Meet the 2022 Youth Company

Harry Ashley

I was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne, but spent my childhood in Brunei, where I developed an interest in film-making and the performing arts. I now use part-time study at Auckland University (majoring in literature, philosophy and maths) as a kind of cover-story for my increasingly alarming poetry and playwriting problems.


Gianni-Mia Attrill-Dowling

Kia ora! My name is Mia and I am a proud Ngāti Kuri and Te Aupōuri descendent. Whether it be visual, performing or written, I have always had an interest in the creative arts from a young age. I hope to navigate the world with my passion at the forefront!


Courtney Bassett

I am an actor and writer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. I love dark, funny and unusual works of art and aspire to make them myself. I am hoping to break into directing and continue to work on the stage.

Micky Brenner

Hey hey! I'm Mickey, a second generation theatre rat and Shakespeare nerd. If I had a superpower it would be the ability to turn into a blue wale. My kryptonite is putting on accents and not being able to see glass.

Dragon Chen

Cris Clarke

Hiya ! i'm Cris (Christina) and I'm a queer and neurodivergent creative. I adore the arts and can't wait to see where this journey with ATC Youth Company takes me!

Max Cumberpatch

I'm a massive nerd, and love acting. I regularly play D&D with my drama friends and I enjoy creative writing in my free time. While I've never written a play, I aspire to one day write one and see just how much horror I can put into it.

Shania D'Cruz

My name is Shania D'Cruz, a recent psychology and criminology graduate. Currently, I'm super interested in the intersectionality between theatre and mental health. I'm looking forward to learn and grow in the Auckland Theatre Youth Company to explore this area as a budding artist.

Iatua (Tua) Felagai Taito

I am a New Zealand born Samoan, Christian and Queer interdisciplinary artist. I write, I dance, I sing, I recently orate poetry and I teach. 

Currently I am a Master of Dance student and I teach Pacific dance at the University of Auckland. I am so grateful to make it in to the Auckland Theatre Youth Company, and I can't wait to grow being apart of this youth company

Cameron Gregan

I am an aspiring writer/director/performer, moved and inspired by artists as diverse as Annie Baker, Ross Gay, and J C Sturm. Studying Law and English at the University of Auckland, I'm interested in stories of place and belonging in Aotearoa, and collectivist approaches to theatre-making.

Luuk Heijnen

I grew up in the Netherlands and I arrived in New Zealand just before COVID-19 hit. I participated in the ATC Summer School 2021 and was involved with the technical side of the Here & Now Festival 2021. I have always shown an interest in the technical side of theatre, especially sound and lighting.

Sania Jafarian

I am an Iranian-Kiwi actor, dancer and student with an avid passion for bringing live performances to life. As both a theatre-maker and a psychology and linguistics student, I am fascinated by people and the many ways they communicate.


Kiriana Kemp

I am an emerging Māori circus theatre artist, actress and stunt performer. I'm keen to develop further as an actress under ATC guidance, and am passionate about exploring the nuances of intersectionality through narrative and creation.


Shelby Kua

After being deprived for twenty-some years, Shelby Kua (she/her) now revenge-dabbling in "every art thing ever". Recent endeavours include: bawling while writing poetry and impulse-buying her first film camera. She is Malaysian Chinese, based in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Jossiewesa Leapaga Nifo

Talofa everyone. Your girl Jossie here born and raised in the beautiful island of Samoa, 20 years old. I love acting and photography. An interesting fact about me: I'm the only girl in the family with two amazing brothers. Fav quote "Talitonu ou te mafai mea uma i le fa'atasi mai o le Atua", meaning "I believe I can do anything with God by my side". I am here to represent my parents' image, family culture and my village. Ou te mitamita e tau atu o au o le teine Samoa cheehooo!!


Lupe Liumounu Ofa

I'm counting this a blessing to be called to this space considering the fact that I've been away from the world of performing arts for quite some time. I really love and appreciate the gift of theatre. I’m extremely excited to give and take all that Auckland Theatre Company has to offer this season. My goal is to give back to my community by bringing light to their untold stories through theatre. A fact that i’ll always take pride in is ‘’Koe Otua mo Tonga ko hoku tofi’a.’’ meaning ‘’God and Tonga are my inheritance.’’ Glory to God always.

Josh McLaughlin

Kia ora! I'm a full-time artist, a continuous creative and hope to share a piece of myself with audiences - whether with my music or on stage. I feel I can always bring something to the table. I'm looking forward to get some serious mahi done as part of the Company.


Alex Medland

I'm Alex (Kai Tahu), a writer, actor and learning director. In 2019, I trained at The John Bolton Theatre School and have since performed in several shows across Aotearoa. I am excited to be a part of the Youth Company and to create mahi with such a talented group of creatives.

Ishika Patel

Hello. I’m Ishika - 20 years old and very passionate about performing and storytelling. I was born and raised in Auckland, but my family is from India. Coming from an Indian family is really fun because I get to learn and live a whole culture while growing up in New Zealand. I've been performing since I was four. I first started dancing and continued to learn different dance styles such as hip hop, jazz and contemporary. I am currently studying drama and marketing at the University of Auckland and one day I hope to pursue a career in acting.


Kallista Pijnaker

Hi! I'm Kallista. I'm an engineer by day, artist by night. I love all the creative processes involved in theatre, especially the building of an imaginary world just using props, set, tech and acting. My passion is building set pieces and seeing how a show comes together.


Megan Pochin

I'm a 19 year old University student who is passionate about theatre. Before living in Auckland, I lived in Nelson where I was a part of the Nelson Youth Theatre for six years and participated in many productions. In addition to this, I attended drama classes outside of school for many years. I am grateful to be apart of the Auckland Theatre Youth Company and have this opportunity to further develop my performance skills.

Nikolai Puharich

Hello, my name is Nikolai and I’ve always had an alluring affinity to the creative arts. I enjoy all aspects of acting, writing, directing and creative collaboration. I am super excited to embark on this creative journey with Auckland Theatre Company and grow and learn as much as possible.

Marco Scott

Hello! My name is Marco Scott, born and bred in Tāmaki Makaurau. I love to feel the power of a diverse and focused group exploding with creativity and that’s why I love theatre. I’m pumped. I’m an open vessel and I’m stoked to be here.

Ayush Singh

Kia ora! My name is Ayush and I am an actor, singer-songwriter living in Aotearoa who loves to dream. As a young artist, I want to share and illuminate the stories of our people through various art forms. I also hope to bring to life stories that many of us can only dream of.

Lewis Tagaloa

G'day mate. My name is Lewis Tagaloa. I was originally born in Sydney, Australia and I enjoy music and acting. The music I grew up on was 90s music, from Michael Jackson to Tupac, Biggie, Snoop, Dr Dre and even the slow jamz like Boys ll Men and so on. Acting has played a real big part in my life ever since I was young. I want to learn and soak in every element in the theatre of performing arts. I enjoy expressing myself in a positive way and showcasing and unpacking what's in my mind onto the floor for people to see, interpret and feel in their own way.

Jin Tepania-Ahdo

Kia Ora! My full name is Jin Li Tepania-Ahdo, but I normally just go by Jin. I am of Māori, Pakeha, and Samoan-Chinese decent and am currently attending Marcellin College, the place where I found my passion for acting, performing, and theatre.


Michaela Tudor

Hi!! I’m Michaela, a creatively inspired, joy seeking 16 year old living in Tāmaki Makaurau. Having the opportunity to be a part of the Auckland Theatre Youth Company is both thrilling and incredibly gratifying. I have spent most of my life adoring the stage, craving for new experiences and stepping out of my comfort zone. I believe Auckland Theatre Company is the thing that will fill my creative desires, challenge me and help me grow. I absolutely cannot wait to begin this wonderful adventure.

Diana Uluaki

Hi My name is Diana Paea He Fekumi Uluaki. And I'm real blessed to be a part of this company. Excited for the inevitable: glorious failure. 

Serenity Williams

Malo. My name is Serenity and I’m a 17 year old Cook Island-Tongan high school student, trying to pursue my dream of becoming a film director. Directing is one of the main career options I have for the future. I joined the Auckland Theatre Youth Company to have experience and clarity, ensuring that performing and screen arts is right for me. Filming started off as a hobby which later became a passion of mine. I’ve always thought of myself as a natural entertainer, so being able to capture those moments and share it with my friends and family, getting a smile and laugh out of them is the ultimate reward.

Alison Zhang

A spider knows how to spin a web, I know how to teleport myself in to an alternate world. I love acting and it’s all I want to do. There aren’t many things that get me out of bed but a 4:40am call-time springs me up. I’m so eager to see where this year takes me, with the support of my talented peers and this exciting opportunity.

Sherry Zhang

Kia ora, ko Sherry Zhang 章雪莉 toku ingoa. I’m a writer and creative, working across journalism, poetry and theatre. I’m interested in intersectional storytelling to uplift voices from marginalised communities.

My past projects include being the co-writer of Yang/Young/杨 as part of Auckland Theatre Company's Here & Now Festival 2021. I’ve performed with Auckland Theatre Company’s Here & Now Festival in 2019 and Massive Theatre Company’s Nui Ensemble. I have also been the producer of award-winning documentary theatre show OTHER [chinese] in Dunedin and Wanaka.

Other mahi I’m proud of include writing for Āhua collective and being the co-founder/co-editor of queer zine The Agenda. If you want to read more of my writing, you can find it on Ensemble, The Spinoff, Bloomberg News, and The Pantograph Punch. Most recently, I was the inaugural recipient of Metro x Deadly Ponies scholarship for my feature on wild glitzy world of Beauty Pageants. My poetry is also published in A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand and Starling. I’m currently finishing up my Law/Arts degree at the University of Auckland.