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Actors and musician (guitarist) auditions - The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

Job details

Tim Bray Theatre Company
16 Aug 2022
Work type
Contract, Auditions
Work classification
Music, Performing Arts



The Whale Rider

by Witi Ihimaera                                                                                  

adapted for the stage by Tim Bray

by arrangement with Playmarket


Performed at Capital E National Arts Festival in

Wellington in 2017 and at the IBBY (International

Board on Books for Young People) World Congress in 2016 


E aku nui e aku rahi

Ka nui aku mihi matakuikui ki a tātou.


Kia ora tātou katoa.


Auditions Actors and Musician (Guitarist) For Auckland Regional Tour 2022

Rehearsals 5 – 23 September

Performances 24 September – 12 November

Total 10 weeks


The show is based on Witi Ihimaera’s picture book for children, The Whale Rider. Witi has given his blessing on the script and the production and many of his own ideas feature in the show. Overseeing the production is Tamati Patuwai (Ngāti Whātua, Te Taou, Irish) as Kaitakawaenga (Māori Advisor).


A modern classic of Aotearoa 

We are thrilled to bring Witi Ihimaera’s classic story The Whale Rider back to the stage in a compelling children’s theatre show. This beautifully rich story of whānau and tikanga is masterfully translated into a live performance that will absorb the viewer, from start to end. Hailed as the ‘most intelligent Tim Bray production’ in 2014 by KickArts, this is a poignant tale of forging paths and self-belief and a show all children need to see.  

Destined to become leader of her tribe, no matter how hard she tries to show her worth, Kahu’s koro (grandfather) won’t accept that a kōtiro (girl) can take over his role of chief. But a rescue of the ancient whale beached in the Whāngārā Harbour changes everything.

Director: Tim Bray, QSM


Director/Playwright’s Note: The play is staged using doll-like puppets about 40cm high by the actors. The actors are visible and inhabit the characters of the puppets as they manipulate their heads or hands. Larger whale puppets are also used. While puppetry experience will be useful it’s not essential as we are looking for strong actors who can portray a range of characters with an array of ages and with real emotions.


We are auditioning on Thursday 18 August, 2022 for a guitarist musician, four professional principal acting roles and two professional alternate (understudy) roles at Freda Stark Hall, Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Terrace, Ponsonby. From the auditions we are also looking for an Audience Host (and alternate cast member/alternate stage manager) for the performance period.


The audition for the acting roles will comprise of a scripted audition piece and singing a short unaccompanied song preferably in te reo Māori. Professional actors of all ethnicities considered.


Actor 1: aged 18 – 30

To play Kahu (girl aged 8) as well as some narration and other characters. Able to sing.


Actor 2:  aged 20 – 50  

To play Koro Apirana, Kahu’s grandfather who is the chief of the village of Whāngārā; some narration as well as other characters. Able to sing.


Actor 3: aged 20 – 50

To play Nani Flowers, Kahu’s grandmother; Hemi a boy aged 8; other characters and some narration. Able to sing.


Actor 4: aged 18 – 50

To play various characters and as first alternate for Kahu (girl aged 8) and for some narration. Able to sing.



Excellent guitar player. Able to create incidental music throughout rehearsals to accompany the performances and play and sing waiata.


Auditions: Thursday 18 August, Freda Stark Hall, Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Terrace, Ponsonby


Due to tight scheduling around other TBTC activities and the availability of Kaitakawaenga Tamati Patuwai on this day only, we are unable to schedule auditions on other days – if you are unavailable on this day you are welcome to send a video audition to us. We must receive this no later than 5:00pm Wednesday 17 August, 2022. YouTube links are safest as they are easily viewed on many devices. 


Tim Bray Theatre Company is committed to inclusion and accessibility across its performances, audiences, and other activities. As such we require all contracted actors to agree to our code of conduct statement and actively participate in making our theatre performances accessible and open to all. 


Accessibility is a focus of all Tim Bray Theatre Company performances. We are an equal opportunity employer, and welcome applications from all suitably qualified performers regardless of their race, gender, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage applications from D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse performers.  


Please contact Alana Hawkes (contact information at bottom of page) to discuss any access needs or reasonable adjustments which may be required for your audition or for the show season, to learn more about physical access barriers at the PumpHouse Theatre, or to arrange an NZSL interpreter for your audition. 


Covid risk assessment

In line with our current risk assessment, we are only able to offer audition slots to people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 including required booster shots, and who are able to provide proof of their vaccination status. 


Additional contract for pay-per-view online video

We will be filming the show for a ‘pay per view’ model. We will issue a separate contract for this alongside the performer’s contract.


Dates Required: (All dates 2022)


Takapuna, Auckland

Monday 5 – Friday 9 September (9am – 5pm daily)

Tuesday 12 – Friday 16 September (9am – 5pm daily)


Production Week:

The PumpHouse Theatre, Takapuna

Monday 19 - Friday 23 September  (Generally 9am – 7pm)       

Lighting Plot (Wed 21), Technical (Thurs 22) and Dress (Fri 23).


Gala Opening

The PumpHouse Theatre

Saturday 24 September – 5pm (3.30pm call)


Educational Season: (school and early childhood centre groups coming to The PumpHouse Theatre for the show during last week of term 3):

Monday 26 – Friday 30 September (Daily 9.30am call – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)


Public (School Holiday) Season @ The PumpHouse Theatre

Saturday 1 October

9.30am call – performances at 10.30am & 1pm

Monday 3 – Saturday 8 October

(Daily 9.30am call – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)

Monday 10 – Saturday 15 October

(Daily 9.30am call – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)


Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau

Tuesday 18 October 2 – 8pm / Pack in/tech rehearsal

Wednesday 19 – Saturday 22 October

(Daily 9.30am calls – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)


Te Oro, Glen Innes

Tuesday 25 October 2 – 8pm / Pack in/tech rehearsal

Wednesday 26 – Saturday 30 October

(Daily 9.30am calls – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)


Glen Eden Playhouse

Monday 31 October 2 – 8pm / Pack in/tech rehearsal

Tuesday 1  – Saturday 5 November

(Daily 9.30am calls – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)


Māngere Arts Centre, Māngere

Monday 7 November 2 – 8pm / Pack in/tech rehearsal

Tuesday 8 – Saturday 12 November

(Daily 9.30am calls – performances at 10.30am and 1pm daily)


Fees: $900 (less WH tax) (+ GST if registered) per week


Ko tō mātou whainga matua 

kia tūwhera i te hinengaro o naianei, 

kia ora ai ngā whakaaro mō āpōpō




How to apply


To be considered for an audition as an actor or musician (guitarist), please send CV and recent photo to Alana Hawkes


Ngā mihi nui


Alana Hawkes

Company Manager

Phone 09-486-2261 / 027-321-1112


Written by

Tim Bray Theatre Company, admin. by The Operating Theatre Trust

5 Aug 2022

Tim Bray Theatre Company is recognised as Auckland’s leading theatre company for children and, having been established in 1991, is one of New Zealand’s oldest professional theatre companies.