Important announcement about the Diploma in Entertainment Technology

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As of 2017, Toi Whakaari will no longer be offering the New Zealand Diploma in Entertainment Technology because of NZQA’s Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) that has made all certificate and diploma qualifications national qualifications.

The result of the TRoQ review is that there are now a number of new national entertainment and event technology qualifications in level 3, 4 and 6.

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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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Term One, Week Zero

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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.

First day selfie — Lisa Maule

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.

Miranda was at Toi earlier in the year working with the first year actors on “Actor in Relationship” and we talked to her about her approach to this and her work as an acting coach.

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Three students awarded scholarships for 2017

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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.

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Heather Timms Q&A

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Heather Timms is the Director of Actor Training at Toi Whakaari. She has worked as a director, theatre maker and educator nationally and internationally (including UK, Africa, Australia and Asia). Heather recently trained with Joan Scheckel, the prolific US filmmaker, acting coach and creator of The Technique. Heather brought her work with Scheckel into her sessions with the Toi Whakaari first year actors while they worked on a block called Actor in Action. This is the second of four blocks across the first semester of Year 1 looking at foundational actor craft. We asked Heather about this work and her approach to actor training.

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