Dione Denize prepares for Artworks’ Love is Love Pride Picnic earlier this month. Peter Rees Photography

Facing reduced theatre bookings due to the uncertainty stemming from the pandemic, Artworks Theatre is changing from a venue-for-hire model to a more curated calendar.

“We’re trying to create a programme where we can offer opportunities and diversity in the content we’re bringing forward,” says Artworks Theatre director Kashmir Postel.

“There’s a few events and festivals which will be annual; they will develop and progress and be something that people will look forward to. You’ll know when the Pride Festival is, and when the film festival is,” Kashmir told Gulf News.

Some events will be self-funded, while others will be funded through grants from entities such as Foundation North or the Waiheke Local Board.

“We just had Pride Week and had people in the Artworks Theatre we haven’t had before. The Pride Open Mic was beautiful. It’s an opportunity to give different people a chance to shine,” she says of the event that was funded by income from the theatre’s bar The Pinter. 

“All the money [from the Pinter] goes back into creating progressive events,” Kashmir says. 

Another regular fixture will be the soon to start Kōrero Kids. 

“We’ll bring on musician Kārena Hunter for the first term. That’s for families and their children, to come along and learn waiata and karakia.” 

Planned for mid-April is the Waiheke Short Plays Festival which Kashmir says is “a platform for directors to do a short play and not have to come up with all the costs involved with producing a full-length show.

“Covid has shaped how we operate because people are scared to put on a full production. We give them the opportunity to create something.”

Taking place over two evenings, the festival will include several directors directing plays that are all less than 15-minutes.

Kashmir and Artworks Theatre trustees Jeanine Clarkin and Wendy Kendall presented the outline of events planned for the year to the Waiheke Local Board at its February community forum. • Erin Johnson

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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