June 18, 2007


Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School is delighted to announce the appointment of Jonathon Hendry, actor, director, teacher, voice artist and all-round artistic entrepreneur as its new Head of Acting.

"We are joyously welcoming Jonty back into Toi Whakaari as our new Head of Acting," said Annie Ruth, Director of Toi Whakaari. "Jonathon fought off candidates from around the world for the role by being head and shoulders above all the other applicants. Not only is he one of NZ’s most experienced stage actors and directors, with considerable exposure in the film industry, but his management and governance experience is a rare gift in this industry."

Jonathon Hendry explains his attraction to the job: "When I trained under George Webby and Grant Tilly we had two small classrooms for actors housed above a motor bike shop. Despite the noise it was a wonderful experience. I now join a school where courses for actors, designers, directors, technicians, costumers and managers are provided in world-class facilities. At a time of terrific innovation in the performing arts it’s a privilege to work with our emerging talent and it’s my firm belief that they are raising the bar. I look forward to helping them, as well as contributing to Toi’s growing reputation both here and internationally."

Jonathon has directed at Auckland Theatre Company, Silo, Downstage, Circa, Centrepoint, and BATS. He is a graduate of Toi Whakaari (1987-88) and his well known accomplishments include acting roles varying from playing Richard III in an International Arts Festival production, Vladimir Lenin, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Prebble in the TV. series Fallout. He had a lead role in cult horror classic The Irrefutable Truth about Demons and is a consistently employed voice artist. His specialty is Shakespeare, and in 2003 he was an Artistic Resident at the Globe Theatre London.

The teaching experience Jonathon brings to the role of Head of Acting is enormous. He was recently Head of Acting at UNITEC and has taught at Massey University, Victoria University, Wellington Conservatorium of Music, New Zealand College of Performing Arts and Wellington Performing Arts Centre as well as running various acting and Shakespeare workshops.

Jonathon also brings considerable arts governance and consultancy experience to the table. He has spent time on the Toi Whakaari Board of Trustees and Board of Studies, has been on the Board of Downstage and Taki Rua and is a regular assessor for Creative NZ funding rounds. He was the arts correspondent on Radio Live for two years before swapping his review skills to Radio New Zealand Concert.

Taking up his new position in July will mark the middle of a typically busy year for Jonathon. 2007 has already seen him direct The Tutor for Auckland Theatre Company, which was followed by a national tour where he took over the role of Sellars; and directing Othello for Downstage. Later this year he will take a month out from his Toi Whakaari role to direct the premiere season of new NZ play The Hollow Men at BATS and Centrepoint, followed by a stint directing Mark Ravenhill’s The Cut at Silo theatre.

Share on social