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Dear Members and all Theatre Practitioners aligned to Theatre New Zealand

These are troubling times. The very nature of who we are is being challenged.
Productions around the country are being cancelled, Professional and Community.
Games, meetings, forums, concerts, reunions, workshops, gone altogether or postponed indefinitely.
Public and community life, as we know it, the very heart of theatre, curtailed.
I feel our government has done the right thing in basically closing the borders and creating an ethic to slow and perhaps block this virus.

Our friends of Musical Theatre NZ cancelled their Annual General Meeting and Training Weekend in Napier this past month. This was also their 60th Anniversary Celebration. Our sympathy and understanding goes out to them.
Thank you to those TNZ members who have already reached out to us seeking protection measures, to keep your people safe.

Is this an advantageous time for all of us to step back and check our Theatre Health & Safety Protocols?

As I write to you there has been no ‘community-based outbreak’. But the virus is slowly seeping into the very fabric of our society.
Necessary precautions are in place around the country.
Large and middle-sized theatre groups have seen fit to curtail their activities for the autumn.
Some smaller groups with similar sized productions in country areas are hanging in there.

Keep safe. We are asking you all to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines.

TheatreFest logo

No doubt you are all wondering what is happening to our July and August TheatreFest rounds and in particular the TheatreFest National Finals, along with the 2020Vision Celebrations in September at The Court Theatre, Christchurch.
It is just too hard to assess the progress, dangers and volatility of Covid-19.

It is therefore with deep regret that Theatre New Zealand has decided to cancel TheatreFest for 2020 and also put our celebrations on hold. (News of the AGM at a later date).
With people going into rehearsal late May – we all need certainty over the coming weeks.
I am particularly cast-down as we were creating a great line-up of workshops and celebratory activities on top of the National Finals. The Christchurch team were all looking forward to hosting you here again, at last! Christchurch seems to lurch from situation to situation. What a decade!

If you are writing a new play, don’t stop. If you were developing a devised piece, find a way to keep going. If you have the rights to an exciting piece of challenging theatre, hold them!

Maybe use this enforced time-out to strategize your group’s way forward in the spring.

We are here to help, with workshops and mentoring programmes.
The year started well. Let’s pick it up later and make even stronger, more creative, more stimulating theatre in the days ahead.
Let’s also now make 2021, reincorporating all of the above, (but not the virus) a year to remember!

My regards to you all, keep safe.
Nga mihi

Te Putoi Whakaari o Aotearoa
Bryan Aitken

Theatre New Zealand provides a national link between people who are interested in theatre.

There are thousands of people working in theatre societies, schools, youth theatres and other organisations throughout Aotearoa-New Zealand. You can become involved with others who share your vision, passion and commitment to theatre.

Our objectives are:

  • to promote New Zealand theatre.
  • to encourage high standards in all aspects of theatre including performance, production, staging, design and writing.
  • to foster the appreciation and study of theatre.
  • to act as a national consultative and advisory body in all aspects of theatre.
  • to conduct or arrange courses, workshops, festivals or competitions on any aspect of theatre.

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