Free Theatre Christchurch’s production The Earthquake in Chile is something of a milestone for the company. Like many of the arts organizations around the city, Free Theatre has lost its bases in the inner city (the University Theatre in the Arts Centre and Old Queen’s Theatre in Hereford St) and has had to cancel two planned productions following the earthquakes. So getting this production up and running is important for Artistic Director Peter Falkenberg and ensemble.
The production is a collaboration with Canterbury Fellow Professor Richard Gough, the director of the Centre for Performance Research (CPR) in Aberystwyth Wales and the founding President of the influential Performance Studies International. Gough is in New Zealand to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Te Puna Toi, the research wing of the Theatre and Film Studies Programme (TAFS) at the University of Canterbury. The TAFS programme grew out of the Free Theatre – operating now for over 30 years in Christchurch – and has maintained a unique combination of theory and practice leading to what is the most impressive postgraduate research culture in the country.
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