About Us

Richard Green — Producer/Director

19 years ago I sat in a one bedroom flat in Auckland thinking about what to do next. As a struggling actor / director it became apparent that to survive in New Zealand in the arts one has to produce their own work. Lara Macgregor, now herself artistic Director of the Fortune Theatre in Dunedin, and then living and working in New York as an actor, sent me a copy of “The Compleat Works of William Shkspr (abridged)”. I read this script not sure of what I would do with it. and then...

I always remembered how painful it was in school listening as we read Shakespeare as a class and butchered it, staring out the window with little regard for the captivating and dramatic stories unfolding. We were unaware because we just didn’t understand. These memories and the great script in my hand inspired me to change that.

And so the Ugly Shakespeare Company was born to take the fear out of Shakespeare.

Now the longest running Theatre-In-Education company in Aotearoa, we have had our work in front of over 800,000 students. And we plan to continue doing that to bring theatre, Shakespeare and comedy to New Zealanders irrespective of social, geographic or economic isolation.

ALBERT BELZ

Albert Belz’s career in the arts originally began as an actor before turning his hand to writing for stage and screen. An award-winning playwright, his unique voice has crossed many datelines and divides having been performed internationally including London, Paris, New York, Melbourne & Sydney. Issues ranging from class, ethnicity and sexual politics, to Gothic serial killers and religion resonate through his words.

Belz has held writing residencies in Les Quesnoy (Northern France) also Waikato, Victoria (N.Z) and Canterbury (N.Z) Universities.

His latest play “Astroman” has been produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company, Court Theatre and most recently Auckland Theatre Company. Belz was creator and head-writer on the Maori comedy series “Tongue Tied” which bought Te Reo to hilarious life and screened on Maori Television in 2018. It is available on MTS On Demand and will be available at TVNZ On Demand on September 6th. Belz is completing his Masters in Creative Writing while lecturing in performing arts, writing for stage and screen at Manukau Institute of Technology and South Seas Film School. He also writes for a local television drama Shortland Street.

MARIANNE INFANTE

Marianne Infante is a multifaceted Filipino actor and dancer. In 2016 she graduated from Unitec with a Bachelor majoring in Screen and Theatre Acting in 2016, Marianne has also immersed herself in the Arts as a writer, freelancing Stage Manager and a Creative Producer.

Marianne’s most recent performances are 'PINAY' (2019) by Proudly Asian Theatre, 'Tide Waits For No Man' (2018 & 2019) by Spooky Antix and PAT and ‘Aroha Mai’ (2018) by The Oddballs.

Proud to be working with Ugly Shakespeare, Marianne is also a creative producer of PAT- Proudly Asian Theatre.  This year she presented the premiere of her first full-length play ‘PINAY’, New Zealand’s first Filipino-Kiwi bilingual play, with the great success of a sell-out season! 

He Waka Eke Noa — Charitable Trust

The He Waka Eke Noa Charitable Trust (A canoe on which anyone may embark) was set up in 2002 to facilitate and ensure the growth of all forms of the arts in Aotearoa with a particular focus on nurturing youth arts. Since then the company has produced 21 national theatre tours, produced 2 plays, 2 award winning short films, a web pilot, numerous festivals and arts events. He Waka also runs KickArts, a weekly arts radio show on PlanetFM running since 2012.

The Ugly Shakespeare Company is proudly administrated by He Waka Eke Noa Charitable Trust. For more information visit waka.org.nz.