The actors learn about building character and developing an approach to working with a classic text. A key question for them is, ‘How do I approach a text for performance when the world and words are not my own?’
This project is an opportunity for them to apply what they have been learning across the different strands of the Toi Actor training so far and deepen foundational actor craft that will serve them in both live and screen performance.
There is so much graduate activity to celebrate this term: great productions on all over New Zealand. (We hope we don’t accidentally miss anyone out.)
Firstly to Dunedin where the Fortune Theatre Company presents Sondheim’s Into the Woods: Bryony Skillington (2007) as the Witch – “stupendous performance… one of NZ’s most spell-binding actors”; Frith Horan (2013) as Grannie – “delicious”; Josh Cramond (2015) as the Wolf – “but it is as a hilariously goofy Cow that he is really irresistible”; Julie Edwards (1989) is Jack’s mum – “one of the most engaging stage personalities you will ever see” and Peter Hayden (1973) “of the velvet voice”.
And just like that – what seems like only moments since we left Manutuke and Marae Noho at the end of Term One – Term Two is also over.
It has been an extremely busy one for the school. Term Two holds two externally focused productions as well as several other major pieces of collaborative work that makes powerful demands on students and tutors alike.
Our two productions – The Antigone Sound and Black Confetti – closed on Wednesday night after heroic production processes and a great response from audiences, especially large groups from local schools.
Every year, Toi Whakaari students collaborate with screen industry professionals to produce a suite of new short films: showcasing the talent of the student body and giving those students professional-equivalent experience on high quality productions.
The 2017 school year is well and truly under way with our new students welcomed at an emotional pōwhiri at Te Whaea yesterday. Week One of term is an important period for us as we settle teina (new students) in to the school, get to know them and our second years get used to the role of tuakana (or older siblings) taking on more senior roles.
Click below for a gallery of images from the pōwhiri.
On the first day we started with a welcome in the morning for our returning students, then an audience discussion with the makers of a Fringe show after lunch. The conversation of the day has been about process, connection and working practice.
The returning students and staff reconnect after some time apart over summer. We all prepare for the year ahead by thinking about what tone or flavour we as a collective group want to show during week one, when we are joined by 45 new students. We are thinking about the working culture and what we individually and collectively can build.
Next week starts with a pōwhiri for our new students. In the arts management department, the work it takes for people to work to their best is at the core of many of the principles. We will be thinking and seeing and testing how this welcome works to orientate the new students to us. It is also a read out of where we are at as a wider school group, and the work ahead.
The board, staff, students and graduates of Toi Whakaari were thrilled to congratulate three of our best and brightest at this year’s graduation ceremony.
Second year acting students Puawai Winterburn (Ngati Raukawa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou) and Richard MacDonald (Tuhoe) were recipients of this year’s prestigious Bill Guest Awards and second year management student Olivia Chan received the inaugural Ruku Ao Award at the event on 9 November.