Michael Bell

Owner, Director and head honcho of all things

Picture the summer sparkle of warm golden sand, a young man full of youthful vigour and health laying relaxed (having just won a great game of beach volleyball), a smile playing on his face that is both joy and inner peace of a job well done, the nourishing heat of the sun gently soaking thru his (protected SPF50+) skin to his inner core, listening to the sounds of nature (seagulls, waves swishing), breathing in the earthy salty smell, a gentle breeze playing over his warm skin…

This is Michael Bell, when he’s taking time out, but only for a nano-second! Well, perhaps ten minutes....

Let me explain. Michael comes from a high-achieving multi-talented family and is a chip off the old block. You see, Michael is a go-getter, an entrepreneur, a creative and a visionary. And he doesn’t stay still very long! He’s always bouncing on to the next exciting deliverable, an interesting idea, a new conundrum to solve.

And that’s what makes Michael the ideal leader of a troupe of actors, musicians, comedians, performers and their support crew - a vibrant high-energy team.

Not surprisingly, Michael started his first business when he was 18, a recording studio for all his muso mates. He did drama and music at school and especially enjoyed composition and playing jazz (and won a few awards for them). He then went on to to study in Jazz at CPIT, did improv comedy with the Outwits and the Court Jesters, and scored music for TV and film.

Then one night a conversation about drama in schools sparked the idea to develop a troupe of professional actors to deliver high quality, fast and funny musical comedies to schools at an affordable price. And so New Zealand Playhouse was born.

Sticking to their goal of delivering educational, inspirational, extremely entertaining theatre to school students NZ Playhouse has been touring NZ schools since 2009. Five years later an Australian company was formed and now Michael is working on exporting Playhouse over to his country of birth, Canada.

From 60 schools in year one, the troupe now performs to over 700 schools across NZ and Australia.

His attention to detail is evident in the costumes, the props, the music and the quality of the script, not to mention the performers. His ability to engage with people and sell his vision is evidenced in the fantastic people who are working with him and in the many schools that take up the tour offer and re-book year after year. His love of problem-solving and leadership skills mean that the company grows and improves year after year. He believes that people who work with him need to be happy and valued. Preferring to focus on people and a shared culture rather than the product, means his staff always give of their best, and that in turn delivers a fantastic product.

But with all this achievement under his belt, a reputation of ‘local boy made good’ and not even being out of his 20s yet, you would think that Michael would be a ‘diva’ himself. Not so. One of his most endearing qualities is that he is humble, grounded in reality and thankful for everyone around him.

So contact NZ Playhouse now to book this year's and/or next year’s shows into your school. You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your students!

But don’t take our word for it, read some of the feedback NZ Playhouse has had to date...

Michael Bell