Author Archives: magdalena

Jo Randerson

Jo Randerson: Call to Action

Jo RandersonJo Randerson was interviewed recently by The Big Idea on the status of the artist in society today.

“How can we stand up as artists and demand the conditions that we need to work?” Jo says. “There are a lot of really poor offers that are made by institutions and companies to artists, and we continue to say yes to those offers.”

Read the full article here.

Hui on Women in Theatre

Women in Theatre Hui

The third Women in Theatre Hui will be held on 24 September 2017, 13:00-17:00, at BATS Theatre, Wellington.

Do you support Pay Equity for Women in Theatre?
Equal Representation?
What are you doing about it?
What do you want to do about it?
Come along and discuss these and other questions, and find out what others have been doing.
Register your interest on the Women in Theatre NZ Facebook Page or by emailing

The Heyday Dome is located on the first floor at BATS, with four sets of stairs to access the space. If you require assistance ascending the stairs, please contact BATS on 04 802 4176 for more information.

Remembering the Dark Ride

This fabulous image of Kilda Northcott as Demeter, in the2005 spectacular Demeter’s Dark Ride – An Attraction, is featured on the cover of issue 70 of Australian Drama Studies. It accompanies the article “A Rare Opportunity to Fail’: STAB’s Legacy of Theatrical Experimentation” by Emma Willis, in which she explores the history of BATS Theatre’s STAB season, since its beginnings in 1995.

STAB continues to be a great opportunity for theatre makers, and many Magdalenas have particpated over the years. As well as discussing Demeter’s Dark Ride, Emma mentions Jo Randerson and Trouble’s The Lead Wait (1997) and Helen Varley Jamieson’s the[abs]experiment (2001). Overall the article provides a comprehensive review of 21 years of STAB seasons.

Demeter’s Dark Ride – an attraction was directed by Madeline McNamara and involved most of the Magdalena Aotearoa team in some way or other.

You can purchase a copy of Australia Drama Studies here.

Hens Teeth is coming back!

Hello Wellington Friends

Hens Teeth is coming back! In case you hadn’t heard.

March 14 – 25
Circa Theatre

As you probably know, some of us have passed on, but a few of the old gang – Cooking with Condoms, (Prue Langbein) Dame Kate Harcourt, Cathy Sheat, Cynthia & Gertie, (Rose Beauchamp and I) and Darien Takle will be on board, led by our new MC (Mother Chook) Pinky Agnew AND a troupe of new performers. Do hope you can come and bring a group!

Haven’t got photos of the others yet but here’s Rose and me, back in the day.

Since it first premiered at Circa Theatre back in 1988, Hens’ Teeth (A Season of Women Comedians) has broken box-office records! The secret of the widespread popularity of Hens’ Teeth is simple: it is women being funny. And not only are these women funny, but they are funny about things that are part of the fabric of most women’s lives.

Book at Circa 801 7992 or
Please pass this on!
Many thanks,

A feminist fringe

Wellington’s annual Fringe Festival is in full swing, bigger than ever with 130 shows at venues from the city to Kapiti Coast and Upper Hutt. This year, there’s also a Feminist Fringe – a website dedicated to feminist engagement with the 2017 Fringe Festival.

The idea of Henrietta Bollinger, Zoe Higgins and Catherine Hart, the website aims to create a space to talk about feminist, women-centred theatre, queer, and alternative theatre practices.

Check it out at

Hui on Women in Theatre

Hui On Women in Theatre

Hui on Women in TheatreA Hui on Women in Theatre will be held on Monday 19 September 2016 at Circa Theatre, Wellington, with a view to holding a conference, or series of seminars in 2017.

Please join us: Circa Theatre, Wellington on Monday 19th September from 2-5pm, then 6-8pm. (Come to one session if you can’t be there the whole time.)

Every regular theatre go-er knows that there are far more men portrayed on stage than women. Women in theatre know that we are the minority in every area of our profession from board members to roles on stage.
This raises the question – Why?

So what can we do to remedy this bias in our profession, our art, our careers?
We are calling on everyone interested in change – from actors, playwrights and board members, to audiences and would-be audiences – to meet at Circa Theatre on Women’s Suffrage Day 2016 to discuss what we want to achieve, and ways of moving forward to implement those changes. All welcome.

To estimate numbers, an RSVP would be appreciated.

Spotlight on women playwrights

StandUpAndBeCountedThe Guardian’s 2015 list of the 101 greatest plays in any western language included only one living woman (Caryl Churchill). Are New Zealand’s women playwrights as invisible, writer Emily Perkins asks Lorae Parry, Miria George, Lynda Chanwai-Earle and Rachel Callinan?

Friday 11 March, 11am
Circa Theatre$19 – buy tickets here

This panel discussion is part of Spotlight on Playwrights, a series of events, conversations and readings presented by Circa Theatre and the 2016 New Zealand Festival Writers Week in partnership with Playmarket.

Spring Uprising

A 9-day festival of works-in-progress, conversations, and workshops focused on socially engaged and community participatory arts.

Barbarian Productions is excited about this growing area of work in Wellington and invites artists, environmental activists, social entrepreneurs, health promoters and other community focused-groups to connect and share their work in the season of Spring.

VENUE:  Vogelmorn Bowling Club, 93 Mornington Road, Mornington
DATES: Sat 5 – Sunday 13 September
PRICE:  …by donation
PROGRAM:  …your ideas wanted


Barbarian welcomes expressions of interest from any and everyone interested in being part of this week. The program will emerge from suggestions by those wanting to participate: Spring Uprising is an organic event that asks participants to contribute to the structure and programming of the festival.

Create the festival you want to be at!

The festival will spread over nine days with a range of events at different times, offering multiple ways to connect. Spring Uprising is a platform to workshop and present ideas, host forums, showcase projects, teach new skills, network with others and generally strengthen the practice of socially-engaged work. Barbarian are delighted to host the festival at the Vogelmorn Bowling Club, Wellington’s newest community arts venue, which will be an incubator/lab for people to work on their projects either performatively or conceptually.

If you make work that involves communities, or work that has social or political impact, then we want to hear from you!

Barbarian will host the following events:

  • Opening Night Saturday 5th September – Shared Pot Luck Dinner and No Lights No Lycra community open access dance!
  • Clowning and Participation (work in progress by Thomas LaHood)
  • Pecha Kucha-style night for companies/artists
  • Thurs 10th—Sat12th – Kate McIntosh’s show All Ears at BATS Theatre
  • Final weekend – an opportunity to share the work and discoveries from the week, with presentations open to the public and wider arts community.
  • Sunday 13th – closing forum

Send us a short paragraph describing your idea – whether it’s a project you want to work on or present during the week, or an event/conversation you want to host. Contact or by Thursday 13th August.

Out of the Suitcase – Puppet Festival

Oct 1 – 4
Island Bay
Daytime shows for families. Evening shows for adult audiences

A gathering of puppeteers from around the country, celebrating a wide variety of puppetry styles and traditions:

  • giant outdoor puppets
  • a whisper box for two
  • classic Indonesian shadow play with gamelan orchestra
  • shadows in a tipi
  • Japanese puppet and mask theatre
  • Karetao performance (Maori puppetry)
  • a screening of NZ puppetry and puppet animation films
  • free puppet carnival
  • free puppet workshop Oct 1 & 2


The puppeteers include Joko Susilo – the Indonesian shadow puppeteer in ‘The Fall of Alengkar’; James Webster in his production of Te Ao – the World; Akiko Miyamoto in The Rats Who Wrestled and other Japanese stories; Norbert Hausberg in Rumplestiltskin; Rose Beauchamp in The Blue Shoe Show; Kerry and Mary McCammon in Migit and the Dragon; and Juliet Neill, John Rew, Anna Bailey, Lucy Mc Cammon, Sam Duckor-Jones to name a few.


We are pleased to announce the 11- strong Gamelan Padhang Moncar supporting Joko Susilo in the Fall of Alengkar as well as the Mystik Krewe of the Unconquered Sun (off-shoot Orchestra of the Spheres) performing at the Puppet Carnival plus Taonga Puoro musician in Te Ao, and other musicians throughout the festival.


Giant puppet and processional puppet making on October 1 and 2, led by Jim Richards and Bridgette Murphy of REACT (Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre Trust).


Kids, performers, makers, grandparents, adult afficianadoes, teachers & other puppeteers.  Daytime shows for families. Evening shows adult audiences.


A group of puppeteers including Ray Beals, Rose Beauchamp, Anna Bailey, Leda Farrow, Norbert Hausberg are offering their time and skills into organizing and hosting this festival. The Out of the Suitcase Puppet Festival is indebted to the various people offering their time and expertise to the running of the festival. We are especially grateful to the Island Bay community who are welcoming this festival including the Island Bay Enhancement Trust.


This is a not-for-profit festival with door sales from performances going to the performers, less 10% to Child Poverty Action Group. Creative NZ has funded venue hire, publicity and some travel subsidies for performers. Creative Communities is funding the workshop with REACT. Extra sponsorship is being sought for other aspects.