Perform at The PumpHouse Theatre in 2023

Our theatre booking calendar is now open for performances at The PumpHouse Theatre in 2023!

From Shakespeare to musicals, classical concerts to rock bands, we’re accepting expressions of interest from anyone interested in performing at The PumpHouse next year.

With three performance spaces to choose from, and experts on hand to help with marketing and promotion, technical assistance, and health and safety, we are here to support everyone with a story to share.

For more information and to book your show, visit https://pumphouse.co.nz/2023booking/

Recap: Shakespeare in a Week!

During the school holidays, we hosted our third Shakespeare in a Week workshop for ages 12 – 18. These workshops are proving to be very popular, and the progress seen in the workshop attendee’s on-stage skills is incredible and inspiring.

Tutor and Shakespeare nut, Mags Delaney-Moffatt spent the week focusing on The ‘Scottish Play’ – Macbeth. With so many returning students, Mags decided on this famous play to give them all more of a challenge as Macbeth is wordier than previous productions they have been part of.

The group of 15 talented actors, with Mags guiding them, created an amazing performance under the lights of The Genevieve Becroft Auditorium.

 

“I was blown away by the talent on display yet again,” said facilitator Mags Delaney-Moffatt, “The group had only four and a half days with scripts but the standard of performances they produced far exceeded some adult actors who usually have longer rehearsal periods. It just goes to show how inspiring Shakespeare still is.”

If you know any young, aspiring actors who would benefit from this 5-day workshop, keep an eye out for the next Shakespeare in a Week workshop dates which will be announced on our Facebook page or via our email newsletters.

More photos here:

 

Our New Courtyard Canopy!

Last week we celebrated our brand-spankin’ new courtyard canopy at The PumpHouse Theatre with the official opening ceremony.

The idea for a canopy came to life many years ago and was commissioned in 2017 to celebrate 40 years of theatre at The PumpHouse.

The canopy covers the area between the theatre, amphitheatre, and café buildings, and will provide shelter from Aotearoa’s classic ‘four seasons in one day’ weather for people attending the theatre.

Just under $75,000 was raised for the project with significant contributions from Genevieve Becroft and the Becroft Foundation, and from Milford local and PumpHouse Trust Board member, Peter Baird, plus nearly 1,000 generous supporters who contributed smaller sums by adding a couple of extra dollars when they bought a ticket.

The PumpHouse worked with local North Shore businesses including Shade Systems, Dave Pearson Architects, Brite Sparx Electrical, and Landscape Creations.

We welcome you to come down and check out the courtyard canopy anytime, day or night!

A Day In The Life Of Our PumpHouse Staff – Mark Wilson

Mark is our brilliant, multi-tasking Venue Operations Coordinator. His intelligence, wit, and natural handyman skills along with his passion for the Performing Arts is a massive asset to our PumpHouse whānau!

Read more about the remarkable Mark below.

Tell us five random facts about yourself!

  1. I am an only child.
  2. I am allergic to meat.
  3. The most famous person I have met is Jackie Chan.
  4. I like to play guitar and sing sometimes when no one is watching.
  5. I have never been to the South Island… yet!

How did you come to work at The PumpHouse Theatre?

I have always wanted to work at a theatre. Theatre and The PumpHouse have always been a big part of my life. I asked if there were any jobs going, and to my fortune, there was one!

What did you study and has it helped you in the role?

I studied Software Engineering. There is an incredible amount of crossover between coding and operations in a theatre! Lighting uses a lot of machine code as does sound. Gardening and maintenance not so much 😄

When did you start getting involved in the Performing Arts?

The first show I ever did was a school musical for Bayview Primary School called ‘Antics’. It was a musical about ants looking for food for their queen. I scored the role of mould number 1. Some of the best performing I have ever done.

What do you like about working here?

There are many reasons to love working here, but the number one reason: the team. Every day is filled with laughter, happiness and support. I am really blessed to be working with these people.

Do you have a favourite memory/memories of The PumpHouse?

My first paid gig as a solo musician was at The PumpHouse. The PumpHouse hired me to play music for the opening night of a show called Ship Songs. One of the best plays I have seen to date!

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in your job recently?

Any job I have to do in the catwalk/roof of the PumpHouse is the coolest thing I will do. Seeing all the old wood and structure paints a wonderful picture of just how old this building is.

What time do you wake up in the mornings?

7:00 am, to promptly slap my phone’s sleep button.

What do you do behind the scenes that people don’t know?

Most of my job is behind the scenes. Lots of maintenance, a sprinkling of meeting with hirers and understanding their needs and a dash of health and safety to make sure no one gets hurt (It is a lot of health and safety but I had a theme going)

What do you get up to after hours?

I like to digest a lot of TV and Cinema with my partner, snuggle with my bunny, Cous Cous and play DnD with my friends!

What do you get up to on your lunch breaks?

Think about how I forgot to bring lunch.

What’s your all-time favourite show?

Used to be Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead… but I think the new favourite is Mosquitoes.

13 Ways To Get Your Creative Fix (When So Many Things Are Cancelled!)

 

1. Attend our Creative Talk with Terry Hooper next Monday 7 March at 7 pm! Creative Talks are free, and you will get to hear the expertise and passions of theatre practitioner, Terry Hooper, and all about his life in the arts. RSVP on our website is required.

2. Head to your local library and grab a few plays to read. Or if reading isn’t your vibe – you can always rent movies from your library!

3. Watch plays online! The National Theatre is a great place to start streaming incredible plays.

4. Have a picnic outside The PumpHouse Theatre (the MOST serene spot!) and bring a camera along to snap some beautiful shots. Post them on social media and tag us – @thepumphousetheatre (Instagram) @thepumphouse (Facebook).

5. Go for a walk in nature! Invigorate your creative mind and explore nature around you. Try to do some ‘Forest Bathing’. Find different types of objects (smooth, rough, prickly, big, small, etc) or look for something with the same characteristic (like various rocks). You could even collect things to do some crafts with!

 

6. Redecorate a room – a lot of us are having to spend more time at home, and it is amazing what a bit of a refresh can do for the mind. Op shops and Kmart have brilliant, affordable things to zhuzh up your home and get creative!

7. Indulge in a dance party! This is always a hit, especially with kids. Put on some of your favourite tunes, and get the body moving. The best thing about doing it at home, is usually no one is watching 😉

8. Write a script or a novel! We all have stories to tell.

9. Make a short film – most of us have pretty decent cameras on our phones these days. And if you’re particularly proud of it – upload it to YouTube… you never know who may see it!

10. Experience a night of paranormal activity at The PumpHouse with Haunted Auckland! Find out more here.

11. Enjoy the beautiful music of Beethoven & Schubert with Orchestra Auckland & Xing Wang at St George’s Church, Takapuna at the end of March. More info here.

12. Learn Te Reo Māori online – a quick google search will bring up a lot of helpful websites to start you on your journey to learn this beautiful language. Check out this brilliant resource list from The Spinoff here.

13. Keep engaged with your local theatres – even though so much is getting cancelled and postponed, we ARE still here and we WILL prevail through these tough times. Theatre will not die.

Nostalgia takes over at our first PumpHouse Memories Group!

Theatre, at its heart, is the people who make it happen. And we were incredibly lucky on Monday to be joined by some of the very people who were part of the driving force that made our gorgeous theatre what it is today. The PumpHouse Theatre has thrived as a community arts hub since the late ’70s – and despite the times we are in, this fierce wee theatre shows no signs of stopping. And that is because of the people – our wonderful community.

Our first PumpHouse Memories Group was held on Valentines Day, and it sure was a day of love and nostalgia shared by a variety of people who have a deep connection to The PumpHouse.

It was lovely to hear stories of the get togethers and social occasions which were fundraisers to support the initial restoration of the building.

Katherine Mason, the great, great granddaughter of James Mays who actually built the original pumphouse buildings in the 1880’s, came along with a portrait of the man himself and some new historical documents for us to add to the archive. She was delighted to meet Tessa Duder, as the Duder family along with the Alison and Mays families were important in the early days of Devonport and Takapuna.

It was great to see Genevieve Becroft, one of the original trust members and Lynette Jolicouer, who was on the Art Gallery steering committee – two PumpHouse tāngata taonga.

If you would like to attend our next Memories Group, keep an eye on our email newsletters and Facebook page for the next date to be announced.

Red Light at The PumpHouse Theatre

 

We have many exciting shows and events scheduled at The PumpHouse in 2022. We are taking care to ensure we are still able to operate under the Alert Level Red restrictions.

What does this mean if you are coming to see a show at Red?

  • We have capped audience numbers at 100
  • Social distancing will be implemented in the theatre
  • All audience and staff/performers must be fully vaccinated
  • Masks must be worn by the audience and staff
  • The theatre is cleaned thoroughly before and after the shows

Please don’t come to a show if you are sick or if you are waiting for a test result.

If you need to change or cancel your booking or have questions please email info@pumphouse.co.nz

We are closely monitoring the ever-changing situation and we are doing our utmost to make sure your experience at our theatre is a safe and enjoyable one!

Why we are a Vaccine Only Venue

Our theatre, like many others around the world, got into a pretty dire position when Covid hit our shores. The entertainment industry is one of the first to close its doors when a lockdown hits, and one of the last to be able to open back up. Theatres thrive off groups of people gathering together to have the shared experience of the magic of storytelling.

The PumpHouse Theatre prides itself on being a safe, healthy venue for visitors. We are over the moon that we are able to open our doors once again, but the only way we can remain open and operational for the foreseeable future is by following the Government’s Covid-19 Protection Framework guidelines as a “vaccine only” venue. It simply wouldn’t be economically possible to hold events with the restrictions placed on events where unvaccinated people may attend.

We acknowledge that there are many differing opinions on this subject, however, we are happy with our decision to keep the community safe in our space. We thank you for your understanding!

We’ll follow Government guidelines as they change, and look forward to entertaining our wonderful community with a wide variety of shows and events in 2022!

A Shakespearean Summer!

Summer means Shakespeare at The PumpHouse Theatre, with the annual Holiday Drama Programme: Shakespeare in a Week! And the ever-popular Auckland Shakespeare in the Park performed in the Outdoor Amphitheatre.

We are suckers for a good ol’ story from the Bard, so we are excited that the young thespians in next week’s holiday programme will be studying one of his most famous plays (and one of the last plays he wrote) – The Tempest. The week will consist of devising a Shakespearean performance from scratch, developing characters, creating props and set, and of course, culminating in a performance outdoors for whānau and friends to come and enjoy.

There are a very limited number of spots left for Shakespeare in a Week – so if it sounds like something that your 12-18-year-old will enjoy, book in ASAP! 

Speaking of famous plays by Mr. Willy Shakes – the renowned Auckland Shakespeare in the Park is back in 2022 with two bangers: Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Merchant of Venice. As the sun sets, you’ll be treated to riveting performances, sumptuous costumes, and the magic of storytelling under the stars.

Free tickets for children under 12!
Shoreside Theatre loves encouraging our youth to enjoy and understand Shakespeare, so they are offering Free Children’s Tickets for under 12-year-olds. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult with a maximum of 3 free tickets per booking.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by our very own James Bell follows Valentine and Proteus, two firm friends from Verona who find their relationship put to the test when they both fall in love with the same woman. When Proteus’s father sends him away from Verona and the woman he loves, he finds himself falling for Valentine’s beloved, Silvia.

Both men forget their friendship and wrangle for her affection, but, after a series of mishaps and mistaken identities, the two couples are reunited and reconciled in marriage.

The Merchant of Venice, directed by Trevor Sharp is a clever and controversial comedy. The story is set in motion when Bassanio, a poor nobleman in Venice, needs money to woo the beautiful heiress Portia.

He asks his friend Antonio for a loan, but Antonio has invested his funds in ships overseas. The moneylender, Shylock, offers the cash on the condition that he will take a pound of Antonio’s flesh if the loan is not repaid within three months.

Antonio goes bankrupt and Portia steps in, disguised as a young male lawyer, to save the day.

Find out more about our Shakespearean Summer by clicking the posters below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The PumpHouse Theatre AGM 2021

Against all odds, we managed to (finally) hold our AGM last Sunday, which was rescheduled from August due to Covid-19. A small number gathered in the PumpHouse outdoor amphitheatre, with socially distanced seating.

A major highlight of the AGM saw local legends Peter Baird and Ruth Ell recognised for their contributions to our theatre, being awarded life membership of Friends of The PumpHouse.

Ruth Ell and Peter Baird

Ruth has been a long-time PumpHouse supporter and was a committee member when The PumpHouse opened in the 70s, helping with everything from fundraising to advertising.

Peter trod the boards as a dancer and chorus member for North Shore Operatic in the 70s, and returned to The PumpHouse as a Trust Board member about five years ago. His significant contribution has helped to secure funding for The PumpHouse Theatre canopy project, due for completion in January.

This event has left us excited for our reopening next week, and we look forward to (safely!) bringing back our wonderful creative community to enjoy the magic of theatre once more.

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