Theatre and Film Studies
What we do
We study theatre and film as performing arts and as cultural processes in order to provoke a more direct understanding of ourselves as participants in, and as performers and consumers of, culture. Theatre and Film Studies students are encouraged to work both as artists and as scholars at all levels: to read and think and write, but also to create, to act and direct, and to shoot and edit films.
Our approach is interactive and interdisciplinary, incorporating literary, historical, aesthetic, philosophical, psychoanalytic and socio-political theories from the twin perspectives of the artist and the spectator/reader, through the experiences of doing and watching as well as through the processes of intellectual inquiry and research.
Theatre and film studies courses integrate theory and practice, with performance and digital film work serving as grounds for scholarly writing and all research having the potential to provoke artistic experimentation. Ideally, students study both theatre and film, as these disciplines have in common various theories of genre, representation and performance, as well as the practices of acting and directing.
Images from Passion, Pulse, Power.
Free Theatre's Distraction Camp toured Wellington.
- Theory and Practice
- Course Information
- What can I do with a degree in Theatre and Film Studies?
Enrolments for stage two and three theatre and film studies courses are now open. Please come talk to us about your plans for next year. Contact Sharon Mazer.
Canterbury Tales (FESTA 2013)
Christchurch Cathedral Square. Sunday 27th October, 2013.
As a follow up to Luxcity 2012, Free Theatre Christchurch and FESTA, in collaboration with TAFS students and staff, presented a night of carnivalesque delights. Canterbury Tales was a performative exploration of the city of Christchurch whereby a procession of large puppets and masked performers travelled to urban locations where different Canterbury tales were performed in interactive environments created by artists in collaboration with architecture, design and scenography students and local businesses. This event was about exploring local identity and the idea of ‘place-making’ through performance.
- Associate Professor Sharon Mazer and PhD Candidate Te Rita Papesch, keynote address, ‘But is it Art? Kapa Haka as a Contemporary Indigenous Performance’. For Kōwhiti / Atarau – Beam of Light Indigenous Contemporary Dance Festival and Symposium at Te Papa (Wellington), 6-7 November 2013. Sharon is also giving a paper: ‘A Case for Creative Misunderstanding.’
- A new article by Associate Professor Sharon Mazer in Australasian Drama Studies: ‘Skirting Burlesque.’
- Associate Professor Sharon Mazer asks 'A National Theatre in New Zealand? Why/Not?' in S. Blandford (Ed.)'s Theatre and Performance in Small Nations.
- A curated collection of essays and play-excerpts titled ‘Reflections on Theatre and Performance in the (post) Earthquake Zone’ appeared in the April issue of Australasian Drama Studies. The collection was edited by Associate Professor Sharon Mazer and includes writing by TAFS staff, graduates and graduate students Dr Ryan Reynolds, Dr George Parker, Simon Troon and Tony McCaffrey.
Earthquake Memorial Sculpture
Song Song (A Musical Bridge) is a sound sculpture designed by Chris Reddington, Technical Director and Designer, Theatre and built by Chris and Stuart Lloyd-Harris, Technical Director and Tutor for Film. The work was selected as the CPIT earthquake commemoration artwork and was unveiled on the anniversary of the February 2011 quake.
The Soldier's Tale
Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg directed the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra production of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for the 2013 Christchurch Arts Festival. PhD student Emma Johnston and tutor George Parker played the roles of the devil and the soldier.
Highlights of 2012
Best Play - I Sing the Body Electric
Free Theatre's production of I Sing the Body Electric, a collaboration with the university's HIT Lab, was named 'Best Play' for 2012 by The Press. Directed by Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg, it followed on from last year's Passion, Pulse, Power, and performed a sold out winter season in Christchurch. "This was a production to plunge into rather than politely nibble... outstanding theatre for the senses" wrote The Press.
Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg, senior lecturer in Theatre and Film Studies, won a prestigious University Teaching Award in recognition of teaching excellence. Congratulations Peter!
Dr Ryan Reynolds received a Tertiary Education Union (TEU) Award of Excellence for Professional Integrity.
Gap Filler continued to break new ground
The Gap Filler Trust, founded by TAFS staff and graduates, was given an award for Social Innovation at the NZI National SBN Awards. Meanwhile Prince Charles danced on Gap Filler's Dance-o-Mat and Coralie Winn was named a "One News Good Sort" in recognition of her work as co-founder and director of Gap Filler.
Dr George Parker and Dr Ryan Reynolds each contributed talks for TEDxEQChCh 2012. George spoke about Free Theatre and Arts Circus; and Ryan spoke about Gap Filler and Life in Vacant Spaces. Hear Ryan's TEDx talk, The Adolescent City. Hear George's TEDx talk, Through An Artistic Lens.
Hereafter Wins Award
Hereafter performed at the Dunedin Fringe Festival, where it won entrance to the 2013 Adelaide Festival, including free registration to the festival. According to the Judges "this bold and challenging work is compelling theatre of the highest calibre".
Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg directed Bluebeard's Castle, which featured the graduating class of Theatre and Film Studies and performed a sold out season as part of the Platform Festival.
Close Up Puppetry
The course TAFS105 Puppetry, Animated Film and Gaming featured on TV1 Close Up.