James Wenley

Dr James Wenley profile picture

Lecturer School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Teaching in 2019


PhD, MA (First Class Honours), BA Hons University of Auckland

Research interests

International performance of Aotearoa New Zealand theatre, global theatre markets and industries, touring, NZ theatre history, criticism, medicine and performance.

Currently writing a monograph on Aotearoa New Zealand Theatre in the Global Theatre Marketplace.

Major achievements

  • 2016: University of Auckland Faculty of Arts Graduate Teaching Assistant Award
  • 2016: Winner: University of Auckland Exposure Variety Competition – “Finding Ourselves: New Zealand Theatre's O.E. - Live!”
  • 2015-2016: University of Auckland John Cowie Reid Memorial Drama Scholarship (Twice Awarded)
  • 2015: The Pantograph Punch People’s Choice Award for Best Critic, Auckland Theatre Awards
  • 2014: University of Auckland Professor Terry Sturm Scholarship in NZ and Australian Literature

Recent Publications


“Indian Ink via New Zealand Inc.: Hybrid Exports for the Global Theatre Marketplace”. Journal of Postcolonial Writing Special Issue: “New Zealand Literature in the Global Marketplace”. [Forthcoming in 2020]

“Reclaiming a Landmark New Zealand Play: The Tree by Stella Jones (1957)". Journal of New Zealand Literature, No. 34, 1, 2016: 174 - 189.


“Three Characters in Search of an Author: Te Pō and the Legacy of Bruce Mason”. The Pantograph Punch, 2016.

“The Vision Does Not Stop Here: The Factory’s International Dream”. The Pantograph Punch, 2014.

“The Folly of Myth-Making: Once on Chunuk Bair”. The Pantograph Punch, 2014.

Conference presentations

“Finding Yourself: New Zealand Theatre’s OE”, Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Annual Conference: “Performing Belonging”, Auckland University of Technology, 2017.

“New Zealand Theatre Goes Global: Contesting Identities”, New Zealand Studies Network Conference: “Islands on Sale: New Zealand and Pacific Arts in the Global Marketplace”, Regent’s University, London, 2017.

“Reclaiming the Landmark Plays of New Zealand’s Past: Stella Jones’ The Tree (1957)” Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Annual Conference: “Restoring Balance”, Victoria University of Wellington, 2014.


Founder and Editor of Theatre Scenes – http://www.theatrescenes.co.nz (2011-present). Writing regular reviews and commentary on Aotearoa NZ theatrical productions and industry issues, and commissioning and editing writing from a team of contributors.

2014-2017: Theatre critic for Metro Magazine.

Recent Creative Work

Pan is Dead by James Wenley with music by Erin Fagan, Pete Hickman, Lily James, Chris McMenamin and lyrics by the company, Theatre of Love, Auckland Fringe, University of Auckland Drama Studio 2018. (Writer/Co-Director/Producer)

Are You Sure? by Devising Group, Stray Theatre Company, Silo Park, Auckland Fringe, 2017. (Director)

2am Phone Call written, directed and performed by Georgie Silk and Natalie Maria Clark, The Sunlight Collective/Black Sheep Productions, Basement Theatre 2017, BATS Theatre 2018. (Dramaturg)

The Epidemical Existence of a Personal Malfunction at the Age of Twenty Something
by the company and directed by Georgie Silk, The Sunlight Collective, Auckland Fringe, Garnet Station 2017. (Dramaturg)

It’s all About Me by Devising Group, Stage Two Productions/Theatre of Love, University of Auckland Drama Studio 2017. (Director/Producer)

Risk & Win Arcade by Ben Anderson and James Wenley, Theatre of Love, Auckland Live, Auckland Fringe, Aotea Centre & Various Locations 2015. (Writer/Director)


Teaching in 2019