Auckland Theatre Company Literary Manager appointed

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Auckland Theatre Company has announced the appointment of Philippa Campbell, one

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Auckland Theatre Company has announced the appointment of Philippa Campbell, one of New Zealand's leading feature film producers, to the position of Literary Manager. Philippa will take up the role on October 6 in conjunction with Auckland Theatre Company's festival of new New Zealand plays, The Next Stage.

Colin McColl, Artistic Director of Auckland Theatre Company is delighted with Philippa's appointment. "ATC's Literary Unit is the powerhouse behind many of the plays premiered by Auckland Theatre Company, bringing the words off the page and onto the stage. We are extremely fortunate that we have been able attract someone of Philippa's calibre and standing within the industry".Over the last ten years Philippa has maintained strong links with the theatre as a dramaturg of new work alongside her career as a film producer, which she will continue in tandem with her new position. She is excited by this opportunity to engage with playwrights and Auckland's theatre community.

"I have always been fascinated by the process of development and I'm looking forward to being able to contribute to the life of the ATC and its place at the centre of the city's theatre culture. There's a lot of cross-fertilization between theatre and film within our creative community and there are many similarities in bringing screenplays to the big screen and plays to the stage - it's all about giving audiences a terrific evening's entertainment."

Philippa has produced five feature films, two of which are adaptations of New Zealand plays - Toa Fraser's NO.2 and Anthony McCarten's Via Satellite. Alongside her work in the film industry she has been involved with a number of workshops and premiere productions of plays by, among others, Hone Kouka, Briar Grace Smith and Victor Rodger. She enjoyed a long association with NZ work commissioned by the International Festival of the Arts under Carla van Zon, and another with Theatre at Large, collaborating with them first on Manawa Taua Savage Hearts.

In recent years Philippa has also brought her dramaturgical skills to two chamber operas, a full length international touring show by contemporary percussion group Strike, and the aerial pageant MAUI. A graduate of Victoria University and Toi Whakaari The New Zealand Drama School, Philippa began her career as an actor and director in theatre, and was a member of the Downstage acting company for three years. Her first professional workshopping experience was acting in the inaugural NZ Playwrights' Conference which launched Foreskin's Lament. She was one of the founders of Taki Rua The Depot, the Wellington professional theatre devoted to presenting New Zealand material that formed part of a renaissance of indigenous writing and performance in the 1980s & 90s. Philippa moved into television as a script editor and writer, heading up TVNZ's Drama Department in-house Script Unit for four years, where she edited over 100 hours of television drama. Her debut project as producer was award winning one hour drama Swimming Lessons starring Kate Wilkin and Marshall Napier. Rounding off her feature film credits are hit comedy horror Black Sheep, the internationally acclaimed RAIN and most recently Florian Habicht's portrait of Warwick Broadhead 'Rubbings From A Live Man which is to be released throughout NZ in November. Auckland Theatre Company has a strong track record of presenting New Zealand stories on stage.

The behind the scenes work done by the Literary Unit has assisted in bringing over 70 plays to fruition, benefiting playwrights such as Albert Belz, Micahel Galvin, Vivienne Plumb, Stephanie Johnson, Gary Henderson, Pip Hall, Stephen Sinclair, Victor Rodger and Tom Scott to name but a few. About to start and coinciding with Philippa joining the company is The Next Stage, Auckland Theatre Company's annual festival of new plays in development. The scripts being presented represent some of the finest new works on offer - Silent Night By Yvette Parsons, The Truth Game by Simon Cunliffe, and Dave Armstrong's new farce - Le Sud. These plays will be fully workshopped prior to their presentation as semi-staged readings at The Maidment Theatre Studio, October 7 - 11.

Philippa Campbell Philippa has just completed Florian Habicht's feature documentary film Rubbings From A Live Man (www.rubbingsfromaliveman.com) which had its world premiere in the 2008 New Zealand International Film Festival and is to be released in NZ IN November 08. Her next film will be a NZ/UK co-production with Talisman Films The Beach Of Falesa, adapted by Alan Sharp from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, to be directed by Toa Fraser. Most recently she produced Jonathan King's Black Sheep, which premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, has won eight international awards and was successfully released throughout major territories, including the US and the UK, in 2007 & 2008. It is the second highest grossing NZ film in the UK and the highest grossing local horror film in NZ. Philippa produced Toa Fraser's NO. 2, starring Academy Award nominee Ruby Dee, which won the Audience Award in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Dramatic section, the Audience Award at the Brisbane Film Festival, four awards at the 2006 NZ Film Awards, and featured in gala screenings at the London Film Festival. In 2002 her production of Christine Jeffs' internationally acclaimed RAIN, based on the novella by Kirsty Gunn, premiered in Director's Fortnight in Cannes. Her first feature was Anthony McCarten's Via Satellite, winner of two NZ Film Awards. Her company Escapade Pictures was founded in 1999. She continues to work as a development executive for other filmmakers, has been a development consultant for the NZFC, and a tutor in a number of national screenwriting development initiatives. Philippa has served on the board of AFTA and the NZ Writers Foundation. A graduate of Victoria University and Toi Whakaari The New Zealand Drama School, Philippa began her career as an actor and director in the theatre, initially as a member of the Downstage acting company for three years. Her first professional workshopping experience was acting in the inaugural NZ Playwrights' Conference where Foreskin's Lament came to light. As well as working in the mainstream, she directed a theatre-in-education company, and was involved in a number of community theatre initiatives. She established and directed the political theatre group Frontline which was the first ever theatre company to perform at a Federation of Labour conference with their show Knockout. Philippa was one of the founders of Taki Rua The Depot, a cooperative professional theatre devoted to presenting New Zealand material that formed part of a renaissance of indigenous writing and performance in the 1980's. She directed premiere productions of two plays and a musical for The Depot. Philippa moved into television as a script editor and writer, heading up TVNZ's Drama Department in-house Script Unit for four years, where she edited over 100 hours of television drama. Highlights include the docudrama Erebus:The Aftermath written by Greg McGee, and Maurice Gee's children's series The Fireraiser and The Champion. In 1990 she began a freelance career as a script consultant, screenwriter and development executive in television drama and film. Her debut project as producer was Swimming Lessons starring Kate Wilkin and Marshall Napier, winner of three NZ Television Awards and Banff Nominated Best Single Drama 1997. Throughout her career in the screen production industry Philippa has maintained a strong connection with theatre as a dramaturg. In this role she has been involved with numerous workshops and premiere productions of plays by, among others, Hone Kouka, Briar Grace Smith and Victor Rodger. She had a long association with NZ work commissioned by the International Festival of the Arts under Carla van Zon, and with Theatre at Large, collaborating with them first on Manawa Taua Savage Hearts. Philippa has also brought her dramaturgical skills to two chamber operas as well a full length international touring show by contemporary percussion group Strike, and the recent aerial pageant MAUI. 29/09/08

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Auckland Theatre Company

30 Sep 2008

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