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Christian Penny

Christian is the Director of, Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School. 

He studied  at The Drama Action Centre in Sydney and then later in London at L'Ecole Phillipe Gaulier. He has a BA in Maori and English at The University of Auckland

Christian co-founded Theatre at Large with co- director Anna Marbrook. His major professional productions include: King Lear, Cyrano de Bergerac, and new NZ work Manawa Taua/Savage Hearts, The Butcher’s

Christian is a passionate believer in the potential of Aotearoa and the possibilities of transformation thru new process’. He has worked with a team of educators over the past decade to develop a unique educational model for Toi Whakaari in collaboration. He helped develop the large group setting, Koiwi, that now sits at the centre of the schools approach.


Dr Matt Hargrave


Matt Hargrave is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, specialising in Applied Theatre and Drama.  As a writer and theatre practitioner he has worked with many leading theatres and cultural providers including: Northern Stage, New Writing North, Mind the Gap, National Association of Youth Theatres, Mind the Gap Creative Partnerships, The Forge Arts and Education Agency, Helix Arts, Sheffield Crucible, Dead Earnest Theatre, and Arts Council England.  Matt has over 15 years experience of managing projects, short courses and Higher Education programmes and has taught outside the UK in Germany, Romania, Netherlands and Brazil

His book Theatres of Learning Disability won TaPRA New Career Research in Theatre/Performance Prize in 2016.

Jed Brophy


A film actor from New Zealand. He has appeared in several of Peter Jackson's films, including BraindeadHeavenly CreaturesThe Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and King Kong. Brophy also appears as the dwarf Nori in The Hobbit films