NZ Playhouse is one of the country's busiest theatre companies. We perform in a quarter of the country's schools (and until 2023, a smaller fraction of Australian schools!)
Each year we write a brand new comedy show, three actors will turn up at your school and set up the show in your hall (or whatever space you have available), we'll give your students and yourself a roaringly good (and inspiring) time, and give you some optional teaching resources you can use to follow up in the classroom afterwards. Most importantly, we're going to help them learn how to interact with live theatre (a nuanced life skill) which will be an experience they will be able to draw upon for years to come. Our systems are slick, you'll find us easy-going and professional to deal with, and our prices are quite affordable!
We started up in 2009 by just touring Te Waipounamou. In 2010 we hit up Te Ika-a-Māui. In 2011 we started producing two shows a year and went to high schools for 8 years as well as primary schools. In 2012, we took our shows over to Australia and toured there until 2023. It's been an amazing 12 years in Australia but after the challenges of covid and changing government regulations, we've (heartbreakingly) decided to focus on New Zealand where our tour is still going strong and we're visiting over 400 schools each year. We are eternally grateful for the Australian schools that have had us perform, particularly the ones that adopted us from 2012 and kept us on until we had to make this decision.
We run NZ Playhouse from Ōtautahi Christchurch but of course once we've rehearsed the play, we pack up our two vans and start our loops of both islands, living in motels and Airbnbs. You're most likely going to get Kris, Michael or Connie on the phone – our office is in Little Andromeda Theatre (which is a public theatre that we also run) – so if you're in town, please always feel free to drop in and say hi! Catherine has recently moved to Alabama (!) but she's so good at her job (IYKYK) and we didn't want to lose her so she's contactable by email only now.
We currently do one main show each year, starting each April, and we cast it a few months beforehand. Because we're based in Ōtautahi and have NASDA (which is the country's best musical theatre school) here, our casts are usually predominantly NASDA alumni. Actors do anywhere between one and four years of touring with us.
We've established a fairly solid touring circuit around New Zealand and we generally stack it full, but we do always try to leave a few gaps in most towns to be able to keep growing and take on some new schools each year. So if you haven't had us yet, reach out and find out why we're the country's busiest touring theatre company!
And that's "about us"!