Sophie Lindsay – 2009

Born in Vanuatu, Sophie spent her teenage years in Auckland where she attended St Cuthbert’s College. There she received commendations for her performances in the scenes in the Auckland Central UOSWFSS in 2001 and 2002. The following year she became an SGCNZ Intern at Shakespeare’s Globe, London. While there, she was assigned the task of researching and writing a substantial document on the Costume and Set Design of the Globe’s 2003 Theatre Season.

At the beginning of 2009 Sophie spent four weeks in Port-Vila, Vanuatu writing and directing a play. Having grown up there, she enjoyed making something about and for her community. “It sparked an interest in me to create my own work in the future.

In the specific context of New Zealand, this young and isolated country, we can experiment and search to find the stories that are meaningful to us.

This is nothing new to the local theatre community but it is still something which is very real and very exciting for people like myself.”

A highlight for Sophie since graduating from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School at the end of 2009 was spending time in Europe and learning more about theatre and film. “I’ve been drawn to European theatre and French theatre in particular, since growing up in Port-Vila where I performed in French productions. ”

In 2010 Sophie assisted Juliet O’Brien on her production, The Letter Writer at the Wellington International Arts Festival. Two French actors, Anne Barbot and Benoit Blanc came with Juliet from France, to work alongside Peter Hambleton, Tim Gordon and Helen Moulder. “What I was most impressed with in The Letter Writer was the actors’ precision, dedication and control. This was the same with the actors I observed last year in France at the Festival d’Avignon and in Berlin. I found it thrilling to see this level of skill on stage.”

Sophie is currently working in advertising and finds that precision, dedication and control are equally as important in achieving great results.

Last year Sophie was involved in a radio play for Radio NZ to mark the centenary since the outbreak of World War I, Albert Beltz’s Te Awarua. Set in northern France, during the First World War, it tells the story of a determined young woman called Célandine who is on a dangerous mission to find her love and soul mate, Philippe.

“Playing Célandine was a great pleasure. Albert had created a delightfully multi-faceted French woman, both playful and serious, impetuous and considered, juvenile and wise.

Working alongside Toi grads, producer Jason Te Kare and actors Jade Daniels, Robert Tripe and Nigel Collins, it was one of the most enjoyable acting experiences I’ve had since leaving drama school. I only wish it had been for longer.”

A week before Te Awarua aired, Sophie learnt that Robbie had died. “It was a Sunday morning in London and people were heading to the Tower of London to see the final display of the ceramic poppies, marking 100 years since the Great War, while on the radio played the Last Post.”