Introducing Our New Executive
Written on April 13, 2017
NextGen Representative - James Wright
In the scheme of life, musical theatre is relatively new to James. He joined Napier Operatic Society in 2012 when his brother was asked to audition for ‘Chicago'. Being the competitive person that he is, he decided he could do it as well! And so he did. Since then he has caught what we all know as the musical theatre “bug”. Although having never sung in front of an audience, danced in a serious manner or acted out anything other than the odd “sickie” in high school, James took the chance and ran with it. Now, he can safely say he would never look back.
James went on to involve himself in shows such as ‘Hairspray' where he played Link Larkin not only in Napier but in New Plymouth as well, ‘Mamma Mia', where he played Eddie, ‘The Addams Family', where he played Lucas, ‘Jesus Christ superstar', where he understudied the role of Judas and was given 5 performances, and most recently ‘Mary Poppins', where he played his most challenging yet exciting role to date – Bert!
James has also been in the ensemble for numerous other shows including ‘Phantom of the Opera' and ‘Evita'. James also found his feet backstage as well. You might catch him pushing trucks as part of the stage crew, stage directing the youth theatre shows, running the sound and microphone desk or even helping out in the kitchen for Napier Operatic's dinner theatre. This year, he is looking to his most challenging role yet, and that is to direct Beauty and the Beast for the youth theatre.
James is looking forward to his role as NextGen representative, because he wants to show people that you can grow and build your skills within your own societies because these are skills that you can not only use at the theatre, but skills you can take away and use for life. His goal is to encourage the youth to follow the same path that he did, because our ‘Next-genners' are exactly that; The next generation.
Zone Two Representative – Tracy Holmes
Tracy in a nutshell… Tracy was born in Tuatapere Southland in 1975, Tracy grew up in Southland both in Tuatapere and Otautau as much as she would have liked to be involved with theatre as a child she was unable due to being very ill and spending most of her childhood in and out of Southland and Dunedin Hospital, Tracy had 2 liver transplants in 1986. She does have great recollections of seeing her Mum Ngaire on stage and has particularly good memories seeing both her Mum and Sister Shelley on stage in Oliver in 1985, so it was quite ironic that her first show was Oliver.
Tracy first got involved in theatre officially in 1999 where she was in the chorus for Oliver for Musikmakers Hamilton. Unofficially she was on stage as a hedgehog with a yellow polka dot bow tie at high school at Logan Park High School in Dunedin. Since her first show for Musikmakers she has been involved both on and off stage for many shows as Production Manager, Production Secretary, Props and Wardrobe helper and multiple other tasks wherever she was asked or required. Tracy was also Secretary for the Riverlea Theatre Board for a number of years.
Tracy's first taste of MTNZ was at the Ashburton Conference in 2005 where she was dressed as Gretl as one of the Von Trapp Family singers! She has not missed a conference since. She has been the Zone 2 Administrator for the past 8 years, during this time she has learnt a lot about how MTNZ works and has worked with her Mum Ngaire to grow and progress Zone 2 to the remarkable Zone that it is today J
Zone One Representative – Emma Bishop
Emma was pretty much born into theatre as her mother was rehearsing a show whilst she was pregnant. Emma spent the first 19 years as an active member of both Opera Otago and Dunedin Operatic, with highlights being performing in the 1994 Consortium of Les Mis and 1995 Merry Widow with Dame Malvina Major
Emma attended Otago University as a voice student of Honor McKellar but relocated to Nelson to attend performing arts school as it became apparent that musical theatre was her number one passion. She moved to Auckland in 1998 following a stint as Columbia in Rocky Horror for the Nelson Arts Festival.
Emma trained as a performing arts teacher specialising in Music but then went on to complete her Masters in Dance Education. Emma has spent the last 15years as a full time educator and is currently the President of Drama NZ, the National Subject Association for Drama in Education
Emma has been a member of a number of Zone One societies including PLOC, PTC, MPA, HARLEQUIN and AMT where she has been on the Executive committee for six years having just been the Chairperson for the last three. She was the Consortium Rep for AMT/AMICI on EVITA and MAMMA MIA
Emma has a vast experience in all facets of theatre including performing, directing, choreography, musical direction, vocal coaching, Lighting design, set design, costume design, and marketing having received a total of 27 nominations for AMI now iTicket Showdown awards including winning Best Costumes three times, best Lighting, best sound, best set and best direction. Emma has also received two NAPTA nominations for Costume design.
Emma's passion for Musical Theatre and its importance in education has seen her appointed as the National Co-ordinator for The AMICI Trusts Junior Theatre NZ, which promotes and develops the use of Junior theatre and the Broadway Junior product in NZ.
Emma is currently freelancing - working on such projects as Producing and Directing Ugly Shakespeare, producing the first every Junior Theatre Celebration Day and Associate Producing events for the Auckland City Council.