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Who we are

In 2010, under the umbrella of Pou Mahi a Iwi, Cultural Work Centre Trust,  we decided to set up a Community-based Theatre Group called Kiwi Possum Productions, to explore local issues, provide theatre-making opportunities and training for local actors, and establish a Community-based theatre culture within the region.

The first project Poison and Purity portrayed all sides of the 1080 debate in a theatre production which actively involved audiences in discussion of the issue. Since then we have produced plays on the Pike River disaster (Goodnight, Irene), race relations in Greymouth/Mawhera (The Cave Above the Pa/Te Ana I Runga I Te Pa), the Spring Creek Mine closure (The Judgement of Ben Alder, a children’s play (Stepping Stones, a play to commemorate the Waihi Strike, and a heritage play (Ted, Poppy and World War 11). We have also held workshops and professional development sessions for teachers. Usually we produce a new play each year, premiered in Greymouth/Mawhera, which tours early the following year.

The group:

Paul Maunder has wide experience in NZ theatre, including group theatre, professional theatre and Community-based theatre. He recently completed his PhD thesis on Community-based theatre in NZ, has studied in Australia and London, and has received awards enabling research visits to Africa, the UK and Poland.

Caroline Selwood has worked in Community-based theatre in the1990s and more recently appeared in Rain, Love and Coal Smoke, the performance mounted for the ’08 Blackball Commemorations.

Heather Fletcher trained and worked professionally in Small Scale Touring Theatre in the UK, including specialized theatre projects for children with physical and intellectual disabilities and taking theatre to rural areas. She is an accomplished vocalist and violinist. She is currently a registered music therapist working in mental health in Greymouth.

Jason Johnson has a BA in Theatre and Film from Victoria University and  has ‘played’ in a range of dramatic contexts including Theatre in Education, ‘Fringe Theatre’, oversize puppetry, local musicals, theatre sports and other amateur theatre productions around the country. He recently worked professionally for ‘Kapital Kids Theatre’ (KKT) in Wellington and now works with students for Special Education in Greymouth.

Prue Bowen is a writer who lives in Kumara; Corrina Gestro-Best is CEO of Westreap and Freya Johnson a Year 12 student at John Paul 11.

Frank Wells is a care worker and Elisa Wells works in mental health.

Francis Darwin used to be an electrical engineer and now reads meters, amongst other activities.

Mikaere Hanna (Ngati Tu Wharetoa and Tuhoe) is a driver, and our newest member, Stasha-Lee Beukes, is a Grey High student.

Paul Kearns, an education worker, helps us with design and lighting. Shona Preston and Mike Huston help with lights and set building.

On tour in Motueka. Photo: Jane Wells

One Comment
  1. gus permalink

    hey you guys, I’d like to send you an invite to the Hamilton Fringe festival.
    Could you email me?

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