June. Tickets cost $20 and you can book by emailing tepuanga@gmail.com or ringing 021 854 … Continue reading

SIR IAN McKELLEN VISITED TOI

None other than Sir Ian McKellen (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Da Vinci Code etc) popped in to Toi to chat to the students. He also took part in a voice class with our voice tutor … Continue reading

GOOD FOR NOTHING

Following on from Matt Whelan’s lead role in The Most Fun You Can Have Dying, Toi Grad Cohen Holloway (Boy, Eagle vs Shark, Until Proven Innocent) is grabbing the limelight for his role in Good For Nothing, the new indy movie from … Continue reading

TOI GRAD STARS IN NEW FEATURE FILM

Toi Grad Matt Whelan is starring in the lead role in the new Kiwi feature film sensation The most fun you can have dying. Based on the book Seraphim Blues by Steven Gannaway, The most fun you can have dying … Continue reading

OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS VISITING TOI

Today (Monday 30 April) six of NZ’s elite sports coaches are visiting Toi to take part in our courses over the day and see what we do. They are all about leadership in sport - we are all about leadership in … Continue reading

TOI WHAKAARI IN THE SPOTLIGHT FOR CHANGE

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School has been shortlisted to receive one of New Zealand’s hottest new awards – the Grafton Art of Change Awards, which will be announced shortly at a ceremony in Auckland. Launched by Grafton, business consultants in … Continue reading

CONGRATULATIONS CHELSIE

Toi grad Chelsie Preston Crayford (Acting, 2008) has just won The Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent in the Logie Awards. The Logies are the most prestigious TV awards in Australasia, and were announced last night (Sunday 15 April) … Continue reading

HONOURING GRANT TILLY

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Grant Tilly, the great New Zealand actor and past tutor at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. TILLY Grant Leonard Ridgway M.B.E.  Died peacefully at Mary Potter Hospice, South Wellington, … Continue reading

THE ORATOR (O LE TULAFALE) TAKES ON THE WORLD

News just to hand from Nathaniel Lees, Senior Tutor (Acting), who was one of the Associate Producers on Tusi Tamisese’s award-winning film The Orator (O Le Tulafale)… This is the list of prizes it has won so far: 68th Venice … Continue reading

FAMOUS GRADS CREATE THINK TANK

An illustrious group of famous acting names descended on Toi today, for the first meeting of the Acting Department Think Tank Group 2012. The acting department wheeled out a gorgeous lunch for them and there were very many delighted faces … Continue reading

INAUGURAL BILL GUEST AWARD goes to……

Toi Whakaari is delighted to announce the inaugural recipient of a brand new award, named after past Associate Director of the School, Bill Guest. Worth $6,000, the Bill Guest Award goes towards the fees of a student entering their final … Continue reading

TOI GRAD TAKES UP CENTREPOINT THEATRE

Acting grad Jeff Kingsford-Brown (Acting, 1983) has just been appointed the new Artistic Director for Palmerston North’s Centrepoint Theatre. Jeff has a long association with the theatre, having more than thirty years experience as an actor, singer and director both … Continue reading

The MAORI TROILUS & CRESSIDA

Some of the cast from The Maori Troilus and Cressida at koiwi last week: Awhina-Rose Ashby, Calvin Tuteao, Rawiri Paratene and William Davis. This is the play that has just finished at the NZ International Arts Festival, and it features a whole host … Continue reading

TOI WHAKAARI AT THE FESTIVAL

No less than an astonishing 43 Toi graduates, students and staff members are taking part in this year’s New Zealand International Arts Festival, across seven shows that range from Shakespeare in te reo to world premiere grand opera. Whether acting … Continue reading

NEW CHAIR OF THE BOARD

We are delighted to announce that James Johnston has been appointed new Chair of the Board of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. James has been on the board of Toi Whakaari since 2007. Chairman of Partners at Wellington-based law firm … Continue reading

TOI GRAD NAMED AS AN ARTS LAUREATE 2011

The most lucrative arts awards in the country were announced last week at a glittering ceremony at the Viaduct Events Centre on Auckland’s Waterfront – the Arts Laureate Awards, presented annually by the Arts Foundation. Awards totalling $360,000 were awarded … Continue reading

CHAPMAN TRIPP AWARD WINNERS

Congratulations to all our Toi Whakaari graduate winners of Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards! The awards ceremony was held on Sunday 4 December at Wellington’s Opera House, and Toi grads featured large among them including Jason Te Kare who won Toi … Continue reading

TOI GRAD WINS THE 2011 BRUCE MASON AWARD

Multiple awards for actor, playwright and Toi grad Arthur Meek, who has just been announced the winner of the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award 2011, at a ceremony at Wellington’s Downstage Theatre on Wednesday (23 November). Not only that, but two … Continue reading

TOI STUDENT WINS SHAKESPEARE AWARD

“There’s so much more to Toi Whakaari than just becoming a good actor. It teaches you how to be a better human.” Toi Whakaari acting student Alex Tarrant is the recipient of the 2012 Museum Art Hotel Scholarship in association … Continue reading

TOI GRADS IN THE CHAPMAN TRIPPS

Toi Whakaari graduates dominate the Chapman Tripp nominations this year! The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards honour Wellington’s best on and off stage talent, their contribution to the arts and the community. Established in 1992 and sponsored by law firm Chapman … Continue reading

Toi Whakaari Graduates 2011

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR 2011 GRADUATES … and watch out for their names! DIPLOMA IN ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY Joseph Mahoney Tessa Alderton Halo Collins Matthew Eller      BACHELOR OF PERFORMING ARTS (MANAGEMENT) Monique Webster Tim Nuttall Amber Maxwell Alana Kelly Rebekah … Continue reading

TOI WINNERS in the AFTA AWARDS

Congratulations to the Toi Whakaari winners in the AFTAs (Aotearoa Film and Television Awards) and Aotearoa Film and Television Craft Awards, announced last week at glittering ceremonies in Auckland: Best Production Design in a Feature Film Winner: John Harding (contract tutor) … Continue reading

Spring Raffle Winners

Announcing… the WINNERS of our Spring Raffle 2011, helping towards the cost of a new seating block for Te Whaea Theatre. 1st Prize: A Night at the Museum Hotel WINNER: Elliot Stark  2nd Prize: Ruth Pretty Cooking School Vouchers WINNER: … Continue reading

Acting Industry Day

Congratulations to the 2011 Year 3 Acting Class - all of whom have graduated with a Bachelor in Performing Arts (Acting). They showcased their skills to agents and interested parties from around the country at the recent Industry Day held at … Continue reading

Toi Whakaari Nominees in the Aotearoa Film & Television Awards

Toi Whakaari dominates the nominations for Film and Television in the Aotearoa Film & Television Awards (formerly the Qantas Awards), announced Wednesday 12 October… Best Children’s/Youth Programme Yvonne Mackay (Board member) – Kaitangata Twitch Best Performance by an Actress (Television) … Continue reading

Toi Whakaari Professional Development Forum

This forum is envisaged as a space where graduates of Toi Whakaari and other professionals can come together and reflect on questions related to performance, leadership and training. Participants are expected to bring a current area of concern or a … Continue reading

The Orator submitted for an Oscar!

Latest news on The Orator (O Le Tulafale), which Nathaniel Lees (Senior Tutor of Acting & Screen at Toi Whakaari) worked on as one of the producers - the Academy Awards Selection Committee has announced that it has been accepted for consideration as Best … Continue reading

Brett Adam, new Head of Directing

Introducing Brett Adam, who has just arrived from Australia as Toi Whakaari’s new Head of Directing. Renowned in his home country for his work with young people, Brett has worked as a freelance theatre director, dramaturg and acting teacher with … Continue reading

Graduate Karl Jenkins makes the Big Top in New York

Karl Jenkins, a graduate of Toi Whakaari’s Entertainment Technology / Bachelor of Performing Arts and Management degree, has landed his dream job with Cirque du Soleil’s latest show in New York.

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The Blind Bit of Difference Award for The Pohutukawa Tree Company

An audio-described performance of The Pohutukawa Tree by last year’s graduating class of Toi Whakaari has been recognised by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand Continue reading

Christian Penny succeeds Annie Ruth as the Director of Toi Whakaari

The Board of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School appointed Christian Penny as Director of the School to replace Annie Ruth when she steppeds down from the post in May 2011. The Board was unanimous in their selection of Christian to … Continue reading

Toi Whakaari in New Delhi

Toi Whakaari staff and students participated in the second Drama School Festival and Conference in New Delhi, India in early January 2011. This biennial event brings together performing arts educators from a wide variety of theatre traditions, including Chinese Opera, … Continue reading

New Year Honour for former Toi Whakaari staff member

Bill Guest, retired Head of Entertainment Technology and Performing Arts Management and Associate Director of the School, was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand for services to the performing arts in the Queen’s 2011 New Year Honours … Continue reading

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR GRADUATES WITH 2010 CHAPMAN TRIPP AWARD NOMINATIONS

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Toi Whakaari Award for Graduate Excellence

As part of the Graduation ceremony we acknowledge the excellence of our past graduates and the work they have made. The 2010 recipient of the Toi Whakaari Award for Graduate Excellence was actor Jennifer Ludlam, who graduated from Toi Whakaari … Continue reading

Producing in the Performing Arts From Idea to Public Performance: Imagine, Harness, Realise

This public forum is for everyone interested in the performing arts. How does a great idea go from vision to being experienced by an audience? Producers including Stephen Blackburn, Caroline Armstrong, Mark Westerby and Lisa Maule – all with different … Continue reading

TOI WHAKAARI FILM PROJECT QUARTERS FEATURED AT NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Quarters is a set of four evocative short films made by students in their last year of Design at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. The film project was funded through the School’s pitched project scheme, which supports independent collaborative work … Continue reading

TOI WHAKAARI: NZ DRAMA SCHOOL IS MAKING HISTORY – LITERALLY.

As part of the yearlong celebration the students and staff of the School have put together a Time Capsule, which will take greetings from the current Toi Whakaari crew to the future one in 2050. The burial of the Capsule … Continue reading

IT IS ALL ABOUT SCREEN DESIGN AT TOI

It was ‘all about screen’ in the design department last week with guests from The Hobbit and and Rings Trilogy Team, a visit from an LA based textile artists and a host of experts contributing to a screen hui that … Continue reading

Chelsie is Home by Christmas

Chelsie Preston Crayford graduated from Toi in 2008 and features as her grandmother in the Kiwi movie, Home by Christmas. It is a love story written, produced and directed by Gaylene Preston (Chelsie’s mum) based on the wartime marriage of … Continue reading

Pick of the fringe picks Toi Whakaari students

Last night at the Wellington Fringe awards, Toi Whakaari students and grads swept the floor with a bouquet of prizes including Best One Man Band (Guy Langford, acting grad 2009), Best Production Design and Where Did You Come From? (Best … Continue reading

Louis Sutherland picks up another award for short film, The Six Dollar Fifty Man

New Zealand short film The Six Dollar Fifty Man has won the Jury Prize for International Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Written and directed by Toi acting grad Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston and produced by … Continue reading

Rachel Conley will be missed

The School is in mourning for a member of the Te Whaea Staff who died in the Christchurch earthquake. Rachel Conley was with us throughout 2010 and left only two weeks ago. She had an enormous impact on the Schools … Continue reading

WATCH CLASSIC GRADUATE FILMS ONLINE

NZ on Screen are featuring some classic Toi Whakaari graduation films on their website. Click on the film names below to have a watch, all free and not too long. BAD DATES Graduation Film 2005 WATCH Written and directed by … Continue reading

NEW DESIGN STUDIOS OPENED BY JOHN KEY

In a dramatic theatrical event on Tuesday 6 October, Prime Minister John Key officially opened the new Design Wing at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, the learning place of the theatre and screen designers of the future. The Bachelor of … Continue reading

TOI WHAKAARI IN SHANGHAI

Director Annie Ruth and Jonathon Hendry, Head of Acting, took four students to the UNESCO ITI Asia-Pacific Festival of Theatre Schools in Shanghai in early June. The International Theatre Institute (ITI), an international non-governmental organization (NGO) was founded in Prague … Continue reading

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