Emma Rattenbury is a third-year BA student at Vic majoring in English Literature and Theatre, originally from Taranaki. In Black November 1918, Emma is playing the role of Clara Barker and also acting as one of the sound designers as her production role. Emma takes theatre because she enjoys working closely with cool people and challenging herself and others creatively. In particular, Emma took THEA 301 because she loves the satisfaction of devising a work from the ground up. It’s essentially a collective brainchild! The most interesting aspect of the show is the immersive aspect of Part One, but she also enjoys the more stylised performance aspects in Part Two.
Caleb is a third-year theatre student Majoring in theatre and minoring in criminology. He plays the Role of Alfred Barker who is the Father of the Barker family. He is also part of the set design team as his production role. Caleb decided to take theatre because it’s the only thing that gives him the passion to learn and educate himself. Caleb took this paper because of how reflective it is of a real-life professional theatre company and loves working in a big tight-knit group to produce a show for others to enjoy. The best part about this show for Caleb is the historical beauty and value it holds to New Zealand, especially as it is commemorative of 100 years ago.
Tom Vassar is playing the role of Harry Barker, a young man returned from the war. Tom also played an important part in the production as he was one of the scriptwriters. Tom enjoys theatre because he loves to perform and be creative. What Tom find interesting about the show is that the play is immersed in a piece of New Zealand history that has been overlooked for 100 years.
Originally from Hawke’s Bay, Jenny is a 300-Level Theatre, English, and Creative Writing student at Victoria University of Wellington. In Black November 1918, she plays the role of Florence Barker, a young nurse at the hospital, and daughter to Alfred and Clara. She has also been working away behind the scenes as a member of the set design team. For Jenny, the most exciting thing about this show is its ability to connect an audience with a web of characters and their stories and reflect the sense of community that comes from shared trauma.
Holly McLauchlan plays the role of Theresa Barker, the youngest of the family. Holly has also been helping in coordinating the publicity (specifically the social media side) for Black November. The thing that gets Holly excited about theatre is collaborative work and devising. Alongside theatre, she studies History, is a workaholic and has an undying love for travel. She hopes one day to open up her own theatre school for children. Holly was excited to dive into this show as it combines all her keen interests, collaborative theatre, New Zealand history and specifically the social histories of those affected by the pandemic.
Jamie is a 4th year BA student majoring in theatre and education and minoring in criminology. In Black November 1918, she plays the role of Ahorangi and also has a production role of being part of the marketing team. Jamie does theatre because she loves performing and has been performing her entire life since being a dancer from the age of 5. She also loves the collaboration process and working with her cast and crew! To Jamie, the most interesting part of this show is the fact it is somewhat teaching the audience about the influenza pandemic of 1918 and the huge effects it had, specifically in the Māori population.
Oliver plays the part of Ronnie, a scout leader trying to help however possible. He is also part of the scriptwriting team, and has massively enjoyed the devising process because it’s been so collaborative and supportive. He is now excited for the show to come to life onstage because it strives to communicate the important notion of resilience and unity in times of adversity.
Millie is a 21-year-old Theatre, Psychology, and Education major at Victoria University of Wellington. She is playing the role of Eleanor, a reporter for the Dominion Post. She has been involved with theatre ever since she was young and loves being both a performer and her role as the stage manager in this show. Her favourite things in life are her family, friends, pets, and sleeping. Millie would like to thank the cast and crew for being wonderful during this project, her family and friends for all their love, and Kerryn our amazing director.
Olivia White is a film/media/theatre student and plays the role of Moira Rawleigh, and while she’s been getting weirdly into home remedies, has also been darting from set design to costume design and has often been seen sewing till the late hours of the morning. This show appeals to her as it holds a mirror to a dark chapter of NZ history we don’t talk about. The lack of creativity in her daily life made Olivia enrol in this theatre paper, and it’s been the best choice she’s ever made.
Erica Hyde plays the role of Mrs Morris, the bereaved wife of one of Wellington’s undertakers, Mr Morris. Erica is in the last trimester of her BA, double majoring in Film and Theatre. She has enjoyed being a part of the scriptwriting team and is excited to see it all come to life onstage. Erica would like to acknowledge the perseverance and mana of the THEA301 director, Kerryn, who has supported and fostered a creative and caring community within the company.
Monica is an aspiring actress majoring in Theatre, Film and Italian. She worked on the shows music, helped with dramaturgy, and is also playing the part of Sister Anne. In the past she has performed at the Pop-Up Globe and Circa Theatre, as well as written/directed at BATS Theatre. She’s excited to shed light on the 1918 pandemic through the medium of theatre.
Zoé is a 20-year-old Theatre student majoring in Theatre, Marketing, Management, and French. She is from Ukraine and grew up in France and India. Playing the role of Iris, Zoé is also a part of the script team for her production role. She took this paper because of her love for theatre and its ability to explore different mediums of creativity within a collaborative and unique environment. The most exciting aspect of this show for her is its historical exploration and unmasking of a historical tragedy.
Jodi Norris worked with the script team as a dramaturg. Jodi is playing the role of Harriette Roberts, a nurse during the pandemic. She is interested in collaborative theatre productions, especially devised, explorative and experimental shows. She thinks the most interesting part about the show is its ability to unveil a rather unknown part of important New Zealand history.
Luna Bornøy is in her third and final year, majoring in Theatre and minoring in Film. She is originally from Norway and is returning shortly after graduating in December. In Black November 1918, she is playing Doctor Kate Amstutz, an expert flown in from Switzerland. Her production role is within the sound design team and costume design and helps out with whatever the other production teams need an extra hand with. She did a specialized study in Theatre in High School back home but actually came to New Zealand to study Film. However, she couldn’t stay away from Theatre for more than one trimester and jumped in head first when she got the chance. She loves theatre because she enjoys working with others to create something that hopefully will bring joy to others. She loves a good challenge, especially if it is in a creative setting. Luna finds the most interesting thing about the show, is the fact that it is based on a piece of history that nearly seems forgotten. She finds it really exciting being a part of the crew to bring this back, 100 years after happened.
Ashleigh Yates is a third-year theatre student who transferred to Victoria mid-2017. She plays the role of Sister Mary in the play and is also working on publicity. Her love of performing led her to pursue a theatre degree alongside her passion for English. This piece excites her as many of her family members work in the nursing profession and she has always enjoyed showing off to her family and having a relatable topic for them will help spark their interest.
Rohan Liley is a 3rd year theatre and philosophy student and Wellington local; from Tawa specifically. He is playing the character Joe O’Leary, a returned soldier who has fallen on hard times. In addition Rohan is also the lighting designer for Black November 1918. Rohan has a family background in theatre which might explain why he was drawn to perform from a young age, first in dance, later in theatre, and his interest in lighting was sparked after he got the opportunity to light a show at Bats last year. What he loves most about the show is how it’s able to tell the stories of so many different people who lived through this disaster but also manages to make you invest emotionally in each of those people.
Lily Davies is a third-year theatre and film major at Victoria University. She loves the collaborative side of theatre and is so excited for everyone to see the awesome show that the company has put together.
Nina is a third-year Bachelor of Arts English Literature and Theatre student at Victoria University, with ambitions to teach both subjects in schools. She is the Stage Manager for this production, alongside Sam and Millie. She loves a logistical challenge and being behind-the-scenes (hence no acting role) and organizing large practical projects with brilliant people! This production appeals to her because of its emotional intensity, and the way it uncovers a lost aspect of New Zealand’s history.
Caitlin Mcaleece plays the role of Kitty Russell and has involved herself in both the wellbeing team and organising and collecting the props for the show. Caitlin decided to take theatre as she enjoyed doing it in secondary school so thought she might as well study something she enjoys. Caitlin loves theatre because it is entertaining and you can learn a wider range of skills and knowledge than any other subject. The most interesting thing about this show is to Caitlin was learning about a time in New Zealand history that no one really knows about.
Jussam Mechen plays Nora Smith in Black November 2018. Jussam enjoys working off stage as she does on. She was part of the set design and lighting team and had fun tackling the challenges that came with doing this piece. Jussam did Drama all through College but was only an actor. But by taking Theatre at Victoria it gave her the chance to upskill in other areas. The most important thing about the show is informing people of the history of Black November. Before she did this paper she had no idea that this catastrophe ever occurred. It is an erased part of New Zealand history.