Meet the Cast and Crew of Sylvia

Felix Creative Theatre is a leading Chinese community theatrical group led by professional director Fei Li and fellow actors, supported by like-minded theatre enthusiasts. The group’s vision is to provide a range of performance opportunities for the community, from amateurs to professionals, to be involved in some of the most unique, exciting and creative theatrical productions.

Since 2015, Felix Creative Theatre group have produced 5 original productions and received a tremendous amount of positive reviews from local communities. Their productions reached a wide range of audiences and one of their original work “Flatting Era” was brought to China and won the ‘Best Performance Award’ in Guangzhou at the Amateur Theatre Art Festival.

Sylvia is their 6th production and first English play.  All crew in this play speak English as their second language but it does not stop them from embracing this classic Broadway comedy.  With diverse backgrounds, it is also a great opportunity for them to explore this play by adding their own perspectives to Sylvia as well as reaching a wider audience.

Director:Fei Li

Fei Li has written and directed several plays in Mandarin including “Lost in Shanghai”, “Intruder”, “FlattingEra” and “Murderon Changde Road”.

Fei Li is an accomplished Director, playwright and professional actor. After nearly 10 years experience working as a TV host and actor on screen productions in China, he went back to The Central Academy Of Drama to further his performance study where he realized that acting on stage in theatre is his passion, his love. After graduating, he worked in Fujian Peoples Art Theatre for another 9 years as a full time leading actor with over 2000 performances in his career and winning multiple awards as an Actor.  In 2015, Fei decided to move to Auckland, New Zealand.

Settling in this new country, Fei is now focusing more on Directing and coaching in acting and performance. He is humbled to have met many theatre enthusiasts along the way and he loves to share his skills and experience with people and helping them realize their dreams on stage.

Bingci Xuan – Casting Sylvia

Bingci is well known as ‘Grace’ in the Chinese community. She is a professional Hip-pop dancer and is the founder of Movementum Dance Studio and Acecrew dance group. After she saw the play “Lost in Shanghai” by Felix Creative Theatre she decided to join in and give “Sylvia” a go. This is her first time acting in a play.

Yuan Fang – Casting Greg (“the husband”)

Yuanfang is a student who is currently studying in Media at the University in Auckland. He has always been interested in acting but have never been on stage before. At the beginning, Andy found ‘Greg’ to be a rather challenging character to play as Andy is very young himself and have little experience in married life.

“Well, that’s what we learned – to live another life on the stage… and now I even feel more confused about life after months of rehearsing and I feel older…I guess I am older…?” – Yuan Fang

Coco Cui – casting Kate

Coco is Marketing and Event Coordinator of Felix Creative Theatre. She is also an online fiction writer, a gym enthusiast and definitely a workaholic… she is a creative thinker and a doer. Anything and everything she wants to do, she just do it. Wasting time is never an option for her. Sylvia is her first time on stage as well.

Louise Yeung-casting Leslie

Louise, a.k.a “Lulu” (as ‘Louise’ seems to be too hard to spell for many), is a singer, musician, and majored in Psychology at University, which is not a planned co-incidence at all playing Leslie. She was also in the play “Lost in Shanghai” as a guest with two lines, now this time, she has many, many lines…

Xiangru Feng — casting Tom

Xiangru joined Felix Creative Theatre in 2018, he is also attended drama classes by Fei Li.  As the youngest actor in the crew, he just started his first year in University. His character ‘Tom’ is quite the opposite character to his real self in real life, just wait and see…

Phyllis will be played by two different actress in two shows:

Xipan Huang — casting Phyllis (Friday show)

Xipan was loved by a lot of audience in “Lost in Shanghai”, she was one of the ‘Mahjong girl’, yes…

“My English accent is my biggest challenge, I still practice over and over again on some sentences and words, our team gave me the biggest support and now I’m so looking forward to our premier.”–Xipan

Shangrong Feng — casting Phyllis (Saturday show)

So… why were two actresses casted for ‘Phyllis’? Phyllis was originally played by Xipan but as circumstances change, Xipan was going to Wellington to study, hence, we found Shangrong as Xipan’s replacement and she accepted the role as “Phyllis”.

Sylvia was initially scheduled to be performed in November 2018, however, as the crew felt that they have not reached a level that they are proud of showcasing “Sylvia” and doing it justice, we postponed the show and rehearsed for another 3 months.

Now, we are ready to bring you: our version of Sylvia!

Fri, 3rd – Sat, 4th May at 7pm. Click here for more details and to book.

Felix Creative Theatre – Behind-the-Scenes Video

Ever wondered what it would be like to be involved in a production at The PumpHouse Theatre? Felix Creative Theatre have created a wonderful video, showing us around their pack-in day, rehearsals and performances.

Their next production will by ‘Sylvia’, a classic Broadway comedy by A. R. Gurney.

This Play has been selected by Felix Creative Theatre as their first full English production (all casts speak English as their second language). Come and enjoy this smart, silly, bold, and occasionally salty comedy about relationships, nature, and growing older.

Fri 3rd – Sat 4th May at 7:00pm
For more information, click here.

Creative Talks at The PumpHouse Theatre

Devonport author Tessa Duder, OBE and award-winning playwright Gary Henderson are two of the guest speakers featuring in The PumpHouse Theatre’s Creative Talk programme for 2019.

Creative Talks are a series of informal monthly talks hosted by The PumpHouse which bring the community together with local creatives to find out more about the person behind the work and what inspires them.

“The opportunity to meet with and hear from people immersed in the creative process is hugely inspiring,” says the programme’s coordinator Mags Delaney.  “I’d encourage anyone with an interest in the arts to come along.”

Eight talks over the year explore multicultural arts to theatrical performance, by way of actors, authors, poets and playwrights.  They are hosted in smaller spaces at The PumpHouse in the early evening and entry is free.

Performance poet Rose Northey, I-start Chinese Theatre founder Yabing Liu and local actor and playwright Geoff Clendon are all part of the line-up, alongside opportunities to be involved in discussion after the show with the cast and crew of Tadpole Productions and Shoreside Theatre during their performance seasons in May and July respectively.

For more our next Creative Talk by Rose Northey, click here.

Next Speaker: Rose Northey, Spoken Word Poet

Creative Talks are made possible by funding from the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board to support The PumpHouse Theatre’s work in the community.

Full details of each talk are available on the PumpHouse website at:
www.pumphouse.co.nz/whats-on/creative-talks/

Talk Schedule

April 26 – Rose Northey, Performance Poet

May 12 – Tadpole Productions – after show discussion

June 26 – Tessa Duder OBE, Distinguished NZ Author

July TBC – Shoreside Theatre – after show discussion

August 23 – Gary Henderson NZ Playwright and Director

September 27 – Yabing Liu , Founder of I-Start Chinese Theatre

October 11 – Geoff Clendon, Local playwright and actor – as part of Auckland Heritage Festival.

The Cast and Crew of ‘The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate’

Get to know the cast and crew of ‘The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate’ with Tim Bray Theatre Company.

First up, we have the all-important man who opens the show… Say a huge ahoy to Sea Captain, Adam Burrell!

Adam has been a professional Actor/Singer and Live Entertainer in Auckland and NZ for over 15 years. He has participated in 15 professional children’s theatre productions, including 2 Nationwide Tours with Capital E, NZ’s national theatre for children.

“The sea is a wonderful thing. So wonderful we make it our home. We live on the sea and what a Jolly Roger sort of life it is too.” Margaret Mahy.

One of Adam’s many hobbies include looking after all his dogs and his favourite kids book is Roald Dahl’s ‘The TWITS’.

Next, we have the adventure loving Mother who dreams to be reunited to the sea! Say a huge ahoy to our Pirate Mother… Kat Glass!

Kat is an actor, director, and producer working in the theatre and film industry. 
Born and raised in Auckland, Kat studied theatre at the University of Auckland, graduating in 2011.

Kat has two favourite kids books which are Hairy McLeary and The Paper Bag Princess. Kat also lives in Auckland with her husband and seven cats!

I want to see the sea again. I want to fire my old silver pistol, and see the waves jump with surprise.”

Next up we have the very wise and deep thinking philosopher – as well as many other hilarious characters! “WAVE YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR LIKE YOU JUST DON’T CARE” for… Carolyn Lamonde!

Carolyn was born and raised in the very artistic and cultural city of Montreal, Canada. She studied Theatre and worked on stage, in television and in film in Canada, and has performed in Theatre Festivals in Canada, Mexico, Germany and New Zealand.

Carolyn’ favourite book is ‘Le Petit Prince’ (The Little Prince) by d’Antonie de Saint-Exupéry and loves travelling and snowboarding!

“Shhhhh! Some of us are trying to think.” – Margaret Mahy, The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate

Ballet, Cabaret, Boogie Pianists and more

In March, we have some spectacular touring shows coming to The PumpHouse. Companies take big risks in leaving their in-built theatre following and branching out to new cities, and so we’re very lucky to have such extraordinary talent arriving right on our doorstep. Come and experience works produced overseas at your local theatre this month.

Alice in Wonderland. Melbourne City Ballet’s Michael Pappalardo (Artistic Director) and Brendan Bradshaw (Artistic Associate) pay homage to the well-known novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland, with this enchanting ballet complimented by one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous scores.

Legendary Divas is a show starring award winning actress and singer Ali Harper and honours the talented, hardworking, courageous and legendary women that inspired us with their music. Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Barbra Streisand and many more.

88 Pianos I have Known. Winner of 5 music awards, Jan has now sold out concerts throughout Australia, NZ, Europe and the UK. She composes music for film and TV (most recently for My Year with Helen) and performs side by side with the greatest contemporary boogie piano players in the world today.

We also have some inspiring shows by local companies, many of which return just once a year and have packed houses, so don’t miss out!

Carnaval de la Noche is back for 2019! Bringing together a creative concoction of Aotearoa’s rising and established movers and shakers. For one night only, their line-up is jam packed with dance, aerials, burlesque, boylesque, acrobatics, dance & beyond!

“I’mPaired” by Touch Compass flips the perception of impairment on its head, realising the beauty in everyone’s unique talent. This series of new works use a variety of Dance and Theatre genres that celebrates our diverse society. The work is as inspiring as it is experimental as the Company uses Dance, new technologies and collaborates with a diverse range of artists from other mediums to give the audience a sneak peak at the world through the Touch Compass lens.

Lakeside Multicultural Festival. A free event with four hours of dancing, singing and amazing colourful costumes from many ethnic groups living in Auckland. Featuring ethnic groups from Colombia, Chile, Peru, England, France, Spain, Romania, Dalmatian, Middle East, Korea China, Taiwan, Sira-Lanka, Ukraine, Russia and more.

We hope you will be entertained, challenged and inspired.

Auckland Fringe Festival comes to The PumpHouse

The Auckland Fringe Festival is a huge benefit to local artists, venues, production companies and above all, audiences. This festival is so important to our local community, because it gives aspiring artists an opportunity to showcase their work and gives our future production teams the professional experience they need.

The PumpHouse is proud to be an official venue for the Auckland Fringe Festival 2019 and to host five unmissable events. Why are they unmissable? Because these shows offer our audiences something new and different. Plus, they show off the incredible local talent we have here in Auckland.

Embrace the new and attend a Fringe show at The PumpHouse this month!

Oil and Water, Tues 19th February at 7:30pm. This show really encompasses everything that’s great about the Fringe. It’s a variety show; a devised performance of music, theatre, dance, comedy and poetry all centred around the theme of ‘Oil and Water’. Artists will engage with the theme individually in separate sketches to give you a thought-provoking, entertaining experience.

The Significant Stripper, Wed 20th – Thurs 21st February at 9pm. Tessa is an entertainer with a difference. She will be entertaining you with a cheeky stripagram that is a funny sexy, but not sexual, show. She is the only Fatagram in New Zealand and this big bold cheeky woman performs with passion, enjoyment and big laughs.

10 Years a Comedian, 3 in a Skirt, Wed 20th – Thurs 21st February at 7:30pm. Since 2008 Julia has been regularly performing comedy, covering topics as diverse as chicken sashimi & almond milk. In late 2015 she gave up the unequal fight and came out as a transgender woman, then started again with new material to reflect her transgender status. Julia will be performing six comedic acts from her first ten years as a comedian.

Tango Project, ‘Milonga De Cuatro’, Sun 24th February at 1pm and 3pm. This show gets together four independent musicians who were attracted by music from the most talented composers of Argentine Tango.

Lovepuke, Wed 27th Feb – Sat 2nd Mar at 8pm. Lovepuke is a raunchy and intense romp through the triumphs and pitfalls of the dating scene. Written by New Zealand playwright Duncan Sarkies (Scarfies, Flight of the Conchords) in the 90s, this one act play still has interesting things to say about love, sex and relationships.

Also on Sat 23rd February at 7:45pm, don’t miss Dominic Blaazer and the Maximum Philharmonic Orchestra. After a packed house and superb reviews last year, Dominic and his talented 10-piece orchestra return for an evening of tight, melodic and poetic tunes.

Shakespeare in the Park Champions Inclusivity

Meet Ayesha.  Ayesha is a part time English teacher at Auckland Uni and has performed the role of Mistress Quickly (the role she reprises in our production) 49 years ago with the Shakespeare Society at St Stephens College at Delhi University.  She recently performed in one other play in NZ – Dara (at TAPAC) A play based on a period of Indian history.

Meet Miriana. One of our youngest performers having just completed year 13 – she’s performed pretty much continuously through school and local community theatre this last year.  She’s just finished treading the Devonport boards with her dad, comedian Willi De Wit in a self devised piece which they hope to resurrect for the comedy festival next year.

Meet Alice.  Born in China, she moved to NZ in the mid 90’s.  Shy as a small girl and disliking performing on stage, High School has seen her find her inner performer playing jazz piano at a talent quest.  Since then she has done a few commercials and participated in a competition for a TV presenter contract with Phoenix television in Hong Kong

Meet Duncan.  A UK export from Manchester, and having lived in NZ for just over a year, he is now a fully-fledged teacher having been snapped up by Sylvia Park school where he kicks off next year.   Acting came by accident to this Mancunian where he filled in for a friend at Uni when someone dropped out of the Crucible.  This will be Duncan’s third Shakespeare with Shoreside.

Our cast is an eclectic bunch.  Amongst us is an architect, a school administrator, a transport planner, teachers, school kids and a couple of retired folk.  And that’s where the magic of community theatre casts its spell.  It brings together a group of people, perhaps not likely to mix under usual circumstances and it throws them together – linked by a desire to perform.  Lob in a love of the bard and you have our two casts for the annual Outdoor Summer Shakespeare. 

No one gets paid.  People car pool, bus or bum rides to get to rehearsals.  Sometimes the paying job means you don’t quite make it to rehearsals.  Some offer props, or offer to make props or manage to obtain some small sponsorship to purchase props – usually from a supportive boss or through a family member.  Don’t quite know how many we’ll have to paint our set, but someone will put their hand up once the working bee is announced.

For Shoreside Theatre, our Outdoor Summer Shakespeare draws the most attendees to audition.  Why is that?  The fact of the matter is that Shakespeare writes for every(wo)man.  There is invariably a role for somebody, and invariably a somebody for that role.  It’s where men can play women and women can play men old can play young and young can play old.  It’s where people can sing and dance.  There’s dress ups, there’s fights, there’s love and hate and most of all – a collective creative process that is actually quite addictive for the performer – young and old, experienced and inexperienced.  It means that Shakespeare is the perfect fit for community theatre.

We are lucky at Shoreside Theatre. With the advent of the Pop up Globe, we have seen some regular Auckland based Shakespeare shows fall by the wayside – the University Summer Shakespeare is one popular one that has bowed out.  And to be honest, we’re not too sure how long we will be able to offer our season.  It’s not easy to compete without the marketing budget, the professional expertise, the corporate sponsorship.

But we are buoyed by the belief that there is space for us because there are a couple of reasons this local, amateur show is a great choice for an audience. By attending, you’re supporting the community – your family, your friends, your peers; we are a much less expensive option; and our lovely venue, The Amphitheatre at The Pumphouse, offers not only a rather charming intimate outdoor summer setting, but everyone gets a seat!

Enjoy the fun of theatre these school holidays

Kids can experience performing in a real theatre this summer at The PumpHouse Theatre. Join the Summer Holiday Drama Programme for two weeks of fun and performance.

Each day the group will be working towards a performance at the end of the session whilst learning confidence building, communication and drama skills. The programme is designed so your child can come for any set amount of days – whether that’s one day, a few days or two weeks!

Explore the magic of theatre and develop teamwork, social skills, self-esteem and confidence

The Tutor for the programme is Mags Delaney, The PumpHouse Theatre’s resident drama teacher, who has a background in primary education and theatre both here and in the UK.

Join us from 9:15 am – 3:00 pm daily. There will be two different weeks with different themes, you are welcome to join as many days in both weeks:

Fairy Poster

Week 1: 14th – 19th January

ThemeHappily Ever After?  – some familiar tales … with a twist ….

Princesses, dragons, fairies, bears, pigs and wolves etc but not as you usually hear about them.

Around the World Poster

Week 2: 21st – 25th January

ThemeAround the World in (less than) 80 Tales!

A world tour in stories. Travelling across the globe with stories from the five continents …

Cost is $50 per child per day. To book your child onto the programme, book online here or call The PumpHouse Box Office on 09 489 8360.

Discover our Swelteringly-Hot Christmas Shows

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your… no!

That’s not how we celebrate Christmas here! It’s sometimes difficult to get into the true festive spirit in the scorching summer, so instead, why not try some of the swelteringly-hot Christmas shows we’ve got lined up for you:

Christmas Carols, 15 Dec at 5:00pm. $5 entry.

Join us again for Christmas Carols in The PumpHouse Amphitheatre! The PumpHouse Community Choir and North Shore Chorale will be performing everyone’s favourite Christmas songs which the audience can to sing along to.

Read More >>

A Very Merry Kiwimas, 17-22 Dec.

What makes a Kiwi Christmas special? Is it the beach? The barbeques? How will Santa cope in the 30-degree heat of a New Zealand summer? Find out in this hilarious family show.

Read More >>

A Christmas Carol, 20-21 Dec at 8:00pm.

A performed reading of the classic Christmas fable by Charles Dickens. Follow the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption.

Read More >>

 

So whether you’re looking for a family-fun adventure with Santa or a Christmas Classic with Scrooge, your local theatre has you covered!

When you see injustice in the world, does it compel you to make a difference? It did for Rachel Corrie.

My Name is Rachel Corrie is an award-winning one-woman verbatim-style script, constructed from the diary entries and letters of 23-year old American activist, Rachel Corrie.

Rachel was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, which travelled to the Gaza Strip to help protect Palestinian homes from being destroyed by the Israeli Army. She was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003.

She was just 23 years old. What made a young woman leave her comfortable existence to fight for the rights of strangers in a war zone? Through Rachel’s words we are invited to confront the universal questions: How do we find our path in life? What impact do our actions have on others? and How can one individual change the world for the better? Written by Rachel Corrie.

The incident caused international scandal, and was further scrutinised through the media and courts. The play was jointly edited by actor Alan Rickman and journalist Katherine Viner, and was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2005. It has since been performed around the world to critical acclaim and has been translated into over a dozen languages.

We love this play because it lets loose the voice of a vibrant and intelligent young protagonist. But what made her act so dramatically on this desire – to leave a comfortable life to fight for the rights of strangers in a war zone? Was she running away from, or towards her responsibilities? Was she a hero, or simply naïve? As the play unfurls, Rachel’s words reveal a thrilling and intimate story of a passionate female with a fire in her belly.

Creative Team:

Director – Alexandra Whitham

Performer – Phoebe Borwick

Production Design – Poppy Serano

Sound & Lighting Design – Anna Bennington

Costume Design – Joan James

Producer – Rebekah Dack

Co-edited by actor/ director Alan Rickman, and journalist Katharine Vine

My Name is Rachel Corrie will be performed in the Coal Bunker Studio from 7th – 9th December. Book Tickets here.

 

Join the conversation.

On Saturday 8 December at 3.30pm there will be a kōrero following the matinee performance. Four female speakers from backgrounds in different areas of activism in Auckland will join cast and crew for a conversation around what it means to be an activist in Aotearoa in 2018.

You are warmly invited to join us for this conversation. This is a free event.

Our Discussion panelists are:

Janfrie Wakim – Human right’s activist, core member of the Child Poverty Action Group and writer.

Margaret Taylor – Activism Manager at Amnesty International.

Gabriella Brayne – Youth coordinator at Auckland Women’s Centre.

Teresa Lee – UN Youth NZ

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