Orange is the New Red: New Zealand Theatre and Performance under Orange

May 4, 2022
Yesterday I launched a new timeline feature tracking the impact of Covid-19 on Aotearoa New Zealand theatre and performance from 2020 till today. One major milestone was on 13th April 2022, when the country moved into the Orange traffic light setting. For the first time in months (and many months in Auckland’s case), live performance can go ahead without any […]

Launching Aotearoa New Zealand Theatre and Covid-19: A Timeline

May 3, 2022
Today Theatre Scenes is launching a timeline tracking the impact of Covid-19 on Aotearoa New Zealand’s theatre and performance ecology from the beginning of 2020 till today. This is the first public feature of a two-year research project ‘Growing Aotearoa’s Theatre Ecology: Sustainability, Resilience and Opportunities in the Pandemic Environment’. This theatre ecology project seeks to understand the impact of […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2021 – A Theatrical Year in Review [PANDEMIC EDITION YEAR TWO]

December 31, 2021
[Weathering the Storm] On the 20th April, 2021, the Prime Minister, the Deputy PM and Aotearoa’s leading epidemiologist converged at BATS Theatre to watch an uncanny mirror image of our country’s 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. The play was Transmission, created by Stuart McKenzie and Miranda Harcourt, which used verbatim extracts of interviews primarily with Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and Professor Michael […]

SCENE BY JAMES: When will Arts in Aotearoa get the Green Light?

November 20, 2021
In the same week Auckland Theatre Company and Basement Theatre confirmed they were closing for the rest of the year, I attended a one night-only performance of Back to Square One? at the Tahi Festival of Solo Performance at Wellington’s BATS Theatre. Back to Square One? is a Covid show, inspired by writer/performer Anders Falstie-Jensen’s conversations with his 95-year-old grandmother […]

SCENE BY JAMES: 2020 – A Theatrical Year in Review [Pandemic Edition]

December 31, 2020
[Out of the Box and Into the Box: Aotearoa Theatre Enduring a Pandemic, and Dreaming of the Future] Suddenly the opening exchange of Anton Chekhov’s 1895 play The Seagull made sense like never before: “Why do you always wear black?” “I’m in mourning for my life” There on my laptop was Masha (Bronwyn Ensor), rocking the no-longer-care lockdown look. What […]

When the Show Doesn’t Go On

March 19, 2020
When people ask me what I’m into, I struggle to list anything beyond “theatre.” I’m a theatre obsessive. A tragic. I decided long ago to make it a core part of my identity, and I’ve stubbornly stuck to that pact ever since. In those moments when I take a hard look at my relationship with theatre, wondering if it would […]