Howick Little Theatre
- Member for
- 12 years 5 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 66th year of bringing theatre to this city starts with the NZ premiere of the hit Canadian comedy Stag and Doe, by Mark Crawford, which runs to March 21. This will be followed by Agatha Christie's intense and chilling thriller Love From a Stranger, co-written with Frank Vosper, from May 9-30. In July, we premiere the American black comedy The Viewing Room, by Mark Smith. Then the NZ premiere of Peter James's thriller Dead Simple will play from Sept 12 to Oct 3. We finish the year with a much-loved family classic, A Christmas Carol, by Michael Paller, based on Charles Dickens's famous story, but this takes a fresh approach and is set in his writing attic on Christmas Eve.
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. The Studio's 2020 season features the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner with Friends, NSFW (Not Safe for Work) and a new work called Swallow the Fly.
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, Jennifer Ward-Lealand (performing in the intimate zone and acting) took three workshops and Miranda Harcourt took a one-day screen acting workshop in November. In 2020, we are offering a vocal workshop and a one-day introduction to directing.
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 acting classes have provided a stepping stone to professional careers. We offer acting classes for senior teens and adults on Monday nights. On Tuesdays there are also classes for children from age six years 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.