Free Theatre New Works Programme
Free Theatre (est. 1979) is New Zealand's longest running avant-garde theatre company. Taking up the first art-based tenancy in the restored Arts Centre in 2014, the company has developed a unique New Works Programme that brings together artists from diverse backgrounds with a view to supporting and fostering an Arts Centre of the 21st Century.
Free Theatre Ubu Nights
"Expect the unexpected". A key part of the Free Theatre's New Works Programme are the popular Ubu Nights, which combine performance, film, music and hospitality around a counter-cultural provocation: Dada, David Lynch, Tango, Warhol's Factory, The Beat Generation, Alice in Wonderland, Berlin Kabarett, David Bowie, The Devil and The Blues to name a few. To find out more, please visit the Free Theatre website.
Free Theatre Education Programme
Free Theatre's growing Education Programme offers younger students (7-12) opportunities to learn the fundamentals of theatre (mask, movement, puppetry, voice, physical theatre), as well as unique NCEA-related opportunities in modern theatre. The Education Programme shares what the company is exploring in the development of new inter-disciplinary projects - theatre, film, music/sound, kapa haka, opera, circo-arts, interactive technologies - and learning from those workshops towards the development of new work. This means that students in the Free Theatre Education Programme are gaining experiences at the cutting edge of contemporary performance with nationally and internationally recognised artists.
Festival and Events
Our aim is to present an innovative, integrated programme and destination in the inner city that marks this city as different and exciting. In and around the ground-breaking Free Theatre New Works and Education Programme, The Gym is programmed to encourage and foster contemporary performance, collaborating with organisations such as The Auricle, Audio Foundation, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and The Physics Room. We collaborate with a diversity of festivals and events including the Christchurch Arts Festival, the Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz and Blues Festival, the New Zealand International Arts Festival and the Asociacion Hispanica Aotearoa. We also provide a unique space and new appreciation for contemporary performance in the city with events organised for corporate partners such as Air New Zealand, Arrow International, Armitage Williams, OneStaff and Deloitte.