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Ecology in Fifths

26 Aug 2020 to 29 Aug 2020
26 - 29 August, 7pm
From the team behind The Performance Arcade: suburban rituals and pastoral tragedies explored through dance, design and music
Event type: 
Art, Dance, Theatre
Full price $20 / Concession $15
Te Whaea Dance & Drama Centre
11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington


Award-winning director and performance designer Sam Trubridge (The Performance Arcade, SLEEP/WAKE, The Restaurant of Many Orders) is bringing a bold new performance to Te Whaea this August. 

Taking inspiration from H Guthrie Smith’s (1921) Tutira: The Story of an NZ Sheep Station, Ecology in Fifths enacts this obsessive account of NZ ecology — now a recognised classic in environmental science worldwide. Piece by piece, the NZ myth of a ‘clean green and natural landscape’ is unravelled to reveal the environmental tensions that lie underneath our grassy paddocks and forest canopies.

Developed by Trubridge’s production company The Playground NZ, Ecology in Fifths had its first development season in 2010, receiving glowing feedback from test audiences. Innovative set design gives way to happenings “that assault both our senses and our conscience” (Deirdre Tarrant, Capital Times). An elevated platform of grass becomes the stage wherein suburban rituals, pastoral tragedies, and earthy reveries unfold to the rhythm of an immersive soundscape by NZ composer Bevan Smith (The Ruby Suns, Glass Vaults). This orchestration of performing elements reflects upon the ecologies in our everyday lives, illustrating how microcosmic events can have a significant effect upon global crises, exposing “the ineffectual and damaging attempts by the human race to tame the terrestrial ecosystem” (Jenny Stevenson, Theatreview). 

An elevated platform of grass becomes the stage, wherein suburban rituals, pastoral tragedies and earthy reveries unfold to the rhythm of an immersive soundscape by NZ composer Bevan Smith (The Ruby Suns, Glass Vaults), choreography by experienced NZ dancer Sean MacDonald and set design by Sam Trubridge. MacDonald will be joined in the performance by dancers Hannah Tasker-Poland, Emmanuel Reynaud, Brydie Colquhoun and Luke Hanna.


Performances will be held at Te Whaea National Dance & Drama Centre, with productions running from August 26 – 29.

Tickets can be purchased here through iTicket or via


Written by

The Performance Arcade

4 Aug 2020