Long Cloud Youth Theatre
Long Cloud Youth Theatre is a hothouse for New Zealand’s most exciting young acting talent. Long Cloud, run by Whitireia Performance Centre and based in Wellington, is a unique training and production company for young people aged 16-21.
Entering its eighth year in 2013, the company gives young actors the means to enhance their theatrical skills through practical performance experience and the opportunity to work with Wellington’s foremost theatrical directors and tutors.
THE NEW YEAR BRINGS A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP AND A BRAND NEW WORK
Having been at the helm for two years, Long Cloud Youth Theatre Artistic Director Aaron Cortesi is moving on—becoming a full time Whitireia tutor, as well as developing new works with the likes of Taki Rua and A Slightly Isolated Dog.
2013 marks a new era for the development and sustainability of a venture like Long Cloud: a previous company member, Stella Reid, has taken the reins as Artistic Director. Aaron speaks of his time leading Long Cloud as in equal measure the most challenging and satisfying endeavour of my career thus far.”
“It has been so rewarding to see the actors develop into their potential, forging new career paths and going on to create their own work and companies.”
“I look forward to Stella coming with a fresh energy and vision, and feel hugely excited by the prospect of an ex-‐company member leading Long Cloud into the future. I want to thank all my collaborators who assisted me with the artistic adventures over the past couple of years, in particular: Christian Penny, Willem Wassenaar, Brett Adam, Paul Tozer, Oliver Morse, Matt Eller, Leon Wadham, Eli Kent, Jo Randerson, Martyn Wood/BATS, Downstage, Leo Gene Peters, Brian Steele and the staff of Whitireia NZ and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. Their work has been invaluable for the growth of the company,”
As a former member and now Artistic Director, Reid’s leadership marks an important milestone in the company’s development, and further conveys Long Cloud’s ascendency as a hothouse for cultivating talent. Both Stella and Whitireia New Zealand acknowledge Aaron’s supreme contribution to the development of Long Cloud Youth Theatre. “I can only hope that the unique work Aaron created, as well as the collaborative methodology he instilled, will continue to be practiced and treasured by the company.” (Stella Reid).
WHITIREIA NEW ZEALAND PRESENTS:
LONG CLOUD YOUTH THEATRE, directed by Stella Reid & Daniel Emms
After the success of their most recent production Perfectly Wasted (in collaboration with A Slightly Isolated Dog and Downstage Theatre), Long Cloud starts the new year continuing to strengthen their ensemble.
Developing a work based off Charles L. Mee’s The Bacchae 2.1, Long Cloud is diving into the world of the ancient Greek, exploring a choral, archaic and primal theatre. In this retelling of Euripides’ classic, Charles Mee has combined text from a range of sources, including Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto, Georges Bataille and Joan Nestle’s Lesbian Herstory Archives.
In a world not unlike our own, in a small town, the women have disappeared.
They have flocked to the mountains, where they worship Dionysus, drink wine, talk and celebrate strange archaic rituals. The repressed townspeople sway between wanting to abandon their lives and join them, or stick with the stale and ordered status quo.
The world is a collision of men and women, civility and savagery, old world and new world, and the champions of reason against those who are led by their instinct. Its characters—from the young, rigid Pentheus, to the sensuous and wild Agave—indicts our generation’s assumptions about our own liberation, and shows us just how much more we have covered up.
4-10 May, 7:30 PM. (No show Mondays)
WHITIREIA THEATRE, 25-27 Vivian St, Wellington
$18/$14 | BOOKINGS PHONE 04 238 6225 or ONLINE: www.thetheatre.co.nz
Company credits include: PERFECTLY WASTED (2013), WHEELER's LUCK (2012), ANOTHER BEGGAR'S OPERA (2012), ASSISTED LIVING (2012), TOM KEEPER PASSES (2012), YO FUTURE (2011), SHEEP (2011), THE LARAMIE PROJECT (2011), BOOK OF EVERYTHING (2011), WELCOME TO THE WOODS (2011), DAUGHTERS OF HEAVEN (2011), EQUUS (2010), THE SEAGULL (2010), VERNON GOD LITTLE (2010), TITUS ANDRONICUS (2009), THE CRUCIBLE (2009), GRIMM & COLONY! (2008 & 2009) and SPRING AWAKENING (2008).
What people say about Long Cloud:
“One of the success’ of the Long Cloud work – apart from the very real power of the work created – is the foundation the programme is providing. All of this ‘infrastructure’ assists the art form to grow. In our current first year of acting we have over a quarter of the students who have been shaped to lesser and greater degrees by Long Cloud. They enter the programme with a markedly higher vocabulary and focus than their peers. Obviously this assists the whole programme to move towards its goals at a quicker pace.”
- Christian Penny (Director of Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School)
“Long Cloud have long been at the forefront of contemporary arts practice in Wellington, and the bold new direction of their work in the past year means this is still a company that will continue to surprise, delight and challenge their audience.”
- Martyn Wood (Programme Manager, BATS Theatre)
“Long Cloud is consistently delivering year long high level programs for youth and under Aaron Cortesi’s direction the company is entering an exciting new phase. It is unusual for projects to have a long development period, and the opportunity that this way of working provides means a deep learning experience for Long Cloud participants.”
- Hilary Beaton (Director/CEO of Downstage Theatre)
About Recent Productions:
“This show brings a whole new feel to the work of Long Cloud Youth Theatre. If you thought you'd detected a ‘house style' emerging over the mostly very impressive 16 productions the ever-changing company has so far packed into less than four years, think again. Yo Future is something else.”
– John Smythe (Theatreview)
“This is minimalist theatre of menace at its best. And very funny.”
– John Smythe
“Jo Randerson and her highly disciplined cast have created a dynamic and often exciting piece of theatre that captures well the underlying unease of our times”
– Laurie Atkinson (Dominion Post 2011)
TOM KEEPER PASSES:
“If it sounds grim, it isn't. It is exhilarating, sobering and often very funny indeed... A splendid production.”
– Laurie Atkinson (Dominion Post 2012)
“Dazzling melange funny, haunting”
– Laurie Atkinson
“Tom Keeper Passes is highly recommended to non-passive theatre-goers. It behoves us well to tune into these perceptions of our world.”
– John Smythe (Theatreview)
What the Students say about the work:
“I feel like I want to go back and do it all again; experience the same emotions, feelings, that we did before, but I know you’re never going to be able to do that. It was just the purity of doing the job that was so cool.”
“I noticed that this whole learning process has been very different from what I’ve learnt in the company previously. I found that before doing this show everything was very self-driven – it was all about me, my acting, I have to be the star. And now coming into this, it’s about us together and about you investing yourself into the group. It just surprises me so much, this element of family in the company which is something that I’ve never been a part of.”
– Pippa Drakeford
“Why is the theatre great? I think it’s great because in creating theatre we get the chance to recognise ourselves in a different way”
– Barney Olsen
During our “making the show” process, we talked a lot about communities and family units, about groups of people working together. Something that we’re interested in (or I am, at least) is the feeling that cities, towns, and countries seem less and less to be identifying themselves as communities, and more and more emphasis is being placed on simply caring for the individual. In this way Tom Keeper reflects some of the problems we’re dealing with in our time.”
– Ella Hope-Higginson
“I found it interesting because in playing the humour of it, we were on a fine line but we didn’t undercut things too much. We played something humorous but somehow emerging out of that was this really sad underlying truth which we just managed to let speak for itself”
– Ana Scotney
Term Dates 2013
4th March - 10th May
27th May - 27th July
5th August - 12th October
21st October - 15th December
Long Cloud fees are $300 per term.
Fees for Summer School are $225.
How can I join Long Cloud?
The company holds auditions at the beginning of Term 1 and throughout the year depending on numbers. Look out for audition notices on our Facebook page. The next auditions will be held either late July/early August.
Or for audition enquires please contact Stella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does the audition process work?
You will be auditioned in groups of 15-20 with Aaron and two or three current members. Usually you will be asked to prepare a short contemporary monologue, come prepared to work it!
What can I expect if I join?
We train in a wide variety of areas and put on both new devised works and scripted productions in venues such as BATS, Whitireia Theatre,Te Whaea and Downstage. The levels of commitment, camaraderie and ability are high and we frequently work with industry professionals.
This year the company has begun to create a mentor system with the more experienced members of the company, seeing them directing, writing and leading the new members through the devising process to develop leadership skills that they can apply to future works.
How many classes does Long Cloud have per week?
We have two three hour rehearsals/classes per week, usually either on a weekday evening or on a weekend afternoon. When we are rehearsing a show, the production week leading up to opening night can get busy so extra rehearsals are scheduled.
What is the social environment like at Long Cloud?
“It’s a great environment to be part of, you get to be around likeminded people which gives a strong sense of belonging and purpose, we’re a community, working and playing together both in and out of the room.”
– Olivia Mahood (Long Cloud member)
Long Cloud would like to acknowledge the support of the following organisations and sponsors who help make the Company what it is:
Wellington City Council
Wellington City Creative Communities New Zealand
Brian and Andrea Steele
Bette and Peter Cosgrove
Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School
Victoria University of Wellington
A slightly isolated Dog
For more information please contact Stella at email@example.com