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Erik Thomson (centre), Cian Elyse White (right) and Anna Julienne (left), celebrate 800 Words' success at the NZ TV Awards.

Grads in the News

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The year is almost over and, while we have celebrated the achievements of this year’s graduates already, our alumni continue to shine in their high-profile careers. In recent weeks, it seems you can hardly go for a day listening to RNZ without hearing from a Toi Whakaari graduate and newspapers, websites and awards ceremonies have been full of them too.

Let’s start with the Wellingtonian of the Year awards, announced this week at Te Papa. Two Toi Whakaari graduates were nominated in the Arts category with 1990 Acting grad Hone Kouka taking out the top honour pipping 1984 Acting grad Miranda Harcourt at the post. Hone was nominated for leading the Kia Mau Festival of Māori, Pasifika, International Indigenous Dance and Theatre.

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Text Lab

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In Term 3, our first year actors collaborate with first year costumiers on a project we call “Text Lab”. Scenes from Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie are worked on with the direction of Director of Actor Training, Heather Timms, and Toi Acting and MTA graduate Erina Daniels.

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?’

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Hashtag Toi Grads Work

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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”.

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Production shot from the 2017 Toi Whakaari term two production, Black Confetti, featuring Logan Cole.

Term Two comes to a close

By | Featured, News | 2 Comments

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.

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The first wānanga for Ruku Pō

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Ruku Pō is a leadership initiative that dives (ruku) into the potential of ‘subjective’ engagement, as an effective response to the chaotic, complex and as yet unknown (pō) ‘objective’ challenges of our time.

The Ruku Pō programme, divided into six wānanga, is based at Manutuke Marae and draws on the specific indigenous frames of the tangata whenua, Rongowhakaata, to explore marae approaches of ‘meeting’ including; formal orientation, reading the core of context of place, and aligning action while maintaining the deeply indigenous perspective of ‘wholeness’. The key is enabling difference to be met and revealing the potential of group. Participants are guided to lead and translate these approaches through testing in their own work contexts.
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Toi Whakaari welcomes 2017 Toi Film directors

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Toi is pleased to announce that this year’s Toi Films are to be helmed by three celebrated Kiwi directors: Florian Habicht, Jonathan King and Michelle Savill.

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.

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Back to School for 2017

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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.

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Bachelor of Performing Arts (Acting) - 2016 Graduating Class: (l-r) Ana Scotney, Batanai Mashingaidze, Valeria Mendoza-Davis, James Gordon, Grace Bentley, Tyler Wilson-Kokiri, James O'Donovan, Georgia Pringle, Ryan McIntyre, Lydia Peckham, Francesca Berge, Samuel Austin, Ella Gilbert, Ellie Neal, Ariadne Baltazar, Will Moffatt, Kalisha Wasasala, Tom Clarke

2016 Graduation Class Photos

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Two weeks ago we waved goodbye to our 2016 graduate classes in Acting, Management, Design, Costume, Entertainment Technology and Directing.

We wish them well as they start the next chapter of their careers. We will miss them.

Click below for more photos…

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Miranda Harcourt Q&A

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Miranda Harcourt is an award-winning actor, director, writer and acting coach. A graduate of Toi Whakaari and former Head of Acting at the school, she now works as a screen-acting coach all over the world on projects including Bridge to Terabithia (Gabor Csupo), The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson), Top of the Lake (Jane Campion) Lion and Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis).

Most recently Miranda co-directed feature film The Changeover alongside  Stuart McKenzie, who wrote the screenplay from Margaret Mahy’s acclaimed novel.

Amongst those she has coached, Miranda counts Nicole Kidman, Juliette Binoche, Anna Sophia Robb, Josh Hutcherson, Dev Patel as well as many others.

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