Whangārei’s Arts and Community Events Space
ONEONESIX is an accessible performance, art and community space in the centre of Whangārei. It is used by hundreds of people in the community every week and visited by a growing number of artists, theatre companies and groups from around the country. It is widely known as a place that incubates original ideas, celebrates, presents and assists in the development of diverse contemporary performing arts, supports valuable community activity and provides a framework for young people to participate and gain skills in a range of areas.
ONEONESIX is WDC owned building. ONEONESIX Trust pay a peppercorn rental to WDC for the building in return for running it as a community space. ONEONESIX is run entirely on volunteer time and energy.
With a background in theatre and devising, Georgia has been a part of the ONEONESIX community for the past few years, helping to create and performing in shows such as Milk & Honey and Jabberwock with Company of Giants. She currently tutors the Senior Northland Youth Theatre class and Manages Paperbag Princess in Whangarei.
Matt was born in Whangārei and went to school in Kamo and WBHS. He holds a bachelor of management studies from Waikato University and is a partner in a local software development business. He believes in the need for public spaces that are accessible, welcoming and allow for the incubation of ideas and projects that have a social and community focus. As well as liking music, books, art, thearte and community radio, Matt, oddly, has an interest in Not For Profit (NFP) governance. He currently sits on several NFP boards and previously chaired The Quarry Arts Centre trust.
Laurel Devenie is a director, actor, teacher and theatre-maker and graduate of Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School and the John Bolton Theatre School. She has worked consistently throughout the country in many different theatrical arenas. She has been heavily involved in professional and community theatre projects in the Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Wanaka and Northland regions. She currently plays Kate Nathan on Shortland Street.
She is the Director and founder of Company of Giants (Odyssey, Giant Teeth, The Owl and the Pussycat, Rangitahua, Milk and Honey) and directs both text based work and large scale devised pieces. She is co-instigator of ONEONESIX and is heavily committed to developing an audience in this region, and contributing to the growth of a professional performing arts framework in Whangārei, as well as continuing to create original exciting work for people of all ages. She believes that growth in the performing arts sector in our region comes from supporting touring work, creating a space for the development of new work and building opportunities for local performers, young people and community members to learn how to make work that is relevant to them. She grew up in Whangārei and attended WGHS.
Ash Holwell, born in Whangārei, has trained, studied and worked as an industrial designer, artist, and theatre maker in Wellington, Rotterdam, Vienna, and Auckland. Currently based in Whangārei, his artistic practice has acted as a catalyst for urban regeneration, resource recovery, decentralised education and community engagement, through work with Company of Giants, Whare Bike, Wood Community Space, council.go., and ‘suwi circle. He holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Massey University Wellington, a Master of Art & Science from The University of Applied Arts Vienna, and completed the John Bolton Theatre School in 2014.
Mataara Stokes studied at the John Bolton Theatre School in 2015 in Melbourne. He has been a core part of Company of Giants since its formation and has created and performed in most Company of Giants productions to date (Odyssey, Empty City, The Owl and the Pussycat, Jabberwock, Milk and Honey and Rangitahua). He also performed in Giant Teeth which was a collaboration between Company of Giants and the Auckland Theatre Company in their Next Big Thing project, 2014 and Uncle Minotaur, a Young and Hungry production at the Basement theatre in the same year. Last year he toured Northland with the Playworks Production of Upstander. Mataara works as a free lance photographer, performer and as various production roles. He has worked as a facilitator in several Company of Giants community projects.
I fell in love with theatre when I was 16 and got to be a part of one of Bill Walker’s senior WGHS shows before winding up over at NYT. Performing arts is a vital part of our community, it gives everyone a place where they can tell their stories and feel as though they fit. Northland raised but currently based in Auckland, I’m an ex-intermediate school teacher currently working in theatre production, events and artist management. ONEONESIX is a tāonga and I feel lucky to be a part of it’s story.
Thomas Gowing is a Whangarei-based designer and developer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Design Innovation in 2014 with a major in media design. Thomas is a member of the Company of Giants theatre collective and regularly uses ONEONESIX to create theatre and media projects.