Free Theatre Christchurch (est. 1979) is New Zealand's longest running producer of experimental theatre. The company serves as a laboratory for established and emerging artists to work together to create innovative, high quality, professional performance work.
Last week we had the pleasure of working together with our long time collaborator and Artist-in-Residence Taiporoutu Huata. Tai came down to the cold south to conduct some wÄnanga / workshops for Footprints/Tapuwae the bicultural opera that features as part of Te Puna Toi 2015 in June. Supported by Christchurch City Council, Te Puna Toi sees Free Theatre collaborating with Tai and NgÄi Tahu kapa haka performers from Te AhikÅmau a Hamo Te Rangi and Te Pao a Tahu, both of whom recently represented the Waitaha (greater Canterbury) region at Te Matatini. Bookings for the the workshops, symposium and performances will be available shortly via our website.
Part of the workshops involved watching film footage from the original production of Footprints/Tapuwae in 2001, the showreel of which can be viewed here. Along with Tai's presence last week, we were also delighted to celebrate the graduation of two company members. Congratulations Dr's Johnston and McCurdy!
WARHOL FACTORY UBU NIGHT MASK WORKSHOPS
Back by popular demand Andy Warhol and his extraordinary Factory return to The Gym this Friday. Expect the Superstars to come out for this exciting night: Velvet Underground with Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico, Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Jim Morrison and Warhol himself. Free Theatre explores what made The Factory such a hotbed of creativity and invention.
More information on Ubu Nights our series of entertainments (combining theatre, music, film and hospitality) that engage diverse communities in interactive and sensory experiencescan be found on our website.
In our next series of public workshops we are focusing on a variety of mask performance, exploring European, African, Asian and Pacific mask traditions.
As part of these workshops (open to all ages) we will be creating masks for the upcoming performance of Footprints/Tapuwae.
Saturday 2 May 10am-12pm $10
Saturday 9 May 10am-12pm $10
Saturday 23 May 10am-12pm $10
For more information or to book a place in any of these workshops, please email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the Easter break we were very happy to host The Cavell Leitch NZ Jazz and Blues Festival in The Gym (see below). The artists that performed in the space confirmed what we've known for some time - that The Gym is a wonderful place to create sweet music. We're also looking forward to hosting the Christchurch Arts Festival in August/September in which we'll be working with artists of the calibre of Gao Ping and Hamish McKeich on a project inspired by the work of avant garde composer Mauricio Kagel.
FANTINE performing in The Gym.
Image courtesy of Modafotographica and The Cavell Leitch NZ Jazz and Blues Festival