What we mean by Theatre

Theatre includes both classical and contemporary theatre and all genres such as comedy, drama, physical theatre, devised theatre, street theatre, musical theatre, circus, puppetry, mask and theatre for children.

It includes customary and contemporary practices of all the peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand, including Māori and Pasifika peoples and the diverse cultures of people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand today.

Track record requirements

For a theatre practitioner, success means having undertaken a key creative role in at least one theatre production that achieved a degree of critical or box-office success. This does not include presentations made as part of a course of study.

Theatre activities we support

We fund a range of activities, for example:

Developing or presenting work

  • Writing a play script.
  • Rehearsing and presenting New Zealand theatre works to New Zealand audiences.
  • Workshops, wānanga or fono to develop a production concept.
  • Devising theatre productions.
  • Touring a theatre production within New Zealand.
  • Creating theatre productions using digital and/or film-based skills and technologies.

Developing skills and audiences

  • Mentoring and internship programmes
  • Residencies for established theatre practitioners in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Workshops, wānanga, fono, forums, masterclasses, seminars and other opportunities for creative and professional development for New Zealand producers, directors, playwrights, actors, theatre designers and technicians.
  • Initiatives for audience development, i.e. engaging with audiences to maintain an existing audience and/or develop a new audience.

Projects with international connections

  • International opportunities for creative or professional development for an established New Zealand director, playwright, producer, actor, theatre designer or technician.
  • International touring of a New Zealand theatre production.
  • Visits by international theatre practitioners that will directly benefit New Zealand theatre.

Other theatre projects

  • Community arts projects that focus on professional theatre artists and practitioners working with communities, or that have regional or national significance.
  • Researching, writing and publishing critical writing about New Zealand theatre.
  • Documentary projects that focus on New Zealand theatre or a theatre practitioner or organisation.
  • Developing theatre-related websites.

International production costs not supported

We do not fund production costs for presenting New Zealand theatre by an international company for an international audience.