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The Basement Theatre's new Schools Programme

The Basement Theatre is thrilled to announce that it is partnering with five Auckland secondary schools for its Schools Programme Pilot Project for 2015. These schools include


The Basement Theatre is thrilled to announce that it is partnering with five Auckland secondary schools for its Schools Programme Pilot Project for 2015. These schools include

James Cook High School, Mount Roskill Grammar School, Onehunga High School, Selwyn College and Tangaroa College as well as the Creative Arts Initiative, alternative education provider, Nga Rangatahi Toa.


The Basement’s Schools Programme is a free educational initiative that will allow meaningful relationships to be developed with the future artists and audience members of Auckland’s creative arts scene. It will assist secondary school teachers and students in their learning through shows, activities and workshops.


“Developing a solid connection with the professional theatre scene is a valuable link to real world learning” says Duncan Allan, Selwyn College’s Head of Performing Arts.


Each school gets access to live professional theatre and a facilitated experience at no cost. Transport, to and from their central city venue, is even included. As well as the ‘school only’ shows, participating schools will also have the chance to access free stand-by tickets to any of the public evening shows in The Basement Theatre’s calendar.


“I find my students are far more engaged [in Drama] once they have experienced live theatre” says Robert Pollock, Onehunga High School Head of Drama.


The five performances scheduled in the pilot programme include a retelling of the Rainbow Warrior bombing, written by local playwright  Bronwyn Elsmore and directed by the accomplished Jennifer Ward-Lealand. FALLOUT: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior will educate a new generation of young New Zealanders about this dark day in history. This play will engage not only Drama students but Social Studies and Sustainability classes as well.


I'LL BE FINE sees a Wellington production perform in The Basement‘s upstairs Studio. A modern take on Peter Pan, written by Ben Wilson and directed by Ryan Knighton, it takes students on a kiwi road-trip with characters, Brian and Jude, as they explore young people’s fear of becoming adults and mental health themes.


Also included in the pilot is an off-site touring season of STOMACH - a revealing play about close female friendships. Director Jessica Joy Wood is very excited to be taking the show out to schools. An ex-Head Girl of James Cook High School, one of the selected partner schools, she says it will be fantastic to stage it in her old stomping ground. “Back then there was never anything like a proper Drama department,” she says. Unfortunately there still isn’t, but that doesn’t mean students should miss out on seeing relevant, professional New Zealand theatre.


To wrap up the pilot, The Basement Theatre will present two new New Zealand plays, in conjunction with The Young and Hungry Arts Trust. Two shows make up the Young & Hungry Festival - MY FIRST 7,500 DAYS by Uther Dean and THE 21ST CENTURY NARCISSIST by Sam Brooks. They will be designed and performed by 15-25 year olds who are overseen by  professional industry mentors.




FALLOUT: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

Written by Bronwyn Elsmore

Directed by Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Dates: Thursday 21 & Fri 22 May



By Ben Wilson

Directed by Ryan Knighton

Dates: Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 June



By Amelia Reynolds and Saraid Cameron

Directed by Jessica Joy Wood

Dates: Monday 27 - Friday 31 July



MY FIRST 7,500 DAYS by Uther Dean


Professional theatre practitioners mentor young people in all facets of these two productions.

Dates: Monday 12 October & Tuesday 13 October

Full season runs from Saturday 10 October - Saturday 24 October (with no shows on Sundays).

Contact details: 
Deanna Borren, Schools Programme Coordinator - / 0210762313

Written by

Basement Theatre

4 May 2015

Basement Theatre is Auckland’s culture-defining powerhouse - home to an artistic mixtape of theatre makers, dancers, visual artists, poets, musicians, comedians and everyone in between.