Founded by Jenny Wake in 1991, Calico Theatre has created, commissioned and performed shows for thousands of children in schools, theatres and festivals throughout New Zealand. With young people at the heart of our vision, Calico is noted for developing innovative audience participation techniques and providing hands-on opportunities for children to participate in theatre productions – as performers, audience, behind the scenes and by creating and presenting their own shows.
Initially Wellington-based and specialising in theatre for young audiences, Calico is now based in Napier where we develop shows and resources for school productions.
Calico’s artistic director Jenny Wake is a writer, director, producer and educator, with an MA in Children’s Theatre and a career encompassing theatre, television and museum education. She trained as a teacher, directed and produced best-loved children’s TV series Play School and has created and toured professional theatre productions to schools throughout New Zealand. Over the years, hundreds of children have participated in her theatre skills workshops, and thousands have performed in her original plays for young performers.
Calico’s success would not have been possible without the invaluable contributions of key collaborators such as Barbara Hardy, Mario Mazzorana, Janet Holborow, Debz Ruffell, Jane Cherry, John Hui, Carol Stevenson, Kristen Gillespie, Khay Ooi, Annie Forbes, Tim Denton, Paul Jenden, Angie Farrow, Michelanne Forster and many other wonderful performing arts practitioners.