Guest Tutors

One of PIPA’s strengths and something that sets us apart from many other Performing Arts schools is that all of our tutors; full time, regular and guest, are currently working in the performing arts industry.
We believe this is important for several reasons,
• It keeps the tutors and material current
• It gives our students a great connection with the industry
• Different tutors can be brought in as they are available which means lots of variety in what is being delivered within our courses.
We are very proud of all our guest tutors and know we are very, very fortunate to have them teaching at PIPA.

Rachel House

Director: 2014 Graduation production Miss Understood, 2014 Solos and 2014 Screen acting tutor

Rachel House (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mutunga) is an award-winning actress, acting coach and director. Rachel attended Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and later Prague Film School in the Czech Republic. Rachel’s screen acting work includes roles in Whale Rider, Eagle vs Shark, Boy, Hope and Wire and White Lies. Rachel is also much in demand as a director for both stage and screen. (Troilus and Cressida- GlobeTheatre, Hui)

David Fane

Regular guest tutor Improvisation, 2014 Director D1 production Cosi, Director Solos
Guest tutor: Certificate Drama Two block (writing and directing)

A graduate of Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School Dave is an award-winning actor, writer and director for stage and screen. His screen work includes television- The Strip, Outrageous Fortune, and Bro’town and film – Sione’s Wedding 1 and 2, Eagle vs Shark and The Tatooist. Dave is also an accomplished actor and director for stage most recently directing Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Sons.

Lauren Jackson

Regular Part time acting tutor, 2015 Co-Director Diploma One production: Made With Alofa
2015 Director Diploma Two: Going Solo, 2015 Screen Acting Tutor

Lauren is an award-winning writer, director and actor for stage and screen. Her first short film, “I’m Going to Mum’s” won several local and international prizes and she has just completed her second New Zealand Film Commission-funded short film. Lauren’s third play for Duffy Books In Homes will be on tour throughout New Zealand in 2016. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in German and Film, TV & Media Studies from the University of Auckland.

Jackie Van Beek

Guest tutor: Certificate Film and TV block (write, shoot and direct short film)

Multi-talented Jackie van Beek is a busy woman. She has made several short films which have won her international festival notice, and the 2013 SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year award. Last year she directed her first feature film, The Inland Road. Jackie is also a comedic playwright and actor: in 2014 she won a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows and is currently on screen in new TV comedy Funny Girls. Jackie also appeared on stage in Silo Theatre’s 2015 hit Hudson and Halls.

Nina Nawalowalo

2015 Guest tutor: Physical theatre and mask workshop

Nina is co-founder of theatre company, The Conch. An internationally acclaimed theatre artist and the first ever international female Melanesian theatre director, Nina holds a unique position as a voice in world theatre. After studying theatre in London and Europe, Nina devised and performed physical theatre throughout the world. The Conch had a major hit with their 2015 show The White Guitar and the are currently in the process of creating a new work, Marama, for the 2016 Auckland Festival.

Ilai Amir

Guest tutor: Certificate Film and TV block (write, shoot and direct short film)

Ilai works in the film and television industry as an editor and has a background in web development and design. He currently co runs an innovative, multi-disciplinary production company working on such diverse projects such as creating dynamic film material showcasing live performing arts events, or staging film & photographic installations in site-specific spaces.

Ben Crowder

Guest tutor: Certificate Film and TV block (write, shoot and direct short film)

Ben is a co-founder and director of Auckland’s Theatre Stampede. He trained in drama and playwriting at The University of Otago, did a post-graduate diploma in drama at The University of Auckland, and continued his professional training at The John Bolton Theatre School in Melbourne. Currently Ben works in Auckland as a director, teacher and actor. Work includes: 360, Head, Badjelly the Witch, The Young Baron, Blossom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. As an actor he works regularly for television and film.


Hera Dunleavy

Regular guest tutor –Voice/ Yoga, Co-director 2015 Graduation production: Arabian Nights

Hera Dunleavy is a highly experienced actor and director. Recent credits include roles in feature film “The Inland Road” (dir. Jackie Van Beek, 2015) and Auckland Theatre Company’s “Rupert”. Hera has just co-directed PIPA’s graduation production, “Arabian Nights”, with Troy Tu’ua. She is a graduate of Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School and has worked at all of New Zealand’s professional theatres.

Laurel Devenie

Guest tutor: Diploma Two Devising workshop

Laurel Devenie is an award-winning actor, deviser, director, teacher and theatre-maker in New Zealand. She graduated from Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School in 2006 and 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, Hamilton, Wanaka and Northland regions. She directs and teaches in various capacities for a range of many organizations and is a company director of Company of Giants who are involved in creating new theatre experiences.

Natascha Diaz

Guest tutor: Diploma Two History of Theatre / Directing block

Natascha is a Colombian theatre practitioner with ten years’ experience as an actress, drama tutor and playwright. Natascha is currently doing her PhD at AUT in Theatre and Performance Studies. She has a Bachelor in Performing Arts and a Masters in Creative Writing. Since arriving in New Zealand two years ago she has worked with youth theatre companies in Auckland and Christchurch.

Eryn Wilson

Guest Tutor Screen Audition

Eryn graduated from Toi Whakaari, The New Zealand Drama School in 1994 and since then has lived and worked as a professional actor in and around New Zealand. He also works as a free-lance casting director with over 17 years in the film and television industry. Eryn is a familiar voice on NZ television and radio as an established voice over artist and is currently in post-production with his first feature length documentary “Dog’s Best Friend”.

Vela Manusaute

2015 -Director: Diploma Two Going Solos, 2015 Guest tutor: Certificate “Devise for Others” project

Vela was the first Niuean to graduate from Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in 1996 and went on to co-found pioneering comedy duo The Brownies, and theatre Company, Kila Kokonut Krew. A multi-award winning writer, director, producer and actor, Vela’s most recent successes include his vision for The Factory – a stage musical, which developed into The Factory web series. Vela was executive producer and an actor in the series. In 2014 Vela and his partner Anapela Polataivao were joint recipients of a New Generation Laureate Award from the NZ Arts Foundation.

Troy Tu’ua

2015 Co-director Graduation production: Arabian Nights

Troy is a graduate of PIPA (2009) who works consistently in the industry as an actor, director and choreographer. He has hosted Polyfest; appeared on Fresh TV, starred as Duffy in the Duffy Books in Homes tour,toured internationally with PIPA graduate company “685” and enjoyed sell-out seasons with his dance company “Sau E Siva” at the Mangere Arts Centre. Troy is an up and coming director with an impressive list of directing credits to his name for companies such as ATC and Pacific Underground

Kumu Aulii Mitchell

Hawaiian dance tutor – Kumu Hula.

Earlier this year Auli’i completed his Masters in Applied Indigenous Knowledge at Te Wananga O Aotearoa University in Hamilton, New Zealand . He has worked of the last ten years as a cultural anthropologist and cultural specialist in the disciplines of archaeological and cultural impact studies, with a primary focus on Hawai‘i. He is a highly respected traditional cultural practitioner and is the Kumu Hula of Hālau O Kāhiwahiwa.

Amo Ieriko

Samoan dance tutor

Amo is of Samoan heritage and is an artist, dancer and drummer. He has spent a number of years dancing with Tahiti Ia Ora, Halau Hula O Kahelelani No Aotearoa and Coosani Performing Arts Trust. With over ten years tutoring experience Amo is always in high demand as a tutor, coordinator and performer of Samoan Siva.

Maeva Bascou

Tahitian dance tutor

Maeva holds a Master’s degree in Engineering. She trained in Tahitian Dance the Ori Tahiti Dance School, Tamari’i Poerava (Moeata Laughlin) and the Conservatoire Artistiques Territorial, French Polynesia. She also tutors Tahitian Dance at a variety of community centres in Auckland

Tweedie Waititi

Tikanga Maori and Kapa Haka tutor

After attending South Seas Film School where she studied Production Management, Tweedie worked on numerous productions as a production assistant, marketing assistant, chaperone, and cultural advisor. Including Boy, Rachel House’s short film The Winter Boy and the late Merata Mita’s Saving Grace. Tweedie then moved into television and is now producing a new lifestyle series Whanau Living for TVNZ. Tweedie is an accomplished composer and brings a wealth of contemporary and historical cultural knowledge to her role as Kapa Haka and Tikanga Maori Tutor.

Sophie Williams

Maori contemporary dance tutor

With a passion for exploring Indigenous Māori Performative knowledge within contemporary theatre contexts and education, Sophie is currently undertaking a PhD in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland.

Tia Reihana-Morunga (Ngāti Hine)

Maori contemporary dance tutor

Tia is a freelance dancer and choreographer. Her most recent work Mareikura was performed at the Auckland Tempo Dance Festival. Tia has also been a secondary school dance teacher for 15 years working creatively in Australia, United Kingdom and Aotearoa, New Zealand. Currently a professional teaching fellow at the University of Auckland lecturing in dance education, history, research methodologies and Contemporary Māori Performance, Tia works extensively in Indigenous Arts education. Tia is currently a Doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland.

Leki Bourke

Contemporary Pacific Tutor

A Graduate of PIPA Leki has many strings to his bow working as a dancer, actor choreographer writer, tutor and producer. In 2015 he received an Artist in Residency (choreographer) from Pacific Dance NZ, the “Auckland Is My Playground Award” for youth leadership in performing arts awarded by Auckland Council and was the overall winner of Playmarket’s Plays for the Young Category (with co- writer Amanaki Prescott Faletau). This year he has also toured to Hawai’i with Massive Company’s The Brave and to Samoa with The PIPA Alumni performers for the Manu Samoa -All Black Game.

Tupua Tigafua

Guest Choreographer 2014

Tupua Tigafua, of Samoan descent, began dancing at age 19 after participating in a Pacific Performing Arts Programme at Auckland University. He went on to perform with Black Grace’s youth dance project Urban YOUTH Movement before studying contemporary dance full-time at Unitec in Auckland. In 2007 –Tupua has since danced with Black Grace and Mau and in more recently Tupua has performed Double Derilicts with the White Face Crew and is currently a permanent member of the NZ Dance Company

Justin Haiu

2015 Guest Choreographer D1 Dance Production

Justin has a wide range of experience as a chorographer, dancer, physical theatre performer and creator.He has worked with several dance companies and toured in Red Leap’s Award winning production The Arrival to Sydney, Wellington, Hong Kong and Macau. More recently he has worked with the NZ Dance Co and performed Double Derilicts with the White Face Crew. Justin was the inaugural Pacific Dance Fono’s Artist in Residency and winner of the Tempo Auckland Festival of Dance’s emerging choreographer award in 2009. Justin had two works in last year’s Urbanesia Festival including one he developed with PIPA students.

claire o’neill

2015 Guest Tutor D2 Site Specific Choreography

Claire is a performing artist, choreographer and dance educator. She has danced with New Zealand’s finest contemporary choreographers including Douglas Wright and Michael Parmenter and with Australian companies Sue Healy & Dancers and Desoxy Theatre. Claire co-directed Company Blue Vault dance company and studied contemporary dance in New York and London before establishing herself in Europe from 2000 until 2011. In Brussels, Claire received a choreographic scholarship with the X-Group at P.A.R.T.S and taught for many of Europe’s finest dance companies and schools. Claire is currently studying towards a Masters in Dance at the University of Auckland and continues to teach and choreograph throughout New Zealand

Jahra Rager

Guest Tutor Dance

Founding member of Ia Manuia and Short and Sweet Dance winner 2014 Jahra is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and spoken word artist. She graduated from Unitec in 2012 with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, Majoring in Contemporary Dance. Jahra is also a successful spoken word poet, and has a passion for work which combines language with movement.

Geoff Maynard

Regular Guest Tutor Fitness, Conditioning and Acro-circus skills

Graduated from Unitec with Bachelor of Performance and Screen Arts, (Dance), Geoff also has a Diploma in Digital Filmmaking and is currently completing his Master’s in Performance and Media Arts at AUT. Geoff has worked with many great NZ choreographers and theatre makers including Michael Parmenter, Janis Claxton, Sean Curham, Malia Johnston, Guy Ryan, Alexa Wilson, Katie Burton, Anna Bate and Josh Rutter, Stephen Bain (Winning Productions), Campbell Farquhar, Eve Gordon and James Solomon. Geoff also performs with Auckland-based circus-arts company Dust Palace.

Amanaki Prescott Faletau

Regular Guest Tutor Hip Hop

Amanaki has extensive skills as a dancer and choreographer in hip hop and Pacific Dance. She is a PIPA graduate who has worked in 2015 as a choreographer, dancer, actor, writer, tutor and creator of new work. She was co-recipient of the 2015 Play market Over-All award for Plays for Young People and in 2014 won the Auckland Theatre Awards Best Newcomer, hip hop nationals judge. She is also choreographer and Artistic Director of Fine Fatale. Amanaki has been a judge for several years in the NZ Streetdance National competitions.