This locally focused panel was truly an inspiration – what follows is a selection of the panel’s words from the session…
“I’m going to position [putting Drama in the curriculum] as a good thing […] because it allows people to study Drama and the other Arts with the same flare and pride in academic achievement as they might in History or Economics.” – Janinka Greenwood
“When [Maori students] get out into schools, they encounter these barriers that really can only be resolved on an institutional level, [on a] systemic level. Michelle at the performance yesterday said ‘If you do it for me but not with me, you do it to me.’ And I think that that’s what our teachers are facing.” – Tracey-Lynne Cody
“In our world, we value being before we do, or context before content […] Let’s make it make the art better or let’s stop doing it.” – Christian Penny
“I felt at the end of the conference like I had come over a hill and found another whole group of people doing something and I was like ‘I can’t believe you’re just over the hill doing that and I was just over this hill.’ And in Aotearoa at the moment I feel like there’s a lot of hills that seem a bit closer than they used to.” – Jo Randerson
Prof. Janinka Greenwood:
Janinka Greenwood is Professor of Education at the University of Canterbury, and Director of the Research Lab for Creativity and Change. Her current research focuses on teacher education and the development of criticality and the processes of change. She has a long-standing engagement with the uses for arts for learning and with arts-based research, and strong interests in learning communities, cultural difference, post-colonialisms and practice-based research methodologies.
Dr Tracey-Lynne Cody:
Tracey-Lynne is an experienced drama educator, working in initial teacher education and drama education at Massey University. Her research interests include drama pedagogy and practice in school and applied theatre settings, culturally-responsive practice, and arts education for social and emotional well-being. Tracey-Lynne is an experienced director and performer – most recently directing Among Strangers, a production of a trilogy of Angie Farrow’s latest works at BATS theatre and Centrepoint Theatre in 2017.
Writer and theatre-maker Jo Randerson is the founder and artistic director of Barbarian Productions. Recent theatre works include Sing It To My Face, Political Cuts and Grand Opening. Awards include the Robert Burns Fellowship, Arts Foundation New Generation Award and the Bruce Mason Award for playwrighting. Jo collaborates internationally with visual artists, theatre makers and activists, most recently in Paris, Moscow and Istanbul with Swedish visual artists Goldin+Senneby. The Spit Children premiered at Antwerp’s largest youth theatre HETPALEIS in May 2014. She teaches at Massey University, Toi Whakaari and Victoria University, and her new work Soft ‘N Hard is touring New Zealand.
Christian led the Master of Theatre Arts in Directing programme, which is co-delivered jointly by Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and the Theatre Programme of Victoria University of Wellington since 2002. He has worked in a range of fields developing new New Zealand theatre works ranging from plays, devised works, community theatre projects and most recently Opera. He is the co-founder of the Auckland theatre company Theatre at Large (1990) and the New Zealand Playback Theatre Summer School which he has taught for twelve years. Christian is also a graduate of the 2009 Leadership New Zealand programme.
Associate Professor Sharon Mazer:
Sharon Mazer is Associate Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies at Auckland University of Technology. Perhaps best known for her book, Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle (Mississippi 1998), her current research focuses on diverse aspects of theatre and performance in Aotearoa New Zealand. Recent publications include articles in Performance Research, Journal of Dramatic Theory & Criticism, Popular Entertainment Studies, and TDR. Forthcoming in 2018: I have loved me a man: the life and times of Mika (Auckland University Press) and The Intricate Art of Actually Caring . . . and Other New Zealand Plays (Seagull Books).