AUDITIONS: EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour


Young and Hungry is looking for four up-and-coming professional actors for the 2018 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, A COUNTRY OF TWO HALVES.

Directed by Patrick Davies, A COUNTRY OF TWO HALVES features features scenes exploring the wide range of conflicting and opposing opinions, ethnicities, politics, social levels and ages of the wonderful characters who populate NZ playwrights’ plays.  A COUNTRY OF TWO HALVES can open discussion about the misunderstandings that keep us divided and what brings us together.

We are looking for four actors with just as wide a range of diversities to bring this to life. You will be open, talented (whether from training or experience), able to hold a tune (if not sing brilliantly), able to bring your own style of physical exuberance to the production. Be strong in your own opinion but also able to create a safe and supportive team spirit.

See The Big Idea for details and how to apply. 

Young and Hungry announces 2018 EnsembleImpact Schools Tour


A COUNTRY OF TWO HALVES will present extracts from NZ plays that help us understand how the ‘other half’ live: whether haves and have nots, rural and city, privileged and un-empowered, mainland and Northland. A COUNTRY OF TWO HALVES can open discussion about the misunderstandings that keep us divided and what brings us together.

The EnsembleImpact Schools Tour presents a 50 minute bare bones programme of quality NZ theatre that comes direct to your drama room or auditorium. The extracts will include at least two playwrights on the NZQA prescribed list and the performance will be supported by extensive educational resources and a video for later study.

Touring 14 May – 6 July 2018. Tour information and bookings

Young and Hungry is pleased to announce that Patrick Davies will direct A COUNTRY OF TWO HALVES.

I’m thrilled to be directing for EnsembleImpact! It’s an exciting opportunity to rake through the rich history of New Zealand playwrights in presenting polarised aspects of our culture.


“EnsembleImpact allows students and teachers to cross reference themes across differing plays, creating contrasts that are springboards for discussion, not only in drama, but also in social studies, history and culture. These excerpts also provide students with examples of the theatre world in relation to the world they live in.”

With an international background in improvisation, acting, and teaching, Patrick came to Wellington in 2006 to begin his Masters in Theatre Arts (Directing) at Toi Whakaari/Victoria University of Wellington. He has worked with Auckland, Northland and Otago Youth Theatres and has taught Directing and Shakespeare Performance at the National Youth Drama School. Most recently he directed Atilla the Hun for Young & Hungry and he currently works for the New Zealand Festival as the Education and Community Coordinator.


Casting for the EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour is complete!

Director Kerryn Palmer says “We had a great time at auditions in Wellington and Auckland. It was really challenging to choose four people from such a strong group of auditionees.”

The team start rehearsals in April with the tour beginning 8th May. There are still a few school performance times available. See our booking page for more details about the tour or email Clare Kerrison.

Simon Paenga, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungrySimon PAENGA
Gisborne born Simon Paenga began pursuing his passion for performing at Lytton High School. His array of accolades in singing, acting and dancing, led him to study at NASDA in Christchurch, where he graduated with a degree in Performing Arts, majoring in Musical Theatre. Since then he has appeared in Musicals both here and in Australia, and recently completed his third year of the National Tour with Duffy Theatre.

Hannah Kelly, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungryHannah KELLY
Hannah went to Wanganui High School, has a BA (Hons) majoring in Theatre & Film from Victoria University and attended The John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne. She is a regular performer with Wellington’s Patacake Productions and won Best Actress in the 2015 Short + Sweet Festival for the play Last Meals. Hannah plans to take her solo clown show to Melbourne Fringe later this year!

Lee Ah Yen Faatoia, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungryLee ah yen FAATOIA
Of Samoan, Chinese and German descent, Lee went to Mangere College in Auckland and studied acting in Australia with AAA Sydney acting school.  He’s spent most of his acting life since 2011 on camera. He most recently studied with “Kacie Stetson Studio- Acting from the core” (Auckland). Lee plays drums and is also a martial artist. 

Hilary Penwarden, Outliers, 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour, Young and HungryHilary PENWARDEN
Hilary attended Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth and has her honours degree majoring in theatre at Victoria University. She is now an actor and director in Wellington and a member of the multi-award winning theatre company, The Bacchanals. In 2015, she participated in the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand’s Emerging Theatre Practitioner Programme at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. 

Kerryn Palmer confirmed as Director for OUTLIERS

kerryn-palmerYoung and Hungry Arts Trust are thrilled that Kerryn Palmer has agreed to direct, OUTLIERS, the 2017 EnsembleImpact National Schools Tour. Kerryn directed the 2014 tour, Asian Invasion, which was described by one teacher as ‘the high-water mark’ of EnsembleImpact’s repertoire.

Tour information and bookings.

I am really excited to be directing another Ensemble Impact production.

Asian Invasion 2014 was a highlight for me, working with a fabulous and diverse cast and a real smorgasbord of dynamic NZ texts.

Outliers 2017 presents another challenging and exciting theme that I am looking forward to embracing with an energetic new cast.  The theme is one close to my heart. Growing up in a small rural town and not really finding my own “tribe” of people until my 20’s, I  am aware of what it is to think a little differently from the status quo.

We are currently pouring over several NZ scripts in order to find the right balance of extracts that will speak to young people in an exciting and engaging way about being proud of who they are regardless of their beliefs, behaviors, thoughts and abilities.

About Kerryn Palmer

In 2003 Kerryn completed her MTA in directing at Toi Whakaari-New Zealand Drama School and Victoria University Wellington (VUW), graduating with distinction.

Kerryn regularly directs at Capital E National Theatre for ChildrenBATS Theatre and Circa Theatre. She has also created several immersive site-specific/generic works. (Pandemic, Sniper, Adrift, My Shout- Another Round At The Thistle Inn)

She has directed many touring shows that travel around New Zealand, most recently Capital E’s Kiwi Moon. and Ensemble Impact’s Asian Invasion.  Kerryn is passionate about new New Zealand plays and has directed several debut performances, four of which have either won or been nominated for Chapman Tripp new play or best new playwright awards.

Kerryn is currently a teaching fellow in the Theatre Department at Victoria University and is working on a PhD in Theatre for Young Audiences.

New Staff: Clare Kerrison

Clare Kerrison profileWe have welcomed Clare Kerrison into the Young and Hungry office. As Programme Administrator, Clare will be working on Young and Hungry’s new programme – the EnsembleImpact national tour. She has started at a run and it is great to have her expertise helping to get EnsembleImpact well established into Young and Hungry.

Clare has recently returned from the UK where she was administrator for an arts consulting firm and ran her own improv school. Before leaving NZ she was Business Manager for BATS Theatre in Wellington. In her younger days as an actor she performed in a five month tour of ‘Animal Farm’ to schools in Bavaria, Germany.