Helena-Jane Kilkelly

H-J began her career in theatre at the tender age of 19, when her father pleaded her to get on board and production manager a show that was logistically challenged. Thus began an insane immersion/addiction…

Children of the Poor (wr: Mervyn Thompson, dir: Kylie Morgaine Thomas) had a successful season at the Globe Theatre in Dunedin (2001), and for some reason it was decided to tour the show to the Wellington Fringe Festival, plunging H-J yet again into something she was completely out of her depth in: producing and touring a show. Fundraisers, Creative Communities, and lots of begging got them there, and an amazing show was performed to all of about 3 people a night.

However, having then learned everything the hard way, she continued on her theatre journey and has been involved in a number of capacities in different shows, including:

Stage Managing and/or Production Managing

  • The Crucible (dir: Julie Noever, Globe Theatre, 2002)
  • Romeo and Juliet (dir: David Manley, Globe Theatre, 2002)
  • Wit (dir: Nigel Ensor, Globe Theatre, 2002)
  • Music Hall (dir: Brian Beresford, Globe Theatre, 2002)
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (dir: David Manley, Globe Theatre 2003)
  • Mauri Tu/Tatai (dir: Hilary Halba/Richard Huber, Globe Theatre, 2003)
  • Spoonface Steinberg (dir: Louis Ablett-Kerr, Globe Theatre, 2003)
  • Prisoners of Mother England (dir: Nigel Ensor, Globe Theatre, 2003)
  • The Hairy Ape (dir: Corey Le Vaillant, Allen Hall Theatre, 2003)
  • Tamlin (dir: Cathy Ellison, Allen Hall Theatre, 2003)
  • She Stoops To Conquer (dir: David Corballis, Globe Theatre, 2004)
  • American Buffalo (dir: Andrew Morrison, Globe Theatre, 2004)
  • Marvin’s Room (dir: Emily Duncan, Globe Theatre, 2004)

H-J’s passion further developed into the area of working on premieres of New Zealand works, and she has been lucky enough to work on a number of writer driven projects.

As stage and production manager, she toured both nationally and internationally with Jerusalem Jerusalem (written and directed by Mike Riddell): Globe Theatre, Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Christchurch, 2002; Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, 2003; Circa2, Wellington 2003; The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Belfast, Cheltenham Greenbelt Festival, 2003.

As producer, she has been thrilled to premiere double billed seasons for emerging New Zealand playwrights:

See/Lips (written and directed by Emily Duncan/Nathan Renata Matthews, Globe Theatre, Fringe Festival 2003)

Sweet Meats/The Takeover (written and directed by Emily Duncan/Nathan Renata Matthews, Globe Theatre, Fringe Festival 2004)

Leap forward to late 2015 – after years of travelling and living overseas, blogging, marriage, breeding, retail management, the corporate world, blah blah blah, she has finally returned to where she’s meant to be, the (back)stage, working both with Prospect Park Productions, and contracting to other exciting opportunities.

Key projects over the last two years have included producing a successful season of NZ premiere work, Hold Me at BATS Theatre (Prospect Park Productions), the Matariki Development Festival 2016, Breaking Ground 2017 (with Tawata Productions), The Night Mechanics 2017 (Tawata Productions) and coordination of events such as a pre-symposium workshop for Tai Ahiahi///Tai Awatea: Curating Contemporary Maori Art (with Toi Maori and City Gallery), Playmarket’s State of Our Stage workshop tour, and practitioner development weekend The Annual BATS Summit (TABS) for BATS Theatre.

2018 has been a busy one so far, with H-J producing Prospect Park’s first podcast, Dark Dunedin, released March 2018, working as associate producer on Bless the Child (Tawata Productions), a co-production with New Zealand Festival and Auckland Arts Festival, as a producer for Maori, Pasifika and Ingidenous dance and theatre festival Kia Mau Festival, another round of TABS, mini-festival Spring Uprising for Barbarian Productions, and of course, Eloise in the Middle for Prospect Park. Then she’s having a nap.