Play of the Month: The Many Faces of Kelly J Loko, by Stephen Bain

We plucked another play out of the hat to celebrate Y&H  plays, and drew The Many Faces of Kelly J Ioko by Stephen Bain.  Directed by Paul McLaughlin, the play premiered at our 2005 festival at Bats theatre.  The Wellingtonista wrote at the time that the play caught the eye, seeming to ‘strike a chord, deep down somewhere, for some reason’ (NoizyBoy, 2005). Themes about the virtual realm vs the physical and a search for genuine connections become increasingly relevant to us all in the digital age. 

Blurb:

Kelly J Loko expects more of life than what she is currently lumped with. She invents three chat room personalities who dare to do what she as a plain 14-year-old cannot. However, it is when she tries to turn her virtual world into reality that the trouble really begins. People are not always what they seem to be, and those closest to her turn out to be the biggest challenge to this realisation. Eventually, it is in the most unlikely places that Kelly J Loko learns what it is to trust someone and how to embody the person she really is inside. Everybody can claim to own a little bit of Kelly J Loko.

About the Playwright:

Stephen is a Toi Whakaari graduate who also studied in France and was an artist in residence twice at Massey University. In 2014 he completed a  sponsored Artist residency at Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan. 

He acts extensively for theatre and television and has written and directed many shows for both the Wellington and world stage. He is co-founder of Under Lili’s Balcony Theatre Company who created choreographic theatre pieces from 1996 to 2002, gaining a reputation for innovation and visually adventurous theatre. 

Stephen has worked in video, creating performance pieces under the guise of Digital Cabaret. He has also produced a music videos, a dance-theatre video, and a multimedia piece for the City Gallery Wellington Cinema (2004, Turbulent Flux). As a musician, he has written and recorded music for many theatrical productions.  

Recent installation work includes  This Means You  (Taipei Artists Village 2014), and They come from far away ( Finland and Te Uru, Auckland 2016). See more of his extensive, innovative work at  stephenbain.co.nz.

Feeling inspired to create your own work? Check out our devising theatre workshop on this weekend here.

Play of the month : Yolk, by Arthur Meek

We’ve picked our first play out of the hat for Play of the Month Our monthly feature will celebrate one of the 75 plays  we’ve commissioned since 1994. Today we picked ‘Yolk’ by Arthur Meek, which premiered at Bats Theatre for our 2008 season:

Blurb:

Ever pondered what choices you may have made differently had you been aware of their outcome?

Every person is bound to choice-making. Some choices are insignificant while others take on unexpected monumental importance. For some, making imperative judgments doesn’t start till we are adults, for others, making decisions begins early on. 

Flip Porter is a high-school girl, living a ‘normal’ life, until it is flipped upside down when her mother falls ill. Her embryo of a world is in jeopardy and as events culminate into a single night of choices, her life irrevocably takes on a different shape.

From the mind of Lonesome Buckwhips affiliate Arthur Meek (The Hollow Men, On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover) and directed by Celia Nicholson Yolk is a tender comedy about relationships, choices and…sex in a tent!

About the Playwright:

Arthur Meek is a graduate of Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School and The University of Otago. Since Arthur’s first play Mando The Goat Herd was read at the 2003 Playmarket New Zealand Playwright’s Conference, he has written a steady stream of work for stage, screen and radio.

His 2008 show On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover took the country by storm, playing to packed houses, garnering best production of the year nominations and picking up awards throughout the country. Arthur’s musical comedy band The Lonesome Buckwhips were Billy T Nominees and Arthur was chief writer on Live at the Gold Guitars, the four-part series they recorded for Radio New Zealand.

Other work includes the Young and Hungry commissioned work Yolk (2008), the short film Being John Campbell (2002), which won awards around the country, as did Laughtrack: The Benjamin Docker Story (2003). Return of the Lonesome Buckwhips (2007) was awarded Best Comedy at the NZ International Fringe Festival, while his play The Cottage (2006) saw him lauded as the Best Newcomer the previous year. His 2006 short film Rangimoana’s Magical Murder Mystery still plays on the Rialto channel. In 2008 he was commissioned to write Collapsing Creation. Following a successful premiere in Christchurch in February, it was staged at the Nelson Festival of the Arts in the lead-up to its four-week season at Downstage as part of the worldwide celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

Arthur’s plays featured in our first Y&H tour in 2016- Power Plays. 

Stay tuned for our next feature!

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.

Taika Waititi is new patron

The Young and Hungry Arts Trust is delighted to have film director, writer, painter, comedian and actor Taika Waititi join Dame Kate Harcourt as one of its Patrons.

Young and Hungry is New Zealand’s leading youth focused arts organization, providing mentorship and development opportunities for young people in all facets of professional theatre, including: playwriting, acting, stage management, costumes, set design, lighting, sound design and publicity.

“It’s a great honour to be invited to be a Patron of Young and Hungry. Back in the old days I kind of got my start doing Young and Hungry stuff. Now that I’m no longer young, or hungry, I’m really happy to be able to support them and the next generation of New Zealand’s theatrical talent.”

Taika acted in the 1995 Festival of New Theatre, taking a role in Dave Armstrong’s Fast Food. That year Taika was one of nearly 40 young people learning the theatre ropes in the Festival, along side Loren Horsley, Pip Hall, Nigel Collins and Jackie van Beek, all who are now working professionally in the arts.

“Taika’s a remarkable talent, and it’s wonderful that Young and Hungry is part of his amazing journey to becoming one of New Zealand’s most exciting talents,” says Young and Hungry’s Chair, Sandy Gildea.

Young and Hungry celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014 and would love to hear from its 1,000 plus alumni to find out where you are and what you’re doing. Perhaps you’ve got some skills you could share with us, or perhaps you’d like to be involved in a reunion next year.