Theory and Practice
All the images on this website come from the artistic work of Theatre and Film Studies staff and students.
By integrating theory and practice at the same time that we bring together theatre and film, our Department provides students with a particularly intense learning experience and distinguishes itself from the many other industry-focused theatre and film training programmes at universities, polytechnics and private providers across New Zealand.
Students are encouraged to work both as artists and scholars at all levels: to read and think and write, but also to create, to act and direct, and to shoot and edit films.
Every undergraduate course comprises both theoretical work (reading and essay-writing) and practical work (acting in and directing your own theatre scene, shooting and editing a short film, etc.). At the graduate level, both strands are intensified, with students able to create their own theatre or film work as laboratory research to test theoretical ideas and vice-versa.
Those who do, teach!
Contrary to the old adage, staff members in Theatre and Film Studies - academic staff, technical staff, and administrators - both DO and TEACH. Our staff members direct performances, shoot and edit films, publish books and articles, host television programmes, run film societies, and more. This creates a vibrant environment for students.
Free Theatre Christchurch has close ties to Theatre and Film Studies, and has been producing experimental theatre- and film-work in Christchurch for more than 25 years. TAFS students have the opportunity to pursue practical work with the Free Theatre. This year, Free Theatre toured Distraction Camp to Wellington in August/September and performed Dr Faustus at the Platform Arts Festival in Christchurch in May.
In 2001, Theatre and Film Studies created Te Puna Toi Performance Research Project, which has hosted several large-scale performance, film, and academic events including Field Station, New Zealand, the 9th Performance Studies International Conference. In March this year, Te Puna Toi will present Fritsch Fest, a series of performances in collaboration with Bavarian filmmaker and playwright Werner Fritsch. In October, Te Puna Toi is hosting a Martial Dance Symposium.