Tim Bray Theatre Company, admin. by The Operating Theatre Trust
- Member for
- 18 years 7 months
Tim Bray Theatre Company is recognised as Auckland’s leading theatre company for children and, having been established in 1991, is one of New Zealand’s oldest professional theatre companies.
Producing high quality professional theatre for children, their productions attract an annual audience attendance of over 20,000 children and their teachers, parents, caregivers, and grandparents. We typically present four productions per year, most usually based on well-known NZ children's literature.
Our purpose is to inspire children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities to be confident and creative through New Zealand theatre.
Tim Bray Theatre Company is administered by The Operating Theatre Trust, a registered charitable trust (CC 26517).The company was established by Tim Bray, QSM in 1991 when the Auckland Youth Theatre closed its doors and Tim (who had been a student of AYT since 1977, and latterly a teacher and director there) took over the lease of the premises in Lower Greys Ave, now home to the Basement Theatre.
Company highlights have been performing Hairy Maclary to TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall as part of The Queen's Jubilee Celebrations in November 2012 and performing A Lion in the Meadow to Margaret Mahy on her 70th Birthday. They performed The Whale Rider at the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) World Congress in 2019.The company has toured to Edinburgh, the Far North, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Wellington. Tim Bray was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to children and theatre in 2017.
The company is passionate about arts accessibility and their arts access programmes include NZ Sign Language interpreted performances (since 2004), Audio Described performances (since 2015) and Sensory Relaxed performances (since 2019).
Their outreach programme, Gift a Seat™, encourages donations from audiences and funders which allows the company to provide free tickets for children from low decile schools, Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education Centre, BLENNZ (Blind and Low Vision Education Network of NZ) and Make-A-Wish (NZ).
The company was awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts for All Award in 2020. The judges described Tim Bray Theatre Company as a pioneer in accessibility, providing NZSL interpreted theatre performances to children since 2004. “We applaud its long-term commitment to accessibility, the care and attention to detail in its work, its generosity in sharing its knowledge with others and, importantly, the fact it has an accessibility policy to drive its outstanding, pioneering work in making theatre more accessible to Deaf and disabled children and their families.”
The company runs a Youth Theatre with weekly drama classes for children and young people aged 5 to 19 years. At the end of each term the students get the chance to watch a rehearsal run of the company’s latest production so they can learn from watching professional actors at work. Occasionally Youth Theatre students get the opportunity to perform alongside professional actors in the main bill shows.
Tim Bray Youth Theatre also offers Extraordinarily Creative classes for autistic and neurodivergent children and teenagers.
Alongside the productions the company also offers week-long Hit the Stage! workshops where children devise and perform their own performance at the end of the week.
The team at the office are:
Artistic Director: Tim Bray, QSM
Business Development Manager: Gail Rotherham
Youth Theatre Outreach Manager: Madeleine Lynch
Youth Theatre Manager: Sara Dakin
Marketing Manager: Gary Perez
Grants Writer: Sally Warrender
Schools Engagement Co-ordinator: Diane Burnett
Company Stage Manager: Katie Querin
Production Manager: Robert Hunte, Hunte Limited
Bookkeeper: Lynn Toomer
The Operating Theatre Trust's Trustees are Peter Winder (Chairperson), Rosemary Tisdall, Rachel Jefferies, Mike Tisdall and Tim Bray, QSM.