Howick Little Theatre
- Member for
- 11 years 11 months
Founded in 1954 by leading professional actress Alma Woods, Howick Little Theatre is an award-winning Auckland community theatre with a reputation for quality productions and a penchant for dynamic, contemporary plays, including new New Zealand work such as King and Country (Dave Armstrong), Peninsula (Gary Henderson), and the Auckland premiere of Carl Nixon's powerful and evocative West Coast family drama The Raft and his runaway box-office smash The Birthday Boy.
HLT’s 65th year of bringing theatre to this city started in February with Neil Simon's 70s hit comedy California Suite. This was followed by Bernard Farrell's contemporary comedy The Spirit of Annie Ross, set in a old haunted house. In July we staged the magical post-war story set in The Netherlands, The Book of Everything, a drama adapted by Richard Tulloch from the award-winning children's book by Guus Kuijer. Our fourth play, which opens in September, is the black comedy Neighbourhood Watch, by Alan Ayckbourn. We finish the year with Ken Ludwig's Christmas period comedy The Game's Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays.
If you don't want to miss out on plays at HLT, why not buy a subscription? The benefits are cheaper tickets and preferential bookings. For details see: www.hlt.org.nz
The HLT Studio, supported and developed by Howick Little Theatre, is a platform for new works and creatives, which started in 2014. Its mission is to present short seasons of plays and staged playreadings each year. New talent is also introduced to all aspects of theatre, from the technical designers and crew to the production team, directors, actors and more. The HLT Studio was founded by Terry Hooper and Studio Director Nick Martin. Both passionate theatre practitioners, they created the platform to introduce theatre that pushes more boundaries.
In the past 20 years, those interested in acting, directing, vocal training, lighting and set design have had the opportunity to attend workshops with leading New Zealand theatre professionals. Tutors have included John Parker, Justin Lewis, Bryan Caldwell, Tracy Grant, Oliver Driver, Cameron Rhodes, Jonathon Hendry, Miranda Harcourt, Nik Janiurek and Stuart Devenie. In 2011, there was a Shakespeare workshop with Michael Hurst. In 2018, Miranda Harcourt and Murray Edmond were the workshop tutors. In 2019, the workshops will be tutored by Jennifer Ward-Lealand (acting) and Miranda Harcourt (acting).
The theatre’s commitment to innovation means young people are encouraged to get involved and HLT offers opportunities for first-time directors, as well as training for backstage personnel. Several members, for example, have gained a technical grounding at HLT before moving on to professional careers. A number of well-known thespians, including Donna Akersten and Kerry Smith, and Melbourne Theatre Company's former Artistic Director Simon Phillips started out at HLT, and over the years the theatre's drama classes have provided a stepping stone to professional acting careers. Professional director/actor Ben Crowder teaches drama classes for senior teens and adults on Monday nights. There are also classes for children from age six and up.
In July 2009, the theatre, a first-time entrant, was a finalist in the Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality category of the Westpac Manukau Business Excellence Awards. It was the first time in the awards' history that a theatre had been selected as a finalist.