Since training at Auckland’s Theatre Corporate, Jennifer Ward-Lealand has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musicals and radio for more than 37 years. Jennifer was a founding board member of the Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of the drama school, The Actors’ Program. She is President of Equity New Zealand and Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of The New Zealand Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Year’s Honours List, she was named an ONZM for services to theatre and the community. In 2018, she was named SPADA Industry Champion and, in this year’s New Year’s Honours List, she was named as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to theatre, film and television.
Her stage work includes: Twelfth Night, August: Osage County, Lysistrata and Mrs Warren’s Profession for Auckland Theatre Company; and The Goat, Brel (Metro magazine’s #1 Cultural Experience 2012) and The Book of Everything (Best Ensemble and Excellence Awards, Auckland Theatre Awards 2015) for Silo Theatre. She tours her Marlene Dietrich cabaret, Falling in Love Again, throughout New Zealand and Australia. Most recently, she performed in Here Lies Love for Silo Theatre and Delicious Oblivion for the Auckland Live Cabaret Season. Jennifer’s film work includes The Footstep Man, Desperate Remedies and new New Zealand feature film Vermilion (Best Actress award Los Angeles Film Awards and Award of Excellence: Actress in Accolade Global Film Competition). Television and web series include Full Frontal, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Auckland Daze, The Almighty Johnsons, Awkward Love, High Road, Friday Night Bites, The Ring Inz II and Dirty Laundry.