Young, gifted and The PumpHouse
James Bell
Performing Arts

Young, gifted and The PumpHouse

One of the best things about operating a community theatre is being able to assist young and emerging artists get a rung or two further up the ladder. Over the next few weeks we host various events that include a large number of artists aged between 17 and 30. 

The theatre business and a career in the arts in general isn’t for the faint-hearted. Talent and self-belief isn’t enough to succeed in this game. Young actors, musicians and writers must steel themselves for constant rejection, sparse earning opportunities and a diet of two-minute noodles in pursuit of their craft. Many get discouraged, give up and get a ‘proper’ job. 

But not Zane Fleming.

Zane is a 20-something actor and arts entrepreneur who doesn’t wait for his agent to find him a gig. Barely out of drama school, he formed his own theatre company to provide stage opportunities for himself and others. The company, Masked Productions, has notched up a couple of professional shows so far and its next play, later this month, is Reasons To Be Pretty, a contemporary drama by award-winning American playwright Neil LaBute. 

Since May, playwright Gary Henderson has been guiding a cluster of budding playwrights at the weekly Learn to Write for Theatre course. A 10-minute play per new writer will be performed next week. We encourage people to attend as audience feedback is crucial to the playwriting process. 

Rangitoto College Senior Shakespeare students return with Measure for Measure under the direction of their drama teacher and Shakespeare-o-phile, Allan Roberts. Their short season doesn’t contribute to NCEA credits - these teenagers tackle the Bard for the sheer love of it.

Broken Quill Theatre is another merry band of Shakespeare fans who are all under 30. The company’s upcoming season puts a musical spin on Romeo and Juliet.

North Shore Concert Band’s annual concert also features a number of younger members. For over three decades, the band has nurtured young talent. Some of that original young talent, the founding members, are still with the band today paying it forward to the next generation.

And we’re here to help them.

James Bell



What’s On:

August 10 – 12 at 7pm

Rangitoto College Senior Drama Presents

Measure for Measure

By William Shakespeare

All tickets $15


Sunday August 13 at 7pm

The PumpHouse presents

10 Minute Plays

Hosted by Gary Henderson

Entry by gold coin donation


August 19 – 26

Masked Productions presents

Reasons to be Pretty

By Neil La Bute

Directed by Greg Bailey

Tues – Sat 8pm    Sun 3pm

Adult $30    Senior/Student $25    Group 10+ $22pp


Sunday September 3 at 2pm

North Shore Concert Band presents

World Tour

Adult  $18     Senior/Student/Child   $15


Sept 7 – 16

Broken Quill Theatre presents

Romeo & Juliet 

By William Shakespeare

A Musical Adaptation

Thu – Sat 7.30pm

Sat matinee 2pm

No shows Mon, Tues, Weds

Adult $25    Senior/Student/Group 10+ $15






By James Bell

Channel Magazine: Issue 79 August 2017

Columnist articles by James Bell