Artists & Partners

The community of artists behind our 2022 Season.

Lysander’s Aunty: Trick of the Light

Trick of the Light (The Bookbinder, The Griegol) is an award-winning theatre company founded by Hannah Smith and Ralph McCubbin Howell, who make and tour original work around Aotearoa and the world.  

Since 2011, it has built a following for a diverse range of shows, ranging from dark cross-over works for adults and children to biting political satire, but are unified by their attention to narrative, integrated visual design, and a belief that theatre should resonate with the wider world. Their work has been seen across Aotearoa, Australia, the UK, Canada, America and South Africa. Find out more at 

Witi's Wāhine: Hāpai Productions

Based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Hāpai Productions’ vision is to produce mana enhancing Māori Theatre productions whilst upholding Māori Values. 

Hāpaingia te kaupapa Māori me te mana Māori, mā te auaha a ngā whakaari Māori me ngā mahi a te mātauranga Māori – Upholding Māori philosophical practices, prestige and the pursuit of Māori knowledge through the creation of Māori theatre. 

Nancy Brunning (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tūhoe) and Tanea Heke (Ngāpuhi nui tonu) worked together for years (way back in the last ‘90s). They decided to combine forces in 2013 and created Hāpai Productions. 

The wāhine Māori voice is important to establishing a balanced perspective of the Māori world view. Hāpai key focus is in creating more opportunities for wāhine representation on stage and behind the scenes.

Scenes from a Yellow Peril: SquareSums&Co in association with Oriental Maidens

Oriental Maidens 
Oriental Maidens, founded by Ankita Singh, is a production company, facilitating and supporting creatives of difference, encouraging multicultural discourse and breaking the boundaries of what it means to be an Asian diaspora creative. 

SquareSums&Co is an Auckland-based arts/artist management and creative producing agency that represents a bespoke roster of storytellers, entertainers and works. Led by co-founding Partners Square & Sums, we are especially interested in crossover, cross-cultural and cross-genre work and talent.

Dawn Raids: Pacific Underground

Pacific Underground (PU) began in Christchurch as a theatre company in 1992 and has remained Aotearoa’s longest running Pasifika performing arts group that has nurtured artists throughout its three-decade run. From 1999, Tanya Muagututi’a and Pos Mavaega’s leadership and their added diversification into music and event production gave opportunity to collaborate with many Pasifika and Māori artists, and events across the country, in New Caledonia, Australia and at three FESTPACs in Belau, American Samoa and Solomon Islands. 

This garnered PU various awards throughout its years such as in 1994 its Radio New Zealand Media Peace Award with Jackie Dunn for their radio play version of Fresh Off The Boat by Oscar Kightley and Simon Small, 2016’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pacific Music Awards and this years’ Queen’s Birthday honours for Tanya and Pos becoming Members of the NZ Order of Merit. 

In 2021 PU supported the formation and premiere season of brand new company No.3 Roskill Theatre and its ground-breaking production of Love To Say Goodbye. It was during this season and later in the year at Hone Kouka and Miria George’s Kia Mau Festival, PU presented public play readings of Dawn Raids. Both seasons of this were in honour of the 50th anniversary of The Polynesian Panthers. Also in the past year PUs newest digital collaborations resulted in an online music fono with Pacific musicians from Ardijah to Ladi 6 and with Creative Nātives they delivered Pasifika Solutions Talanoa and supported Otago Polyfest’s world first online Polyfest and concert Te Moananui A Kiwa. 

Before the lockdowns in 2019 PU celebrated their 25th anniversary and revived two shows – Island Summer by Pos Mavaega at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival and Fresh Off The Boat by Oscar Kightley and Simon Small with The Court Theatre. Also at the Court Theatre, Tanya workshopped her award winning play Scholars, and at the Christchurch Arts Festival PU presented their reunion show Meet me at the Doghouse that featured Pos’s musical whānau Ladi6, Dallas Tamaira, Mara TK, Sheelahroc, with last minute appearances by Scribe and Bella Kalolo.

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