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February 27, 2012 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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Theatre: Tits, Tights, Teeth

Why, hello, gentle readers! Yes, another page, another introduction. First, because I’m one of my favourite topics of conversation, a little about me is in order. My name is Neal Barber, Theatre Editor, and I come to Wellington this year to study my Master of Information Studies in Library Science. And, while I don’t know about you, I can’t wait to get stuck into all sorts of theatrical delights (and I am sure it is not just because I have been living in a cultural wasteland for the past year…) So, without further ado, here beginneth a brief introduction to the Wellington theatrical scene. 
 

BATS

You will find BATS on 1 Kent Terrace (down the eastern end of Courtney Place). BATS is a theatre that provides performance space for a variety of different theatrical co-operatives; the theatre does not so much put on shows but provides a space for productions. Many of the productions staged at BATS are performed by young casts and are more often than not new, developmental works. With un-waged tickets usually costing 12-15 dollars, BATS provides a great night out. Visit www.bats.co.nz for more info.

Circa

Located on the waterfront, right next to Te Papa, Circa is one of Wellington’s two professional theatres. The theatre has two auditoria, a large showcase space, and a smaller, more intimate venue prosaically termed “Circa Two” – a space that tends to play host to the less “mainstream” productions. Circa provides $25 standby tickets for people under 25 years. Their website can be found at www.circa.co.nz.

Downstage

The second of Wellington’s professional theatres is located on Cambridge Terrace (more or less opposite BATS). Downstage charges students $25 for most shows – just remember to take your student ID with you with you or suffer the wrath of the lovely ticketing operator. For more info, just pop along to their website: www.downstage.co.nz.

Gryphon Theatre

You can find this wee theatre on the Taranaki St end of Ghuznee St. This is an amateur theatre, and it has a resident company in Stagecraft. Student tickets can be procured for $20 (or you can get 2 for $22 on the first Thursday). Alternatively, you can join Stagecraft to get $15 tickets. What is more, being a member lets you get involved with putting the shows on – just go to www.stagecraft.co.nz for information about joining the theatre or for productions at Gryphon.

Toi Whakaari

NZ Drama School. Ok, not quite a theatre, but still an important part of the Wellington theatrical community. The school is located on 11 Hutcheson Road, Newtown (out past Massey and towards the hospital) so may be a bit of a trek. However, the productions they put on are well worth it; www.toiwhakaari.ac.nz/whats-on/productions/ will fill you in on the details.

Whitereia Theatre

This theatre hosts productions from other companies as well as Whitereia’s performance students. Their home is 25-27 Vivian St (down near Cambridge Terrace). What’s more, you can hire out the theatre (or one of their other spaces) for your theatrical activities. Just visit www.theatre.co.nz for all the info you will require.

Festivals

This year kicks off to a flying start with both the Fringe Festival and the New Zealand Festival of the Arts running over the next few weeks. The Fringe Festival is a community based open-access festival known for experimental, exciting theatre. It runs from 10 February until 3 March (so you still have a little time to catch some shows.) You can find the programme on www.fringe.co.nz.

The NZ Festival of the Arts is a biannual festival that just so happens to be running this year. Details are available at www.festival.co.nz. Salient will be reviewing productions at both festivals and you can find some on our website. I look forward to being your guide to the excitement of theatre this year.

 

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