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Booklet designed by Joshua Foley

_Forward We are calling this day "Next Generation" - as a way of linking current and emerging practitioners into a beginning conversation. A conversation that will go on in many forms and complexity over the coming years. We have invited you to be here because you are someone we see as currently shaping this. We want you to meet the folk who are going to be joining you. This is something of our vision for this day. We want this to be a meeting where we build our ties. We hope folk share ideas and vision. Link up. We want it to be informal. Steady. Purposeful; and with a view to the long term. By being here you help us strengthen this vision. No reira, nau mai. Christian Penny Director; Te Kura Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa: NZ Drama School

Alex Tarrant Alexander is of Niuean, American Samoan and Maori descent. He is this year's recipient of the Museum Art Hotel Scholarship, for which he is thankful to Chris Parkin and Dawn Sanders. Prior to coming to Toi Whakaari Alex was a teacher aide at Hamilton's Fraser High School and was also part of the 2009 Young Shakespeare Company where he played Orlando in As You Like It. This experience confirmed that he wanted to pursue a career in the arts. At the end of 2011, Alex seconded to The Conch theatre company as a performer on Masi which made its world premier at the New Zealand International Arts Festival and he will be joining them on their tour to the Sydney Festival in January 2013 and then to the Oceania Centre Suva Fiji. Alex also has plans to develop his solo piece Welcome to 12D in hope of touring it around Aotearoa. Representation: Gail Cowan Management Email: Phone: 0210316036

Alice Canton Prior to moving to Wellington to study at Toi Whakaari, Alice was based in Christchurch and since 2003 has been working as a member of the Court Jesters at The Court Theatre as a professional improviser, tutor and corporate entertainer. She has studied under master improvisation teachers Keith Johnstone, Patti Stiles, Shaun Kinley (Loose Moose Theatre Company, CA), and Gary Jacobs (Precipice Improv Theatre, USA), performing throughout New Zealand and Australia. In 2012, Alice was generously supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation to travel to South-East Asia to study performance traditions in mask and shadow puppetry. She loves clowning, cross-cultural storytelling, political satire and is also an accomplished musician, playing with various groups as a percussionist and pianist. Alice holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Canterbury and spends the larger part of her spare time fantasizing about kinetic energy and cats. Representation: Unrepresented Email: Phone: 0212222437

Andrew Paterson Andrew started acting, singing and dancing at a young age in his home town of Auckland. In 2003 Andrew was cast as the lead role of Billy in the feature film 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous, where he was nominated for best actor in a feature film in the 2005 New Zealand Film and Television Awards. Andrew also travelled to Shakespeare's Globe with SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2008. His highlights from being at Toi Whaakari are performing Neetfoot in The Roaring Girl, Harry Brewer in Our Country's Good, Conneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and creating his own piece for the 2012 Go Solo Season. During secondment Andrew was involved in 3 devised shows: If You Only See One Show in Your Life, Moe Moea and Ich Warte - a collaboration with Ernst Busch, Berlin Drama School. Andrew aims to pursue a career in both stage and screen. Representation: Talent Banque Email: Phone: 0211079932

Awhina-Rose Ashby Awhina-Rose grew up in the Bay of Islands and moved to Auckland in 2008 to study at Excel School of Performing Arts before joining Toi Whakaari in 2010. Her roles at Toi Whakaari include; Ismene in Welcome to Thebes, co-devising for Taku Rua, Female player and Mistress Tiltyard in The Roaring Girl, Olive in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, multiple characters in Skellig and her Go Solo piece Mean Maori Mean. In her secondment in 2011 - 2012, Awhina played the role of Cressida in Toroihi raua ko Kahira the Maori translation of Troilus and Cressida directed by Rachel House. She performed at the Q Theatre in Auckland, at Te Papa for the New Zealand International Arts Festival and Shakespeare's Globe as part of the Cultural Olympiad Globe to Globe in London.

Representation: Gail Cowan Management Email:

Cameron Jones Cameron Jones was born in Auckland, raised in Hawke's Bay and has spent the past four years in Wellington. He has enjoyed a variety of leading roles at Toi Whakaari in; The Merchant of Venice, The Roaring Girl, Rounds (TV pilot), and Our Country's Good. Cameron spent his secondment at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting. It was in Hollywood where Cameron found his true sense of being an actor; gaining a deeper understanding of acting technique and script analysis with a strong focus on developing a character. Cameron's main focus is screen. He has attended screen intensive workshops with Miranda Harcourt and in LA with the director of CSI, ER and Criminal Minds. Cameron has starred in a lead role in two short films with the New York Film Academy in LA and had a small role in The Hobbit. Representation: Karen Kay Management Email: Phone: 0274977721

Carrie Green Carrie Green is from Palmerston North and considers herself a fierce advocate for her hometown. A singer, Carrie has been involved in many musical productions with her favourites being Grizabella in Cats, Eponine in Les MisĂŠrables and Gigi in Miss Saigon. Since moving to Wellington and studying at Toi Whakaari she has rekindled her passion for Shakespeare (SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2003) and found a new love in comedy, trying her hand at stand-up at the Gotham Club in New York earlier this year. A history buff, Carrie especially enjoys working with historical pieces and content. Her highlights include Liz Morden in Our Country's Good, Rona Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and the 2nd year devised project Taku Rua. Carrie's next project is the Island Bay Loners' Doomsday Christmas at BATS at the end of this year.

Representation: Unrepresented Email: Phone: 027 303 8979

Deborah Rea Prior to Toi Whakaari, Deborah trained at Wellington Performing Arts Centre. She has had small roles on screen including Sensing Murder, Shortland Street and the up-coming feature film Jake. Recent highlights include working with Eugenio Barba and other theatre idols at a women's theatre festival in India, working with Jason Stutter and his team on the film project Rounds and taking on the role of Capt. Arthur Phillip in Our Country's Good. Deborah enjoys challenging and robust text as well as experimenting with the dynamics of spatial relationships, intercultural forms and taking a joke too far. Fun fact: Deborah is one of the top balloon twisters in the country. Representation: Gail Cowan Management. Email: Phone: 021 172 2836

Jacqueline Gwaliasi Jaci Gwaliasi was born in the Solomon Islands and grew up in Hokitika. Her roles at Toi Whakaari include Pagaia in Welcome to Thebes, Skellig in Skellig and Swartzy in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Her secondment in 2012 was with Transistor Collective a devised group formed of Toi Whakaari and Ernst Busch students under the direction of Willem Wassenaar, with the quest of finding Chekov in Berlin. Jaci also enjoyed a week long intensive with Black Grace, exploring different forms of communication.

Representation: Unrepresented Email: Phone: 021 064 4337

Jonathan Power Jonathan Power was born in Christchurch and attended Hagley Community College. His weeks were filled with courses on making independent film, acting for camera, music and drama. In 2008 he spent a year with the Hagley Theatre Company. His highlights at Toi Whakaari have been playing a Nazi in Playing the Unplayable, David in Stephen Sondheim's Company and Robert Sideway and David Collins in Our Country's Good. On secondment Jonathan played Basil in Long Cloud Youth Theatre's The Picture of Dorian Grey. Jonathan's Go Solo piece was called On The Road (again), a stream of consciousness about growing up and displacement. Next year Jonathan looks to work professionally in film, theatre and television and will continue to write for all three of these mediums.

Representation: The Proactors Email: Phone: 0273728075

Kenneth Robert Gaffney Born in Scotland and raised in Nelson, Kenneth discovered acting through drama at Nelson College. He played BarfĂŠe in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and James, a couch potato video game designer, in his Go Solo piece: Knights of the Amalfi Cross. His secondment was with Frank Newman, the Artistic Director of Terrapin Puppet Theatre as well as to Capital E - to assist with the workshopping of Magnolia St. In 2013 Kenneth will begin workshops for an interactive, choice based theatre show he is creating and also make a web series inspired by characters from his Go Solo piece. Kenneth also plays the Baritone Horn.

Representation: Unrepresented. Email: Phone: 027 329 7271

Luci Hare Luci Hare hails from Mount Maunganui and as well as being a trained actress, Luci has completed a Bachelor of Media Arts, Majoring in Moving Image, and a Diploma in Makeup Artistry. She currently works as a Freelance Makeup artist for film and television. She has also worked as an on-air host for TRN in Auckland. Luci is presently working alongside Kerry Fox and Miranda Harcourt assisting them to cast their upcoming film. Through her work at Toi Whakaari she has found a love for Film, Classical text and Clown. Her highlights include playing Alexandra Wengrave in The Roaring Girl, Birdie Winsor in the TV pilot Prescribed, Tania Nelson in Live@Six at Downstage and 'Chicken' who has made many appearances throughout her time here at Toi Whakaari. Luci hopes to develop her Go Solo piece and take it to Auckland, where she will be based.

Representation: Auckland Actors Email: Phone: 021 032 3885 Website:

Manuel Solomon Manuel Solomon is of Samoan and Pakeha descent and grew up in Lower Hutt where he began his acting career studying drama at Hutt Valley High School. His roles performed while at Toi Whakaari include Sebastian in the classic cuts season of Twelfth Night, Watkin Tench & Black Caesar in Our Country's Good, and explored his love for dance through creating his solo Before the Last Tui Drop Falls for the 2012 Go Solo season. At the end of 2011, Manuel seconded to The Conch theatre company to work as an unseen performer on Masi which made its world premier at the New Zealand International Arts Festival in February. He will be touring with this production to the Sydney Arts festival in January 2013 and also to the Oceania Centre, Suva, Fiji. Representation: Gail Cowan Management Email:

Ria Simmons Ria Simmons' passion for acting began with good old dressups. Growing up on a farm in the Manawatu with no TV and four other siblings, dress-ups and making shows was where the entertainment was at. Ria moved to study Contemporary Dance at the New Zealand School of Dance in 2006, gaining a National Certificate in Dance Performance. Following some time living in Melbourne and travelling around Europe Ria was back and ready for Toi Whakaari. Some of her projects this year have included working alongside John Bolton directing 80 Burmese Refugees in Thailand, working with Red Leap, choreographing for Original Scripts and Long Cloud Youth Theatre Companies, as well as playing leading lady Mary in Our Country's Good. Dancing, acting, teaching; for Ria it's all about collaborating and having a great time working with others. She is looking forward to what 2013 brings.

Representation: Unrepresented Email: Phone: 027 759 2791

Richard Munton Richard Munton was born and raised in Auckland. He was head of his school's Arts Council in 7th Form. Richard earned a place at Toi Whakaari upon completing his schooling and began the Bachelor of Performing Arts programme in 2010. Richard's leading role was in this year's graduating production Our Country's Good, directed by Geoffrey Hyland. He played the roles of Scotsman Major Robbie Ross and Irishman Ketch Freeman. Richard's secondment early in 2012 lead him to act in a play named The Big Picture with members of The Arts Engine, a Toronto based theatre company. The director, Tom Carson, has offered Richard a position with Arts Engine touring Canada for the 2013 production. Richard also plans to explore screen options in LA and NZ on either side of his Canadian Tour.

Representation: Karen Kay Email: Phone: 021 046 7183

Sam Wang Sam was born in Wuhan, China and grew up in Sydney, Australia. He has a BA in Communication/Bachelor of Law from the University of Technology Sydney and is admitted to practice as a Solicitor in New South Wales. On secondment in 2010, he interned to the Wooster Group for 3 months, performed in a preview of Fleshtone with the Big Art Group (NYC) and spent 3 weeks in the archives of ExMachina researching the past works of Robert LePage. He has also seconded to the New Zealand School of Dance. He co-devised Big Trouble in Small Newtown at the 2011 Wellington Fringe and one of his highlights at Toi Whakaari was performing in A Midsummer's Night's Dream directed by Josette Bushell-Mingo (OBE). Sam has experience in making animations, puppets and mechanical devices. He is a keen filmmaker and his works can be viewed at:

Representation: Unrepresented Email: Phone: 021 082 91849

Tai Berdinner-Blades Before Tai started at Toi Whakaari, she was a member of the Long Cloud Youth theatre company under the direction of Willem Wassenaar. Whilst with Long Cloud Tai performed in various productions including COLONY!, Titus Andronicus, The Crucible and Vernon God Little. Other productions with Wassenaar include Blood Wedding and over her recent secondment Ich Warte - a devised project in collaboration with The Transistor Collective in Berlin, Germany. Tai was also a core cast member of the Digital Emmy award winning webisode series Reservoir Hill for both of its two seasons. Film credits include; feature film Home By Christmas by director Gaylene Preston and short films The Jub Jub Bird directed by Dylan Pharazyn, and Ellen is Leaving directed by Michelle Saville, where she played the title role. Representation: The Pro Actors Email: Phone: 022 054 3598

Tameka Sowman Tameka Sowman is originally from Nelson. She has modelled and danced for the World of Wearable Art Awards Show. Tameka has also completed a Diploma in Production Design and Sculpture and is a qualified Special Effects Artist and Painter. Her highlights at Toi Whakaari include playing Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, Olive's mum in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Combat Metaphor with KC Kelly and Eurydice in Welcome to Thebes. Tameka interned to The Conch theatre company on their New Zealand International Arts Festival show Masi, under the direction of Nina Nawalowalo. There she trained in object animation and stage illusion with Paul Kieve and prop construction under Rebekah Wild. Tameka also seconded to Radio NZ, Red Leap Theatre and assisted the casting director Yvette Reid. Following graduation Tameka will tour with Masi to the Oceania Centre in Fiji and the Sydney International Arts Festival.

Representation: Unrepresented Email: Phone: 027 462 6974

Tom Eason Tom was born and raised in Christchurch and moved to Wellington to study at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. His roles while at Toi Whakaari include John Wisehammer in Our Country's Good, Master Gallipot in the Dean Parker re-write of The Roaring Girl, co-devising the site specific work Taku Rua and his solo Grind, from the Go Solo season 2012. Tom's secondment roles included director's assistant to Nathaniel Lees on the show Michael James Manaia with Takirua, co-devising, sound designing and performing in the MTA major work, If You Only See One Show in Your Life and co-devising the Berlinbased work Ich Warte with Willem Wassenaar. He has most recently been involved with the early stages of development for a new piece of work by Red Leap Theatre. Representation: by Pro Actors Email: Phone: 021 101 1113


Industry Day Graduating Actors 2012  
Industry Day Graduating Actors 2012  

Toi Whakaari's graduating actors from 2012