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NZTA Trust Board

The NZTA Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees, which attempts to include and represent the interests of all parties with a stake in the preservation of New Zealand’s theatre archives: the existing repositories and collection agencies; the professional theatres; the wider theatre community; and tertiary institutions teaching and researching in the field of theatre.

The Patron of the New Zealand Theatre Archive is Dame Kate Harcourt.

The current members of the Trust Board are:

  David Carnegie (Chairman)

David Carnegie

Prior to moving to Victoria in 1978, David taught in Canada and Britain, and worked professionally in London theatre, including the Young Vic. He established Theatre Studies at Otago University, and was a co-founder of the Fortune Theatre in Dunedin. A past president of Playmarket, he is also a practising theatre critic and professional dramaturg. David is an international authority on Shakespearean stagecraft and NZ drama and theatre. He was instrumental in establishing the MTA in Directing as a joint degree of Toi Whakaari and Victoria University, and was the first chair of the MTA Board of Studies.

   Ewen Coleman (Treasurer)

Ewen Coleman

Ewen has been involved in theatre for most of his life, as an actor, tutor, director, administrator, and adjudicator. Since 1980 he has directed over 60 productions of various kinds including musicals and One-Act Plays and worked with all the major recreational theatre groups around the Wellington Region. He has adjudicated a NZTF District Festival almost every year since 1986, as well as the Festival of Community Theatre Regional Finals in 1996 and National Final in 2004.  In 1992 Ewen was invited to take a production to an International Theatre Festival in Japan, and has represented New Zealand at other overseas conferences and International Festivals.

   Rosemary Collier (Secretary)

Rosemary Collier

Rosemary Collier has been an archives consultant for the past 28 years.  She formerly worked as an archivist at National Archives (now Archives New Zealand) and also in the UK.  She has a post-graduate Diploma in Archive Studies from the University of London.  Although never involved in theatre, she is an avid theatre-goer.  Rosemary was founding secretary of the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand, and later several times President of the former New Zealand Society of Archivists, as well as Editor of its quarterly journal, New Zealand Archivist.

   Laurie Atkinson

Laurie Atkinson

Laurie saw his first play (Lady Windemere’s Fan) in NZ at the Opera House as a fifteen year-old and has been involved in Wellington theatre ever since. At VUW he joined the Drama Club, appeared in Extravs (directed by Bill Sheat), and wrote reviews for Salient. He joined Wellington Rep, appearing in a number of plays and revues, toured with Nola Millar’s New Theatre, did reviews for 2YC (now the Concert Programme), and was elected on to the National Executive of the NZ Theatre Federation. For twelve years he was involved with the Playmarket Executive Committee (President from 1986-88) and co-edited Act Magazine. Laurie is currently the Wellington theatre reviewer for The Dominion Post.

   Rowena Cullen

Rowena Cullen

Rowena is the Professor of Information Management and a Director of Research at Victoria University. She was a founder Trustee of the New Zealand Theatre Archive and brings to the board a background in theatre management and production dating back to the days of Ngaio Marsh’s Shakespeare productions with the Canterbury University Drama Society. Rowena was for many years Secretary and later Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre in Dunedin, and on the Board of the Fortune Theatre.


   Ruth Graham

Ruth Graham

Ruth managed the Nola Millar Library at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School for  nearly 21 years from 1980 and 2001, and prior to that worked at the Alexander Turnbull Library and the Canterbury Museum Library. She was an executive member of Playmarket from 1995-2002, a member of the Arts Libraries Society Australia and New Zealand from 1995-2001, and was an initiator of the Arts Information Network (Wellington arts libraries) which existed from 1989-1995. From 2003-2008 Ruth supported the New Zealand International Arts Festival as Newsletter editor for the Friends of the Festival. 

   Bill Sheat OBE

Bill Sheat playing Tihon, the former Bishop, in Nola Millar's 1964 production of Dostoyevski's 'The Possessed'

Bill is a graduate of VUW in Law and English. It was at Victoria that he began to take a serious interest in theatre, joining the Drama Club Committe in his first year, becoming Secretary the following year and for the subsequent four years, President. He was invited to sit on the Drama Panel of the newly formed Arts Council in 1964, became a Council member in 1967 and Chairman in 1969. Bill was the inaugural Chaiman of the Board of Toi Whakaari, inaugural Chairman of the Film Commission, and Chairman of the Royal NZ Ballet. (Photo: Bill playing Tihon, the former Bishop, in Nola Millar's 1964 production of Dostoyevski's 'The Possessed'.)

   Deirdre O'Connor

Deirdre O'Connor

Deirdre has worked as an actress in theatre, radio and television in Wellington since 1974, when she joined the Downstage company. She has also appeared at Circa Theatre, Four Seasons Theatre (Wanganui), and Centrepoint Theatre (Palmerston North). After qualifying as a librarian in1990, she worked for short periods at the National Library, Te Puni Kokiri, and Film New Zealand. In 1996 she joined the Nola Millar Library at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and the New Zealand School of Dance. In 2001 she took on the role of library manager, which she fulfilled for nine years until 2010.

   Helen Sims

Helen Sims

Helen is a lawyer, specialising in administrative law and human rights. She has a long history of involvement in the arts and with charitable and not-for-profit entities.

   Hannah McKie

Hannah McKie

Hannah is our newest Board member and comes from a background in theatre, film and design. She is currently completing her PhD in scriptwriting in the International Institute of Modern Letters.

Hannah is passionate about preserving New Zealand's theatre history and is engaged in an ongoing project to facilitate access to an online, nationwide theatre database.

Former members of the Trust Board include:

bullet point Graeme Thompson
Pamela Hooper
Jim Traue
Judy Russell
Pat Hawthorne
John Thomson
bullet Josh Judkins




















Updated: 31 July, 2012