Meet the Makers: Jane Yonge

17 September 2018

September is Aotearoa's first-ever New Zealand Theatre Month. To mark the occasion we're catching up with some of the country's best theatre makers – like director Jane Yonge.

What's your name and 'job title'?

Jane Yonge – Theatre Director.

What inspires your work?

1. Audiences. I love the moments when I can feel an audience being responsive, whether they are suddenly afraid, or laughing, or crying. I enjoy taking people on unexpected (and hopefully memorable) journeys.

2. The unknown. I’m learning to enjoy feeling open and curious even when I’m lost, because that’s when exciting things happen.


3. My late mother. She was my greatest supporter, and I always think of her whenever I am making or directing work.

What makes New Zealand theatre special or unique on the world stage?

Our groundedness, our self-awareness, and our honesty.

What excites you most about the future of theatre making?

This might be contentious, but I’m excited about how artists (in Aotearoa and internationally) will respond to the current and future global political climate.

What shows have you seen recently that have had a big impact on you and why?

Valerie by Last Tapes, which I finally saw at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (I kept missing it back home).

I loved that I could really taste and smell the story.


I also enjoyed the mash-up of incredible original music and personal story telling.

Also 2018 New Zealand Festival co-commision HOME by Geoff Sobelle. I appreciated the scale of the work and the way that it constantly set up and then exceeded expectations. I experienced a range of emotions while watching this piece, from great joy to great sadness.


HOME by Geoff Sobelle

What are you working on at the moment and when might people be able to see that?

I’ve just finished directing The Basement Tapes as part of the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I’m not sure when we will be remounting the work again in New Zealand! I’m currently working on beginning a Masters in Arts Politics at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

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