Celebrating Austria’s national day with Elena

October 26th is Austria’s national holiday – we thought we’d celebrate with our intern Elena as she is so far from home. Here is her latest blog entry about life at The PumpHouse.

austria-national-day-morning-tea

James, Mags, Elena and Julia share in some “Kaffee und Kuchen’”. Gill is off-camera taking the photo.

I thought about giving a little update on my life as an intern at The PumpHouse.

Coming originally from Austria, Wednesday was one of the most important days for our country – Austria’s National Day!

Feeling really odd not celebrating this huge day in my home country, my lovely colleagues set up afternoon tea with typical cake from Austria- ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ as we say in Austria.

The 26th of October is the most important feast day in my home country and nobody has to go to work or school. There are also various events taking place, such as ‘open house’ in Parliament and office of our President and free entry in almost every museum. Many people also use the day off to get out of the city and travel to one of our beautiful lakes to do picnics or hikes.

While my fellow Austrians are now beginning to wrap up in thick autumn wear, I’m enjoying the weather becoming warmer and warmer while exploring the beautiful places New Zealand has to offer on the weekends and getting to have a close look on the theatre life during the weekdays.

Since my last blog entry I’ve been dealing with a few more tasks including writing a how-to guide streamlining my box office procedures, which I really enjoy doing! Passing on the knowledge I got during my first month of work is not just a good way to improve my written English, but also a good chance to keep record for myself of what I’ve already learned.

I’m also becoming more confident in answering phone calls and even got used in operating the ticketing software.

We’re now open on Saturday! (morning)

From now until Christmas we’re trialing having the box office open on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.

Experienced box office staff member Mags Delaney will be holding down the fort every Saturday morning.  She can help with bookings, ticket transfers or any other queries you have about upcoming shows either in person or on the phone.

Traditionally the box office has been open on week days when the office staff are here – and one hour before each show – but we’ve never been sure how many calls and visits we’re missing on Saturday mornings.

If we can see there is a demand we hope to make Saturday morning hours a permanent addition to our opening hours in the new year.

Labour Weekend Hours

We’re all taking a hard-earned break on Monday, so the office will be closed.

The box office will be open at 6:00 pm Monday for last minute tickets to Rhythm of Chinese Guzheng, and of course you can grab door sales for the last few shows of The Pink Hammer on Saturday and Sunday.

Have a great long weekend

James

 

Welcome to Elena

We’re really happy to welcome Elena to our team for the next few months.  Elena is interning with us as part of a programme run by New Zealand Internships.

As well as helping us with box office and ticketing during the day, Elena will be working on projects to document and streamline our box office procedures and working on some of our community activities, include the Christmas Carols in the Amphitheatre (its on Sunday, 18th December – save the date!).

We asked Elena to put together a short blog about her experiences so far:

Hi there, my name is Elena and I’m going to be an international intern at the PumpHouse Theatre for the next three months.

Having graduated this summer, it was clear to me that I wanted to go abroad and learn about something that I am genuinely interested in  theatre. So that’s basically the story of how I flew to the other side of the world (originally I am from Austria) and ended up being here.

Among my daily tasks are taking care of the Box Office, which also means operating the ticketing software, and answering incoming phone calls.

Currently I am still in the settling-in period, getting used to everything and being really thankful for all my helping hands, being really patient with me and explaining everything even for the 398th time when needed.

Getting creative at The PumpHouse Theatre

One of our big goals for the future at The PumpHouse Theatre is to be somewhere you can come and take part.  A place to learn about the performing arts and get involved as well as a place to come and watch.

So we’re thrilled to have two experienced artists and teachers joining us over the next couple of months to run the first in a series of workshops and classes.

Paul Willis

Paul Willis

Take your acting from good to great

Paul Willis is not just an experienced stage and screen actor, he is also a highly regarded educator with years of experience in coaching and teaching, including many years as HOD Drama at Birkenhead College.

A seasoned Shakespearean actor, most recently Paul has appeared at The Pop-Up Globe, in Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew Aguecheek) and Romeo & Juliet (Peter).

Paul is the tutor for Acting Coaching for Adultsan eight week course for actors who would like to fine-tune their skills.

The course will run on Saturday mornings (10.00 am – 12.00 noon) from 15 October until 26 November, with an evening performance on Saturday, 3 December to showcase your new skills.  The course is suitable for all experience levels.

Gary Henderson

Gary Henderson

Putting pen to paper

Gary Henderson returns to The PumpHouse on Monday, 12 September with a second Learn Writing for Theatre course.

This is an eight-week course that will introduce the essential skills of writing for theatre and is designed for the beginner who has always wanted to have a go at writing a play, but isn’t sure where to start.  The course is held on Monday nights from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm.

At the end of the course you’ll have an original script for a ten-minute play which will be performed before an audience of friends anf family on The PumpHouse Theatre stage in November 2016.

We’ve only got a few spaces left, so if this sounds like you – get in quick.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn about and would be interested in a class or workshop?  Get in touch and let us know.

Featured image courtesy of The Pop Up Globle

National Poetry Day – a poem for you

Seeing as it’s National Poetry Day and we’re in the business of art and words, The PumpHouse’s own Julia Pointon put together a charming little poem about the upcoming events here at the theatre for your reading pleasure – enjoy.

On Friday it’s National Poetry Day,
So you’d better write a poem, they say.
Oh, okay…
The PumpHouse, The PumpHouse oh where to begin?
There’s so much to say, so much to fit in.
Right now you can enjoy the North Shore Gang Show,
With shipwrecks and pirates and some ‘Yo ho ho’!
A quick interlude brings us Chariots of Fire,
An event with The Lake House, some funds to acquire.
Then there’s Rawiri Paratene with Kōrero pūrākau,
Māori legends for families and school children – Wow!
Cohen Meets Beethoven, then Tim Bray hits the stage,
With A Lion in the Meadow for kids of each age.
In the Coalbunker Studio The Dumb Waiter plays,
And Tadpole Productions’ Pink Hammer will amaze.
We have Fire on the River – the great fire of London,
Then Hair, and they’re bare, yes their clothing is undone!
i-Start share A story of a Poet,
It’ll soon be Christmas but you’d hardly know it.
But suddenly there’s The Santa Claus Show,
And Carols in the Amphitheatre, a warm Christmas glow.
Four packed months ‘til the end of the year,
So much to see and so much to hear.
That’s it, I’m done, there’s no more to say,
Except enjoy NZ National Poetry Day!

By Julia Pointon, with a little assistance from a good Kiwi Sauv Blanc

Behind the scenes of arts funding at The PumpHouse AGM.

Thanks to everyone who made it along to the North Shore Theatre and Arts Trust annual general meeting last night.

It was great to catch up with Friends of The PumpHouse members, hirers, funders and members of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board too.

We’re thrilled so many people take an interest in what we’re doing to keep The PumpHouse Theatre thriving.

agm1Guest speaker Andrew Caisley, Board member of Creative New Zealand, gave the audience an overview of CNZ’s history, activities and some of the challenges that come with Government funding for the arts.

While we knew lottery sales contributed to arts funding, we didn’t realise this extended to prize money!  The more first division lotto winners, the less arts funding there is for the following year.

Funding arts and community services from gambling proceeds is a moral dilemma for many grass roots community organisations. We’ll be interested to see the recommendations of the review of gambling regulations currently being undertaken by the Department of Internal Affairs.

In the theatre the North Shore’s Scout and Guides are hard at work building an impressive-looking set for A Raft of Good Tales, opening next Thursday.

If you’ve never seen a Gang Show before its quite an experience.  For some of the young people involved its the spark of a life-long love of performing, for others, it will be their only time on stage.

Grab some kids and come along for a family-friendly variety show of comedy and music with a nautical theme.

Music, murder and your last chance to catch Agatha Christie

Shoreside Theatre’s almost-sold-out season of The Hollow closes on Saturday night.

At time of writing there were only 50 seats left across the last three performances.  Luckily most of those are for the matinee at 2:00 pm on Saturday when there will be a free post-show Q&A with Carol Dumbleton, the show’s director.  Agatha Christie was a regular visitor to Carol’s parent’s guest house in Devon so she’s sure to have some interesting stories to share.

If you aren’t coming to the show first, the Q&A will start around 4:45 pm and is open to all.

The popular North Shore Concert Band are in the house on Sunday with their annual PumpHouse Concert – this time its Hollywood vs Broadway with music from An American in Paris, The Sound of Music, Chess, James Bond and more.

Their concerts usually sell out, but we’ve still got a few tickets left if you haven’t got yours yet.

From Wednesday night, Rangitoto College senior drama students tackle one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays – Titus Andronicus.  There are only three performances, so don’t miss out on the chance to see this rarely-performed play on the PumpHouse stage.

Behind the scenes we’ve taken delivery of 50 padded chairs and given them a professional clean and polish – these will provide much needed comfort in the in the Coal Bunker Studio, just in time for The Dumb Waiter in September.

Sell-out shows for The Hollow, and your chance to audition for Shakespeare in the Park

Past Shows web bannerShoreside Theatre’s production of The Hollow by Agatha Christie opened last night to a packed house.  The two Saturday night performances are almost sold out, so don’t miss out.

Shoreside Theatre are also here on Monday and Tuesday evening next week holding auditions for the ever-popular Shakespeare in the Park season.  Next year’s season will be their 21st in The PumpHouse Amphitheatre so its sure to be a special event.

If you’ve always liked the idea of taking part, pop along and register – they always have extras as well as the leads.  See the Facebook Page for the event for more details.

What does “Restricted View” mean?

large-620x413With only a few seats left to Tim Bray Productions season of Badjelly the Witch, we are getting a few calls about the Restricted View Seats.

These are seats in the balcony areas where the view for smaller children (and even some adults) can be restricted by the safety rail. Generally we’d only recommend these seats for older children (6+)

To get an idea of what the view might be like have a look at the example photos on the Where To Sit page.

Planning for our 40th anniversary celebrations

The PumpHouse Theatre 40th Anniversary Planning Meeting

The PumpHouse Theatre 40th Anniversary Planning Meeting

We were thrilled at the turn out on Monday, 20 June from those who have stories to share about the history of The PumpHouse.

Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the theatre’s opening and we’re busily collecting photos, newspaper clippings, newsletters and memories from anyone with something to share.

At today’s meeting we heard about shovelling coal and selling it to fund the restoration, and the much-loved PumpHouse picnics. Some of the stars of the first ever music stage at The PumpHouse, Electra, were on hand to reminisce.

It was great to see so many familiar faces all keen to share and get involved.

As we get closer to our anniversary date on 18th and 19th May 2017 we hope to publish a book of photos and memories and create a short video of interviews.

Do you have something to share? Give Julia a call on 09 486 2386 or email julia@pumphouse.co.nz.

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