Q Theatre’s creative development programme

In a tough arts market that is experiencing major funding cuts for independent artists, Q Theatre’s MATCHBOX creative development programme offers a savvy approach to fostering original NZ work. The team behind MATCHBOX (formerly known as Q presents) are fully committed to providing a platform for the very best in live storytelling.

“With support from the Arts Regional Trust, MATCHBOX generates an environment where we’re able to support emerging and established artists to present work that reflects and inspires the diversity of our city and our region. Q exists to connect Auckland audiences with leading arts organisations, festivals, and the theatrical firebrands of the future – and MATCHBOX is a massive part of sustaining that future. It’s an integral part of Q’s ethos.”
James Wilson, Q Theatre CEO

In 2016 three works are being presented in the MATCHBOX Season. Commencing June 21-25, Black Sheep Productions’ evocative theatrical dance work Everything Anyone Ever Wanted explores the frustrations and fragility of Generation Y as expressed by award-winning choreographer Natalie Maria Clark. Led by Unitec lecturer and former clown Pedro Ilgenfritz, Mahuika Theatre Company’s Leilani, will rouse audiences with their hilarious masked antics and kiwi characters inspired by Italian commedia dell'arte from 4-13 August. Topping the season off is a wild and fierce rendition of the classic tale of love and lust, Don Juan. A Slightly Isolated Dog, led by theatre savant Leo Gene Peters, offers this mad and energetic delight, nightly from October 27.

“This year’s season brings together three works that in many ways are at opposite ends of the spectrum; a discontent generation, a masked journey and a party to end all parties. Not one of them is a sit down polite drama, and almost none of the projects that applied to the programme this year were. These works speak that movement. All nod to traditional techniques, then diverge into contemporary worlds full of life, humour and exploration.”Sarah Graham, Q Theatre Producer

Through a three-step selection process, Q curates a MATCHBOX Season that pushes boundaries, showcases Q’s transformative venue, and delivers unique experiences for audiences. Now in its fifth year the programme presents work that is dramatically diverse in style and genre. Previous successes include the world premiere of kiwi musical love-story; Daffodils, which has gone on to tour nationally and internationally, a bloody reworked Shakespeare; Titus, who recently performed a return season at the Pop Up Globe, and the thought-provoking solo theatre piece; One Day Moko, which toured through NZ and to Sydney to critical acclaim.

MATCHBOX attracts a large number of applications and is a hotly contested programme. The selected companies are assisted through a multi-faceted approach which offers a venue, rehearsal space, backstage crew and technical equipment – sharing the financial risk and reward of the show. They also help with professional development by offering advice, tailored support and funds towards the marketing and publicity of the season. This approach encourages performing artists to push the creative boundaries, whilst upskilling in the business side of the arts. One of the initiatives includes working on a video for online media. The first clip featuring Natalie Maria Clark and Everything Anyone Ever Wanted can be viewed here.

2016 MATCHBOX Season
Everything Anyone Ever Wanted, Black Sheep Productions June 21 – 25
Leilani, Mahuika Theatre Company August 4 - 13
Don Juan, A Slightly Isolated Dog From October 27

To find out more about Q Theatre and MATCHBOX visit www.qtheatre.co.nz/matchbox

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