February 8, 2007


It is with great regret that Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School announces the resignation of our inspirational Head of Acting, Miranda Harcourt ONZM. Miranda is currently on maternity leave after the birth of her third child. Her resignation will be effective from 3 May 2007.

Miranda came to Toi Whakaari in 1999 widely celebrated as one of NZ’s leading practitioners in theatre and screen. Her experience from long, active involvement in TV, film and professional theatre in this country, and as an internationally recognised pioneer of new work, has made a fundamental contribution to the evolution of Toi Whakaari.

Miranda’s vision as Head of Acting has been to graduate students with practical and diverse skills who are actively sought by employers; as well as empowering students to create their own work in an increasingly dynamic performing arts industry.

The success of Miranda’s vision is reflected in the outstanding achievements of her graduates throughout the industry.

Miranda has raised the visibility of Toi Whakaari through her public profile, her national and international networks and her passionate advocacy of students. The 10 part TV2 documentary series Tough Act (currently being repeated on TV2 on Saturday mornings) gives an insight into the Acting Department under her leadership.

Miranda now wishes to take on different challenges. She has her own new theatre and screen projects underway and plans to extend the consultancy she has established to develop executive communication and presentation skills.

Annie Ruth, Director of Toi Whakaari, said, "We are keen to continue our relationship with Miranda and draw on her skills in any way we can in the future. Her contribution has been immense."

The Head of Acting position at Toi Whakaari will temporarily be filled by experienced film maker and theatre professional Aileen O’Sullivan, who will join the seven-strong acting department team. A national and international recruitment campaign will begin shortly to fill the Head of Acting position.

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