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NZ Theatre month to celebrate Kiwi talent

Louise Ternouth
Elizabeth Thomson
Two performers during the Court Theatre's "Trios" performance  Elizabeth Thomson

For the first time, New Zealand will have a month dedicated to theatre, showcasing home-grown talent.

For one whole month, New Zealand will play host to theatre performances over the country, with a "home-grown" feel.

New Zealand Theatre month will run for all of September, and Christchurch theatre companies have big plans.

A spokesperson for the Court Theatre said New Zealand Theatre month would bring some much-needed focus to Kiwi works.

Artistic Director, Ross Gumbley, said the month is really important to celebrate as Kiwi theatre has exploded in recent years. He said the colourful kaleidoscope of New Zealand theatre is a great thing and marks our place in the world.

Several shows, including Mum's Choir, a comedy chosen specifically to fit the theme of "Wāhine" for the month, alongside newcomer Fresh off the Boat produced by Pacific Underground, will be at the Court Theatre.

Scared Scriptless, a classic for the Canterbury community, will be celebrating its 25th birthday during September with a lavish party. 

Founder of the event and Order of Merit recipient, Roger Hall, said the event was long overdue. 

He said Christchurch should be proud of itself for what it had achieved since the earthquakes. 

The Court Theatre was forced to relocate to Addington after the quakes, but have since rebuilt their audience, and are in the process of building in their new location. 

Hall encouraged people to try theatre out, "especially if you have never been." 

He said children especially should attend to learn more about our culture through the arts and should not be frightened of going. 

"I think there is something important about the experience of going to the theatre."

Megan Gerrad, President of the University of Canterbury's Musical Theatre Association, said more people should be aware of the theatre month. 

"Especially in Christchurch, the performing arts and theatre industry is just booming at the moment and there are so many performers out there." 

She said she was looking forward to what the month would bring. 

Producer of the proposed Andromeda Theatre for a new performing arts precinct, Michael Bell, said he hoped the precinct would bring people back into the city for the arts. 

"I think the performing arts is going to be a huge factor in revitalising our CBD."

He said he was looking forward to this month and the showcase of the arts. 

New Zealand Theatre Month will be running throughout September with 23 performances in Christchurch from various different companies including The Court Theatre, Top Dog and Pacific Underground. 

A special performance will also be held in South Christchurch Library on September 13.