Museum Art Hotel Scholarship Alumni

Angela Green – 2002

Hailing from Hamilton, where she attended Hillcrest High School, Angela was selected to be an inaugural student at SGCNZ’s first National Shakespeare School Production in 1996, and from that, to be a member of SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 1997.

Angela graduated from Toi Whakaari:NZ Drama School in 2002 and soon after performed in Weta’s Jane and the Dragon. She has performed on all  professional stages in Wellington, including in Adagio at Downstage.  She produced and acted in Metamorphosis in 2008 and  has worked closely with iconic Wellington percussion ensemble ‘Strike’ since 2004.  A founding member of the Wellington Producer’s Room, Angela moved into producing in 2008 and became Manager of Programming at Downstage.  During her time there she implemented a number of new programmes, including refining a resident company programme, Soundstage music sessions and was the originating producer for FixTV. She was a Board Member of Young & Hungry Trust in 2012.

After 12 years in Wellington, part way through 2012 she made the move to Auckland, to take up a new role as Producer and then Executive producer at Auckland’s Q Theatre. Her responsibility was to programme the year’s shows, and manage the artists and companies who intersect with theatre’s business. While firmly on the business and management side at Q, her driver as a producer was working closely with artists through the creative process and providing them the space and practical expertise to produce the best work they can.

Angela is committed to working towards a vibrant and sustainable performing arts culture in New Zealand, and promoting creativity as a valued attribute in all areas of society and business. She is also a recent graduate of Leadership New Zealand programme. Her strengths are in relationship management, contract negotiation, project and financial planning and arts programming. Angela is currently studying towards a Masters of Business Administration at Auckland University Graduate School of Business and in doing so has wrapped her head around the art of accounting, finance and economics.

In October 2014 she was appointed Artist and Logistic  Manager at the Auckland Arts Festival. For the 2016 Auckland Arts Festival she worked as a programme manager for a number of national and international shows and on the Festival’s large-scale signature international outdoor events. Independently, she produced Between Zero and One (Strike) and since 2016 is the producer for A Slightly Isolated Dog company (Don Juan, Jekyll &  Hyde).

Angela is currently Programme Manager, Auckland Arts Festival. Previous employment: Artist and Logistics Manager, Auckland Arts Festival; Producer, Between Zero and One, Strike Percussion; Executive Producer, Q Theatre; Programme Manager, Downstage; Independent Producer (various) 2008 – 2015. Graduate, Leadership NZ, 2012.

Matu Ngaropo – 2003

Matu was in the 3rd SGCNZ NSSP, in 1998, from which has was chosen to be in SGCNZ YSC 1999. At the conclusion of this time at the Globe, Matu did an Internship at Globe Education.

Since graduating from Toi Whakaari there have been many memorable experiences in Matu’s career.  “I must say that during my final year of drama school being asked to play Othello at Centrepoint was certainly a huge surprise and marked a clear change from student to professional for me.  But being still a student meant that I wasn’t able to be paid and I definitely would have struggled had it not been for Chris’ support through the Museum Hotel Scholarship.”
Matu was then lucky enough to work with Mike Mizrahi and Marie Adams’  company  ‘Inside Out Productions’ and their Rugby World Cup Inflatable Ball Project in association with Tourism NZ,  performing all over the world to many Dignitaries including Her Majesty The Queen, Helen Clarke, John Key and the IRB President and his international committee.

Matu then worked for Kura Productions presenting a children’s show all in Te Reo Maori for Maori TV.  “I love the energy of this work, what it stands for and the fact that we speak Maori not only in front of the camera but in our general workspace as well. It is the primary language we work in and for me it’s definitely a highlight.”

Playing Hermia in an all-male cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was hugely challenging and a once in a life-time opportunity.  “I had a ball.”  Matu has been part of 11 full-length Shakespeare productions including Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida and Love’s Labour’s Lost  by the time he was 27. “I believe that this is a huge achievement!”

Matu performed at the Frankfurt Book Fair, notably reading Hone Tuwhare’s Rain.
In 2012 Matu was part of the Maori Troilus and Cressida which opened the international Globe to Globe Festival in London at Shakespeare’s Globe pre the London Olympics.  “This was an absolute career highlight for me, performing back at the place where my love of theatre was discovered.  I played the role of Achilles alongside Globe Fellow Rawiri Paratene and it was a dream come true.  Surreal and deeply moving.  Our Maori spirit, tradition and warrior culture felt so at home on that stage and I still have to pinch myself to remember that that experience really happened.”

Matu returned to NZ and, with a couple of the other members of this company, formed the Modern Maori Quartet, which is now performing nationwide and is resurrecting the show band culture of yesteryear and bringing it to modern audiences.  “It’s a great company and I’m so proud of the outreach and responsibility we are showing to Maori communities and NZ as a whole through this work.”

However, recently Matu has been lucky enough to take his career one step further and has joined the Australian company of Disney’s The Lion King.  He has been touring Australia for 18 months now as a singer in the show and as the understudy for both the royal brothers, Mufasa and Scar.  “It is a privilege, an incredible opportunity and just another level of work quality and ethic above anything I have ever known.  I am working with practitioners, singers, actors, musicians, dancers and creative teams that are internationally renowned and respected.

Through this experience I know I am growing and developing into not only a more well-rounded and precise performer but also a better man.  From here, the possibility of working back on the West End or venturing into Broadway is so much closer.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.  But for now I’m loving the learning and enjoying every moment and challenge.”

“Since finishing The Lion King in Australia I’ve returned to take up  creative direction for the Modern M?ori Quartet. Also swinging the show when one is unavailable to perform. We are looking forward to a Hawaiian tour in November and a busy summer season of shows all over NZ.”

Kate Prior – 2004

Kate hailed from Wellington, where she attended Chilton St James. Following being in SGCNZ’s NSSP 1999, from which she was selected to be a member of SGCNZ YSC 2000, Kate did an Internship in Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe, London.

Kate graduated from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School in 2004 and studied theatre and film at Victoria University of Wellington.

Since then she has worked as an actor, producer, writer and deviser in theatre and film. Most recently Kate wrote and produced NZFC-funded short film Eleven with collaborator and director Abigail Greenwood under their company, Flyleaf Films ( The short has screened in competition at various international festivals including the Berlinale, NZ International Film Festival, and Melbourne International Film Festival and was awarded Best Short Film Script and Best Short Film at the NZ Film Awards 2014. Kate has scripted a second short film for Flyleaf Films, Theodora, to be produced in 2015.

Kate’s work as an actor includes A Clockwork Orange and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris for Silo Theatre, Doubt for Auckland Theatre Company, and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress for the Fortune and the Court Theatres. Most recent theatre work includes David Greig’s Midsummer at Circa Theatre (for which she was nominated Actress of the Year in the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2013), Dean Parker’s Tigers of  Wrath at Circa, and a New Zealand-wide tour of Lynda Chanwai-Earle’s Heat, a play set entirely in an Antarctic hut and powered off the grid by a wind turbine. In 2010, Kate performed in and produced the NZ tour of the solo work My Name is Rachel Corrie. Television credits include Nothing Trivial and Go Girls. Kate also works as a voiceover artist for various TVCs and documentaries.

Most recently working on contract as an Arts Adviser, Theatre at Creative New Zealand, Kate will be taking up a place on the new Masters in Dramaturgy at the Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne in 2015.

Dan Caddy – 2005
Born and bred in Wellington, Dan  performed as an Hamlet in Wellington College the Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare in Schools.

After graduating from Toi Whakaari in 2005 with the help of the Museum Hotel Scholarship that year, Dan elected to extend his training in the performing arts by taking a further three years to complete a New Zealand School of Dance Diploma in Dance Performance (Contemporary),  graduating for the second time at the end of 2008.

Dan moved to Auckland five years ago to pursue work in the performing arts. With many auditions and limited success, he decided he needed a supplementary career in which he could draw on all the skills he had gained from his study at Toi Whakaari.

For the past four years he has been studying towards a secondary career in speech language therapy. He completed a BA in psychology and is now in his final year of a Masters degree in speech language therapy at the University of Auckland. As he had hoped, his skills as an actor have been very useful in this line of work, particularly with school children with speech and language delay.

Brooke Williams – 2006

Christchurch born, Brooke attended SGCNZ NSSP week in 2001, from which she was chosen to be a member of SGCNZ YSC 2002.

Brooke graduated from Toi Whakaari in 2006. Since then she has worked constantly in New Zealand Theatre, Television and Film. In 2009 Brooke was awarded ‘Most Promising Female Newcomer’ at the Chapman Tripp theatre awards for her performance in Mr Marmalade. Theatre highlights include playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Mary Warren in The Crucible and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream  all for Auckland Theatre Company. Also playing Ariel in The Tempest and Irena in Three Sisters with the Peripeteia Players. Brooke’s screen credits include Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons, Shortland Street,  Legend of the Seeker, Spartacus, Anzac Girls, and the films Predicament, Ice and Slow West which recently premiered at Sundance. Brooke is currently working on the MTV show Shannara.

In 2013 Brooke secured American representation with the prestigious ‘United Talent Agency’ Based in Los Angeles. Brooke now splits her time between Auckland and L.A.

 Dan Musgrove – 2007

Dan grew up in Blenheim and was chosen to be in SGCNZ NSSP in 2000 and a member of SGCNZ YSC 2001. He graduated from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School in 2007.

Dan Musgrove is an award-winning actor/writer based in Auckland, NZ.  As an actor, Dan is best known for playing Marty Johnstone in TV3’s Underbelly New Zealand. He has also featured onscreen in Go Girls, SuperCity, Safehouse, and will soon appear in the TV3 prequel to Outrageous Fortune Westside. On stage, Dan has appeared in major productions for Silo Theatre Company and Auckland Theatre Company, including Romeo and Juliet, Angels and America, Midsummer, and Holding the Man.

As a writer, Dan has worked in collaboration with Natalie Medlock on a series of successful theatre works, including Blinkers, Spurs, the Christmas shows Christ Almighty and Toys, and the Michael Hurst solo show No Holds Bard, which premiered at the 2012 Wellington International Arts Festival. Along with Tom Sainsbury, they are currently developing their comedy festival hit I AM YETI, into a web series. Dan is a past winner of the Playmarket NZ Young Playwrights’ Competition.

Cian White2008 

Formerly from Rotorua, Cian Elyse White was a student at John Paul College, which is consistently involved in SGCNZ’s annual UOSWFSS. Cian was spotted for her talent in 2006, when she was awarded best female in a role at the Rotorua Regional UOSWFSS for Lady Macbeth by adjudicator Jonathon Hendry (Acting Tutor at Toi Whakaari), and from there was selected to perform in the National Festival in Wellington.

Cian was accepted into Toi Whakaari:NZ Drama School in 2007 and was the 2008 recipient of the Museum Hotel Scholarship. Since receiving this scholarship, Cian has travelled to perform in Greece, Rome, Taiwan and the USA with various professional theatre projects, and has worked for various nationally acclaimed company’s such as The Auckland Theatre Company, The Court Theatre and most recently has formed her own company for M?ori theatre projects.

In 2012, Cian Elyse was cast in the award winning NZ feature film Fantail, which premiered at the Sky City Theatre to a packed house of 800 plus. In TV, Cian has enjoyed roles in Underbelly, The Blue Rose, BBC Americas new fantasy TATAU, which shot in Rarotonga for 6 weeks last year, and is currently working as a core cast member on another TV series for Channel 7’s new prime time comedy drama.

Cian is continually thankful for the wonderful support that Chris Parkin, Dawn Sanders and the scholarship provided for her in her earlier years at Drama school. “I’m so grateful for the support the Museum Hotel Scholarship provided for me. What a gift! Nga mihi ki a k?rua!”

 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.”

Chelsea Bognuda – 2010

Chelsea won several awards in SGCNZ’s University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festivals as a student at Nga Tawa School in Marton. She was chosen to attend SGCNZ National Shakespeare Schools Production and, from that, to be a member of SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2007.

Chelsea graduated from the Acting Course at Toi Whakaari in 2010 and since then has done shows at Circa Theatre, Bats, The Opera House and many other venues around Wellington as well as two big National tours with Capital E. Music has always been her primary focus whether in Musicals, Pantomime or her first love – as a Singer/Songwriter. An accomplished guitarist and vocalist, in 2013, just after completeing her debut E.P; “Chelsea-Bridge: A Series Of Firsts”, Chelsea went to the USA after being invited to play in Los Angeles at a local Gig event night. Since then, Chelsea was barely back in Wellington when she sprung off to the UK – to London – for the buskers dream.

She was invited to play at ‘Unplugged in Monti’ in Rome this September gone and  she says it was one of the greatest experiences of her life.

Chelsea has been playing music everyday whether in the streets of Hammersmith, or in a local bar in Pimlico for almost a year and is now part of a duo called Dot ‘n Bang with a French Singer/Songwriter she met at a local Open Mic night. Early 1930’s scat jazz, mid sixties rock n’ roll and that indie rock-chick thing going round –  that is what they say their sound is. They are planning to travel around the whole of the UK in the summer of this year spreading their music and doing what they love.

Leon Wadham – 2011

Leon Wadham grew up in Karori, attending Karori Normal School and then Onslow College with whom he participated in SGCNZ’s Festivals in 2005 and 2006. Before graduating from Toi Whakaari he had also already performed at BATS and Circa, co-written plays and demonstrated his versatility in Toi Whakaari’s Cabaret evening held at the Museum Hotel.

Leon has performed for Auckland Theatre Company (Lord of the Flies), Silo (Tribes), Circa (The Cape), Q Theatre (The Pitchfork Disney) and BATS (Tinderbox). He was a series lead in TV2’s hit drama Go Girls and has appeared in numerous other screen projects, including the TV productions When We Go To War, Terry Teo and Pirates of the Airwaves and the films Under The Mountain, Cardinal and Shopping. He has had the privilege of working alongside some of New Zealand’s most esteemed performing artists, including Colin McColl, Lee Tamahori, Miranda Harcourt, Shane Bosher, Sophie Roberts, Michael Hurst, Jo Randerson and Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

In addition to his performance work, Leon co-wrote Live At Six with Dean Hewison for Downstage, wrote for TV3 sitcom Sunny Skies, directed Second Afterlife for Young & Hungry and co-directed both Tom Keeper Passes for Long Cloud Youth Theatre. In 2014 his short film School Night, co-created by Eli Kent, premiered in competition at the NZ International Film Festival. Their next film, Moving, has been funded by The New Zealand Film Commission.

Last 19 months:

– I was selected as the first Silo Theatre and Basement Theatre Director in Residence Intern, working with Sophie Roberts on The Events and Kip Chapman on Hudson & Halls: Live! as well as on development work for both theatres.

– I shot a role in the feature film Pork Pie and will begin shooting a role in the Dance Exponents telemovie Why Does Love? next week.

– I created new show Milky Bits with young comedy heroes Chris Parker and Hayley Sproull, which played in Auckland and Wellington to sold out houses and rave reviews.

– I completed a new short film called Moving with co-director Eli Kent, which has just hit the festival circuit and has already played in competition at the Melbourne International Film Festival and the New Zealand International Film Festival.

– I am currently preparing to direct Vernon God Little with The Actors’ Program class of 2016.

Alex Tarrant – 2012 (updated 2016)

Alex attended Hamilton’s Fraser High School, where he very successfully participated in SGCNZ’ UOSWSF. He was selected for SGCNZ NSSP in 2008 and was chosen to be in SGCNZ YSC 2009.

Upon graduating from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School in 2012, Alex has moved into the screen and television scene. “ I still enjoy theatre. Theatre is where it all began for me but as of right now, my heart is fully invested in screen and television”.

Alex was the host of the TV2 youth show Totes Maori. He starred in Nothing Trivial the tele feature, When We Go To War, Tatau, a BBC & SPP production, 800 Words, A Seven Television & SPP production and most recently Filthy Rich”. “ In my high school day I discovered that things that are said in movies aren’t always received the same way in real life. Nowadays I’m considered deep or shy but it’s just that this industry has shown me how powerful words can be so I do my best to choose with care. Writers are observers of life and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to bring those observations off the page. I love what I do”.

Keagan Fransch – 2013

Keagan moved to New Zealand from Zimbabwe in January 2004 and enrolled in Timaru Girls’ High School. There she was lucky enough to have Drama as one of her subjects (“Drama as a subject was unheard of in Zimbabwe!”), and as such was able to compete in the 2004 SGCNZ Sheilah Winn Festival for Shakespeare in Schools Regional Festival with her Drama class. From there she was selected to be a participant in the National Shakespeare Schools Production 2004 where she met and learned from wonderfully diverse and exciting students and mentors!

Keagan was also fortunate enough to be selected for the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2005 and had the amazing opportunity to travel to the Globe and Stratford upon Avon.

After studying at university and obtaining a degree in Theatre Studies and Psychology, Keagan auditioned for and was accepted in to Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. During her training, she had a chance to play exciting roles such as Leonato in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Sam Byck in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins, and recently Mother Teresa in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. During her third year at drama school, and as part of the course internship period, Keagan travelled to Cincinnati, Ohio to work with director Timothy Douglas on the Horton Foote play The Trip to Bountiful, which was performed at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in March 2013.

As her first year out of drama school, 2014 was an exciting and challenging year for Keagan. She began the year by playing Titania in the Bright Orange Walls production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream  in the Wellington Fringe Festival. She then performed her solo show, Waiting for GoDoor, in a season at BATS Out-of-Site in Wellington, and at The Basement Theatre in Auckland. She also had roles in various film projects across the year, and workshopped a stage piece in collaboration with Le Va, an organization dedicated to the mental health education and care for Pasifika peoples. She has not only begun to write her own work this year, but has also enjoyed working with a number of up and coming writers and directors in Wellington, collaborating on their works. Shakespeare has of course continued to be a large part of Keagan’s life; she has directed a couple of teams for the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival 2014, and she played Othello in the Lord Lackbeard’s touring production of Othello. She has a few exciting projects in the works, and is looking forward to what 2015 brings!”

“These years were such a rewarding time for me, rich in learning, and the incredible generosity of Chris Parkin and the kindness of Dawn Sanders meaning that I could continue my journey at drama school without needing to worry about taking time away from my learning to sustain a part-time job.”

In 2015

– I had a supporting role in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon

– I performed in the play A Servant to Two Masters at Circa Theatre

– I performed a recurring role in a fiction podcast with Jemaine Clement and Lawrence Arabia, directed by Duncan Sarkies, titled The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie’s Botanarium

In 2016

– I co-directed a production of Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening

– I had a supporting role in the popular new NZ webseries Two Naked Gay Guys

– I performed in the Spanish Carnival installation Architectura de Feria as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival

– I have been accepted into the Master of Arts in Acting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and have been fundraising to raise money for tuition fees and living costs, and will hopefully be able to attend in 2017.

 Patrick Carroll – 2014

Patrick grew up in Bath, England and moved to Christchurch when he was 13. He attended St Andrew’s College where he immersed himself in theatre, picking up several notable awards for his outstanding performance as Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in SGCNZ’s 2009 National University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival. From that he was chosen to be one of 48 out of 5500 to attend SGCNZ’s NSSP. From this he was selected as one of 24 members of SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2010.  While still a student at Toi Whakaari:NZ Drama School, Patrick was lucky enough to spend time with Daniel Pengelly and Elizabeth O’Connor at the Court Theatre in Christchurch, workshopping an original New Zealand script being supported by the playhouse. Aside from that, he took a trip to Wellington to attend A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This production was helmed by Bright Orange Walls, a company co-founded by Patrick and six other young theatre students in 2012. The work marked a massive collaboration between practitioners from past, present and future Toi Whakaari and Victoria University graduates, the Urban Dream Brokerage and the Wellington Fringe Festival (an operation pulling together around thirty theatremakers, making it the largest company in Fringe 2014).

For his secondment in his third year at Toi Whakaari, Patrick spent a month in study at L’Ecole Phillipe Gaulier, a school of clown, founded by the eponymous Phillpe Gaulier.

Since returning from Paris life comprised a series of projects, ranging from a film with Louis Sutherland to Touchstone in As You Like It, directed by Lisa Warrington – the graduation production for final year Toi Whakaari actors, designers and technicians.

Bright Orange Walls has just presented  Twelfth Night, the cast/crew featuring many SGCNZ alums, in Re. Space, a recently opened gallery on Victoria Street.

Out of drama school Paddy headed to Auckland in February 2015 to begin rehearsal on Silo’s The Book of Everything directed by Sophie Roberts as part of the Auckland Arts Festival. He was working alongside Olivia Tennant (a SGCNZ alum) as well as Rima Te Waiata, Tim Carlsen and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. The production has since been remounted in Auckland, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North and Hamilton, where Patrick has performed previously with Indian Ink’s new work The Elephant Thief. In May 2015 he returned to Wellington to MC at the National SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival.

In 2016 Patrick is touring with Indian Ink, returning to Toi Whakaari to direct the First Year Solos project for his second year and is currently still on tour with The Book of Everything.  He and Dawn Sanders both spoke at the National Library on the 6th March in a debate questioning the importance of Shakespeare being taught in schools – both on the affirmative side of the moot!

Olivia Mahood – 2015

Olivia attended Kerikeri High School. While there she participated in SGCNZ’s University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival in the Northland region with a scene from Othello between Desdemona and Emilia, playing Desdemona.

Prior to applying for Toi Whakaari:NZ Drama School, Olivia was an active and valued member of the Long Cloud Youth Theatre in Wellington for two years. She successfully auditioned for Toi Whakaari, beginning her training there in 2013. Through her training at Toi, she has discovered her abilities on screen and has great potential in that medium.

Olivia is currently overseas on secondment in LA and NYC taking classes with Joan Scheckel and Donna Morong, building her screen acting craft and planning a career that will find her back in LA working as an actor in the future.

Lydia Peckham – 2016

Born in Scotland, Lydia moved to New Zealand when she was 8. She attended Nelson College for Girls, being involved in performances in SGCNZ’s UOSWSF every year. Roles played include Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Rosalind (As You Like It), Emilia (Othello), Lily (Living with Lady Macbeth), Orpheus (Orpheus and Eurydice). Lydia attended SGCNZ NSSP in 2011 and 2012, from which she was chosen to be part of the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company 2013 and travelled to the The Globe and Stratford upon Avon while in Year 13 at Nelson College for Girls. A special add-on to the SGCNZ YSC trip that year involved 3 of the group, one of whom was Lydia, staying on and travelling down to Cornwall where they has final rehearsals with a local Director and performed Prospero’s Tempest, including at the famous Minark Theatre. Her hobbies include songwriting, singing, football and drama.

Lydia successfully auditioned for Toi Whakaari and began her training there in 2014.

She was thrilled to be the recipient of the Chris Parkin Scholarship for her third year of training in 2016 “which has enabled me to focus purely on my third year of study.”

Lydia has been part of several productions including Mother Courage directed by Annie Ruth, Mau a devised piece directed by Aaron Cortesi, Hotel Europa directed by Anna Marbrook.

She played the role of Lucy in a short film Lonely Birds, directed by Ana Scotney and Ella Gilbert, and ‘Lydia’ in the short film Marching, directed by James Ashcroft co directed by Hayley Sproull.

She has attended two fantastic Shakespeare workshops in which she explored monologues of Lady Macbeth, Julia and Queen Margret. These workshops were led by Marcus Graham and Carmel McGlone.

Lydia travelled to LA and London, met up with some “fantastic, talented working directors and actors, saw several performances – my favourite was Cymbeline which I saw at the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse such an amazing theatre. Afterwards I travelled to India for a month, which was a life changing experience.”

She has signed up with Karen Kay Management. Lydia successfully auditioned for a part in her first ‘TV Series’ (information can’t be disclosed just yet) which is to be shot in October.

“Focusing a large part of my third year on craft, methodology, and character. Some of the things I’ve spent the last month exploring – character investigation in the character of Sydney (American Hustle), Screen Craft, Script Analysis, audition practise, Accents, Clown in the live, and an investigation of the word ‘commercial’.”

Dawn Sanders ONZM, QSM

Museum Art Hotel/Chris Parkin Scholarship Coordinator