Toi Whakaari

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Entrance to Toi Whakaari and Te Whaea: The National Centre for Dance and Drama Te Whaea.tif
Entrance to Toi Whakaari and Te Whaea: The National Centre for Dance and Drama

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is New Zealand's national drama school. It was established in 1970 and is located in Wellington, New Zealand in the Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre. Toi Whakaari offers training in acting, costume construction, set and props construction, performing arts management and design for stage and screen. Toi Whakaari has a roll of approximately 130 students annually, who study for up to three years.

Contents

Toi Whakaari is co-located at Te Whaea: National School of Dance and Drama with the New Zealand School of Dance which moved into the premises in 1998, at the same time as Toi Whakaari.

Name

Te Kura Toi Whakaari O Aotearoa: NZ Drama School is the official name of the school. The Māori portion of the name translates to: a place of learning (Te Kura), performing arts (Toi Whakaari), in (O) New Zealand (Aotearoa). This title was gifted to the School in 1988 by Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry for Māori Development) in recognition of the School's bicultural work. [1]

History

'The Twelfth Man' poster at Centrepoint Theatre (1983). This was the graduate production 1982 The Twelfth Man PLAY POSTER (cropped).png
'The Twelfth Man' poster at Centrepoint Theatre (1983). This was the graduate production 1982

Toi Whakaari was established in 1970 by the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, as the New Zealand Drama School, [3] with Nola Leigh Millar as its first director.

In 2005, its first year students were the subjects of a reality TV show, Tough Act. 2010 saw Toi Whakaari celebrate its 40th Anniversary. This also coincided with a book launch of the school's history. The book, titled Transitions, was written by Bill Guest, former Head of the Entertainment Technology Programme and Associate Director.

Annie Ruth, one of the first acting graduates of the school, was Director of the school from 1998–2011 when she was succeeded by Christian Penny, who left in 2018 to take up a role with High Performance Sport NZ. [4] In June 2019 it was announced that Tanea Heke (Ngā Puhi) would be the new Director, after six months as interim Director. [5]

The school has a number of ongoing sexual and emotional abuse allegations. [6]

Notable alumni

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References

  1. "History". Toi Whakaari. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  2. Guest, Bill (2010). Transitions : four decades of Toi Whakaari : New Zealand Drama School. Wellington [N.Z.]: Victoria University Press. ISBN   978-0-86473-642-0. OCLC   669968400.
  3. "The rise of professional theatre, 1960 to 1980" . Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  4. "Christian Penny resigns as director of Toi Whakaari". Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  5. "Toi Whakaari Director announced". Toi Whakaari. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  6. https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/126708007/new-zealands-top-drama-school-apologises-to-students-for-harm

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