Howick Little Theatre
- Member for
- 8 years 6 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 62nd year of bringing theatre to this city started with the Auckland premiere of the South Island hit comedy Central Otago Man, by Justin Eade. Coming up is a dramatisation of best-selling author Peter James's thriller The Perfect Murder. Midyear will be Shaun McKenna's adaptation of Charles Dance's screenplay of the hit movie Ladies in Lavender, set in 1930s Cornwall. In September there will be the UK comedy How to Be Happy, by David Lewis. We end the year with a hilarious comedy that we contractually cannot reveal until July 2016.
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 three short seasons of plays and a series of regular staged playreadings each year. New talent is introduced to all aspects of theatre, from the technical designers and crew to the production team, directors, actors and more. The first production features a first-time director, with an established (usually New Zealand-based) play. The second production is an established play selected for emerging actors to shine, with an experienced director. The third production is a new work by a local playwright, supported by an accomplished production team – both on and off stage. The HLT Studio was founded by Artistic Director Terry Hooper and The Studio Director Nick Martin. Both passionate theatre practitioners, they created this platform to invigorate more quality theatre that pushes the boundaries.
In the past 15 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 2015, HLT staged an acting workshop with Juliet Furness, an introduction to directing theatre by Terry Hooper and a vocal workshop with Kirstie O'Sullivan. In 2016, we will have more acting and directing workshops with Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Cameron Rhodes and Terry Hooper. Places are always limited, so see the website for details: www.hlt.org.nz/channels.php/services/workshops/ .
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 aged six upwards with Donna Brookbanks.
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.