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.

Ahi Karunaharan — Writer / Director

We are thrilled to announce that this show will be written and directed by the amazingly talented Ahi Karunaharan. Karunaharan’s writing credits for stage include Aotearoa’s first full-length Sri Lankan play The Mourning AfterAnchorite, and Melodic Maladies. His play Tea which he wrote and directed for the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival, was the hottest ticket in town and sold out well before the opening night. Tea was awarded Excellence for Overall Production at the Auckland Theatre Awards. Directing highlights include A Fine Balance and Swabhoomi: Borrowed Earth for Prayas Theatre, the interactive outdoor extravaganza Kollywood Extras, Bollywood Blockbuster, Shoulda Woulda CouldaLight vs Dark: The Adventures of Rama for Auckland Theatre Company and the immersive participatory experience Samaroh: The Great Indian Carnival for the Auckland Arts Festival. He also directed the USC 2020 production of Othello!

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.