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Musical Theatre New Zealand

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MTNZ is the national voice of community theatre, providing data and information to non-members, businesses, other arts and non-profit organisations, as well as the media and government agencies.

When you join MTNZ you will be a part of an organization dedicated to quality, live theatre as a contributing player in New Zealand's communities.


News & Views...

In April's Spotlight...

  • Greetings from new MTNZ President Lesley Carthew
  • 54th AGM and Volunteer Training Weekend Napier - it's a wrap  
  • Meet our first ETNZ Community Theatre Technician of the Year Award - Youth
  • Other Competition and Award Results (Merit Award Recipients announced in May Spotlight)
  • Introducing Two New Members of the MTNZ Executive -Zone One Rep Pauline Vella and Vice President Terry O'Connor
  • Conference 2015 - Christchurch - start saving your pennies now - accommodation pencil bookings are now open
  • The Auckland Training Weekend Info 31 May - 1 June - registrations now open - directing, lighting, production and stage management and a pyro demo  
  • The Christchurch Training Weekend 30/31 August - info - directing, musical directing, production and stage management - registrations open early May
  • Announcing Sound Workshops - SOUND 101 with BOUNCE NZ - great initiative from Karen and Glen
  • News from around the Zones - conference feedback and reports from around NZ
  • News from our Corporate members - ML Consultants, Light Site, John Herber
  • Kenderdine Electrical take on the hobbits
  • David Spicer Announces the release of Saturday Night Fever, Dominies have Christmas Carol and Devon Williamson has a new play receiving rave reviews about the American soldiers in NZ in WW2
  • MTNZ Calendar - lots of zone meetings happening in May - put them in your diary now
  • What's On Around NZ

Click here to download it!

Christchurch Training Weekend - Saturday 30 August/Sunday 31 August 2014

ONE DAY COURSE - DIRECTING 101 - Saturday 30 August at CPIT - NASDA Campus

Tutor - Rhonda Daverne


Registrations close Friday 22 August - please contact for further information and a registration pack. You can also download the Christchurch registration pack here: registration-pack-for-christchurch-august-2014.pdf.

This course is intended as an introduction to Directing Musicals and is most suitable for those who have never directed at all, those who've tried and struggled, those who have directed plays and are looking to try musicals, performers looking to better understand their craft, production managers, committee members with an interest in “the other side” and those looking to direct at some future date.

Agenda topics include: being ready to direct - knowing your musical - research and preparation - auditions and casting - rehearsal schedules - planning - responsibilities - working with the management team (MD & choreographer, designers & production manager) - blocking and staging - working with your cast - your personal approach to directing - developing an edge - production week and opening night.

Participants leave with a broad understanding of how to go about taking the first step to directing a musical along with helpful tips on working with your cast and management team throughout the process.

Hand-outs include: tips for auditioning - an example rehearsal schedule - props list - directors lighting notes, wardrobe list, character assignment list, etc etc...

This differs to what was previously advertised as David Adkins now has a performance commitment with Hairspray in Auckland that weekend

ONE DAY COURSE - MUSICAL DIRECTING 101 - Sunday 31 August at CPIT - NASDA Campus

Tutor - Richard Marrett

This course explores the range of functions and responsibilities the Musical Director could be expected to cover in a production and will be a hands-on, practical series of sessions:

  • Auditions, selection and voice-types
  • Working in with Director and Choreographer, Production and Stage Managers
  • Forming and preparing a band or orchestra
  • Repetiteuring
  • Conducting and score-reading
  • Conducting from keyboard
  • Tight ensemble sound, figuring out voicings
  • Vocal coaching with soloists
  • Working with tracks, keyboards and programming

HALF DAY PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT 101 COURSE - Sunday 31 August -9am - 12.30pm at CPIT - NASDA Campus

Tutor - Annie Pearce


This course is focused on equipping you in your role as production manager. Taking a production from "well they've picked a show... now what?" through to "the show's over but I still have work to do" requires someone who is very organized, can breakdown the big picture, has great people skills and can keep breathing under pressure. During our session, we will look at the following stages of a production and what is involved in each one:

  • Before the show is announced
  • Casting the show
  • Getting the show onstage
  • The season
  • After the final bow

Specific topics covered will include time management, people management, organizational techniques and communication.

Over the past 15 years Annie has coordinated events at major venues including the Westpac Centre, the Christchurch Town Hall and the Isaac Theatre Royal for organizations such as Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Showbiz Christchurch, The Christchurch City Council and CPIT. Annie has been the Production Manager for Cats, Miss Saigon, Starry Nights (Showbiz Christchurch), 42nd Street, Curtains, Cats, Guys & Dolls, Beauty & the Beast and Hair (CPIT's NASDA) to name a few

HALF DAY STAGE MANAGEMENT 101 COURSE - Sunday 31 August -- 1pm - 4.30pm at CPIT - NASDA Campus

Tutor - Kathryn Osborne

Stage Management 101 will use a practical example to work through the five stages of putting on a performance from a Stage Manager point of view.

The planning, the rehearsal period, the production period, performances and the wash-up at the end.

It will include how to prepare a calling script, hints on calling a show, who needs what information, when to call stop, all supported with examples of the paperwork that Kathryn uses as a Stage Manager for Musicals, Opera, Ballet and Drama.

Auckland Training Weekend - May 31 to June 1


Registrations close 24 May - please contact for further information and a registration pack. You can also download the Auckland registration pack here: registration-pack-for-auckland-may-2014.pdf.

Feedback from last year's school in Palmerston North:

  • David's a good teacher - very laid back and easy to work with, but clearly knows his stuff.
  • David is able to quickly see where we are making errors and correct them - due to his experience and his ability to listen rather than just talk at us
  • I thought the content was spot on, David was great and easy to listen to and a great tutor. Would recommend it to anyone. Sunday was great as well, I can now understand the different types of lights and what they all do.
  • I really enjoyed the course and got a lot out of it especially the movement and the lighting. I was concerned that I hadn't completed the first course but David is a very good facilitator and the bits he went over were the most important. I enjoyed the fact that we were able to have some time to ask questions and the topics were covered well.
  • Great stuff. I really did come away with screeds more knowledge and had a very enjoyable time. Great to network and share ideas with other theatre groups too. Can't wait to do another one!
  • It was an amazing lighting programme for me. So informative and pitched for this beginning lighting director perfectly. Thank-you David Atkins and MTNZ.

What to Wear

Comfortable, casual clothing and footwear and bring something warm to the venue

What to Bring

Please provide your own lunch, we will supply morning and afternoon tea, but bring your own water bottles etc.

Pyrotechnic Display

We will have a pyrotechnic display on Sunday 1pm for ALL course participants if you would like to attend. For those of you attending the Stage Management course, you will need to arrive at 12.30pm for registration.

Please contact Kate or Zone One Rep Pauline Vella if you have any questions- we look forward to seeing many of you over the weekend in Auckland.

There are lots of accommodation options in the registration pack for those needing to stay the night in Auckland.

MTNZ would like the thank the following for their support and sponsorship of the Auckland Training Weekend:

Major Sponsors - BOUNCE NZ

Tim Carroll and the Auckland Music Theatre Executive for hosting and supporting the Auckland Weekend Training Courses; Andrew Potvin - Technical Manager; David Adkins; Mark Betty; Amaze Events for sponsoring the pyros; Ngaire Holmes; Martin Searancke and the Light Factory for the sponsorship of the lighting rig; Zone One Rep Pauline Vella and MTNZ Administrator Kate Ghent

Weekend Programme For Directing Musicals and Lighting For Directors/Creative and Production Teams

Venue: Westpoint Performing Arts Centre (Auckland Music Theatre) 190 Meola Rd Western Springs, Auckland 1022

Saturday 31 May - Directing Musicals - the next step
  • 9am Registration, morning tea
  • 9.30am Course commences
  • Midday Lunch break
  • 3pm Afternoon tea
  • 5.30pm Conclude
Sunday 1 June - Directing Musicals - the next step - lighting for directors, creative and production teams

Day two - would also be suitable for production and stage managers, technical people, musical directors, choreographers. You can attend the day two session only

  • 8.30am Tea and coffee
  • 9am Course commences
  • 10.30am Morning tea
  • 12.30pm Lunch break
  • 1pm Pyrotechnic display
  • 3.30pm Conclude and certificate presentation
  • 4pm Late afternoon tea and farewell
Saturday - Day One - Directing Musicals - the next step
  • Practical exercises in dramatic direction
  • Practical exercise in setting movement (not dance) to music
  • Consideration of set design in direction - what to ask for
  • Further explorations of “the vision” and how to create it
  • Further discussion on the role of the director as Leader/Visionary
  • Exploration of technical rehearsals (who's really in charge!)
Sunday Day Two - Lighting for Directors (follow on from previous day) and Creative and Production Teams
  • The very basics (only) of lanterns, dimmers, boards and software, presented from the view point of what they do (not how they work)
  • Plotting, why it takes so darn long and what you can do about it
  • The creation of mood through light
  • The implications of color on a scene
  • Lighting as a special effect vs ambiance
  • What not to do!!!! and what not to let your lighting people do
  • Pyrotechnic display
Sunday Programme For Production and Stage Management 101 Workshops

Venue: Westpoint Performing Arts Centre (Auckland Music Theatre) 190 Meola Rd Western Springs, Auckland 1022

  • 9am Tea and coffee and registration
  • 9.30am Production Management 101 Course commences
  • 12.30pm Production Management 101 Course concludes
  • Registration for Stage Management 101 open
  • 1pm Pyrotechnic display - this is open to all course participants - directing, lighting, production and stage management attendees
  • 1.30pm Stage Management 101 Course commences
  • 4.30pm/5pm Stage Management 101 Course concludes
HALF DAY PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT 101 COURSE Sunday 1 June -9am - 12.30pm - Tutor - Ngaire Holmes

This course will look at the role of the Production Manager looking in depth at the requirements the Production Manager during every facet of the show.

  • Aim
  • Pre audition
  • Auditions
  • Pre-show
  • Run of show
  • Post show
  • Pyrotechnic display at 1pm with other course participants
HALF DAY STAGE MANAGEMENT 101 COURSE Sunday 1 June -- 1.30pm - 4.30pm - Tutor - Mark Betty

This afternoon course aims to introduce the role of the Stage Manager and the many and varied skills and requirements (particularly targeted at encouraging new people into role of stage management)

  • Terminology
  • General Stage Management roles - who is in charge of what?
  • Preparation and Planning
  • Communication
  • Rehearsals
  • Pre show
  • Show run
  • Bump in and out (Get In / Out, or Pack In / Out)
  • Pyrotechnic display at 1pm with other course participants - so please arrive early

A Christmas Carol

Book & Lyrics by Chris Blackwood

Music by Piers Chater Robinson

A traditional, vibrant, atmospheric new two-act musical based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens.

From the creator of Peter Pan the Musical, this joyous, new show by Piers Chater Robinson has been brilliantly adapted by Chris Blackwood from the classic novel by Charles Dickens.  With a cavalcade of colourful characters and a ghostly quartet of guardians, A Christmas Carol is the perfect way to get you into the Christmas spirit. Filled with joy, laughter and heartbreaking moments, this new version has something for everyone, both young and old.

11 principal characters, 9 secondary plus many more speaking roles within the ensemble  Available with either 4, 8 or 9 piece orchestration or backing track CD for rehearsal or performance.

Contact Dominie Drama for further information on materials and royalties.

by phone: 02 9938 8600
by email:
by fax: 02 9938 8695

Announcing Sound Workshops – SOUND 101with BOUNCE NZ

These workshops will be run by Bounce NZ in association with MTNZ.  The content will be relevant for those societies with smaller and medium sized venues

Our aim is to get our community theatres in the regions "sound gear savvy"

It will give your local operators and technical teams the tools manage the sound of a production once the "pros" have left

We are looking at starting commencing these in October, probably around the Combined South Island meeting and also one in Nelson for starters - will have more detail on these in May Spotlight.  Register your interest if your society is keen to hold a workshop or want further information with Kate at the MTNZ Office

MTNZ Youth Representative - Daniel Pepperell

Wow! The MTNZ 2014 AGM and Training weekend was a blast! As always, everyone got involved, and it was another highly successful weekend thanks to Kate, and the team from NOS!

Youth participation is getting bigger and stronger every year! We had over 20 "youth" at the Friday forum, and about 30 attend the weekend! Keep up the good work, there is a lot of momentum in this area at the moment.

There was some discussion over the weekend as to what "Youth" is classed as, and by calling ourselves "Youth" are we accidentally excluding the over 20's?

After some discussion it was felt that "Next Gen" would be a more appropriate way to label ourselves!

Introducing the MTNZ Next Gen's! The Future of Musical Theatre!

If you now feel like you are part of the next generation, please make yourselves known to me! Send me an email on

It is a very exciting time for MTNZ, as at the youth forum we spoke about launching Instagram and Twitter. This will be rolled out next month, and feature a different society every month! One youth member from each society will be given the account to look after for the month! Also a great way to spread the load!

Anyway, enough from me! Please, please, please get your youth reps to contact me, and to join the Facebook group!!!! MTNZ Next Gen! Until next time!

M.L. Consultants News Letter

Hi Everyone

Welcome to the first ML Consultants newsletter for the year.

I'm sure you are all aware of the forthcoming changes to the use of radio microphones in New Zealand. We have available a useful pamphlet by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment outlining in detail our obligations regarding the frequency changes that will affect ALL users of radio microphones after March 11th 2015. If you would like a copy please e-mail me with your postal address.

M.L.Consultants in conjunction with Musical Theatre New Zealand is conducting a survey to ascertain within the MTNZ membership the number of microphones currently in use, both those that will be compliant and those not compliant.

We are also asking a number of questions regarding make, model etc. and would ask if you have any further questions or comments to e-mail

Over the next few weeks I will be discussing with the main importers of audio equipment the results of the survey and the prices we can negotiate with them. It is also planned that for every sale made via MTNZ corporate members 5% of the sale price will go to MTNZ.

We will also be able to offer the peripheral equipment ie. aerial splitters, road cases with the same 5% to MTNZ.

Please return the survey form as soon as possible to the above e-mail address.

If you have a connection with a school or church there is no reason why they cannot be involved with this scheme as well.

John MacGibbon

M.L. Consultants

Please contact John directly for a copy of the survey or contact Kate at the MTNZ office to have a survey emailed out to you - thanks.

New Product From John Herber


The LED Price Revolution Begins


Latest News From the Copyright Holders

Over Paid, Over Sexed, and Over Here!

image002.jpgHilarious home front hijinks abound in Devon Williamson's latest hit comedy "Over Paid, Over Sexed, and Over Here!"

The Tauranga based playwrights latest show "Over Paid, Over Sexed, and Over Here" takes a light-hearted look at life in New Zealand during world war two when the Americans invaded New Zealand on their way to fight in the Pacific.

It's mid-1942 and as our men fight overseas a sleepy seaside Kiwi town is about to experience an invasion by the Americans. The arrival of the Yanks brings much needed excitement for the ladies, but for the local lads there are three big problems with the visitors… they're over paid, they're over sexed, and they're over here!  Devon Williamson's new play is a highly entertaining and at times disarmingly poignant observation of life in New Zealand during this iconic period of our history. "Devon's trademark wit and keen sense of the ridiculous are here in abundance", says Detour Theatre's Glen Morris, who plays one of the local lads struggling with being left behind while his mates are all at war. "The play is very, very funny but there's no missing the sense of gravity that lies just beneath the surface. Knowing that people experienced the situations we're acting gives the play an added vitality".

Set in the Mays' family home, behind their struggling dry-cleaning store, the story revolves around the three Mays sisters and their father, a shell-shocked World War One veteran. Enjoying being the local "ladies man", until the Americans arrive and turn everything upside down, is the dimwitted Jack. This self-important air raid protection volunteer is quickly reeling from the impact made by the charismatic usurping American Servicemen. Rounding out the character list is an outrageous former Can-can Dancer from the Moulin Rouge in Hokitika!

The play's premiere season has opened to rave reviews and runs through to mid April; after which it will be released by The Play Bureau for production elsewhere.  With over 50 theatre productions of his plays through New Zealand and Australia, Williamson has established himself as a popular and topical comedy playwright. This year his play "How to Train Your Husband" will premiere in the USA.

Detour Theatre Trust or contact Helen at the Play Bureau play.