Theatre and Film StudiesChildren display Chinese CharactersTheatre and Film Studies

Why study Theatre and Film Studies?

We study theatre and film as performing arts and as cultural processes in order to provoke a more direct understanding of ourselves as participants in, and as performers and consumers of, culture. Theatre and Film Studies students are encouraged to work both as artists and as scholars at all levels: to read and think and write, but also to create, to act and direct, and to shoot and edit films.

Theatre and film studies courses integrate theory and practice, with performance and digital film work serving as grounds for scholarly writing and all research having the potential to provoke artistic experimentation. Ideally, students study both theatre and film, as these disciplines have in common various theories of genre, representation and performance, as well as the practices of acting and directing.

News and Announcements

Courses available for 2015

Please come talk to us about your plans for next year. Course offerings include Performing the Holocaust in Theatre & Film and The Performance of the Body in Theatre and Film. All courses are listed here. Please contact Greta Bond to discuss your options.

Conferences and Publications

  • Congratulations to TAFS PhD student Stuart McKay, who has won a prestigious Canterbury Scholarship, which recognises students of the highest calibre undertaking PhD research at the university.
  • Congratulations to TAFS PhD student, Aaron Annan, whose paper ‘Restoring Balance? Performing Sankofa in Ghanaian Post-Colonial Masquerade’ won an honourable mention in the Veronica Kelley awards at the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) conference hosted by Victoria and Massey Universities in Wellington (June 2014).
  • Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg presented his paper ‘Canterbury Tales: Between Bakhtin and Benjamin’ at the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) conference hosted by Victoria and Massey Universities in Wellington (June 2014).
  • George Parker presented his paper ‘Place-making or faking: the River and the City’ at the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) conference hosted by Victoria and Massey Universities in Wellington (June 2014). He also chaired a panel: ‘Restoring New Zealand Theatre’.
  • Associate Professor Sharon Mazer co-convened Roundtable on ‘Sustaining Theatre and Performance Programmes in Australasia’ and chaired two panels – ‘After the Quakes: Restoration or Radical Restart?’ and ‘Indigenous Performance Ecologies’ for the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) conference hosted by Victoria and Massey Universities in Wellington (June 2014). Sharon is now Chair of ADSA’s Marlis Thiersch Prize Committee. Associate Professor Mazer's recent publications include:
    • “Here as Elsewhere: Thinking Theatrically / Acting Locally.” In Antipodes 28.1 (June 2014): 39-50
    • “Skirting Burlesque.” In Australasian Drama Studies 63 (October 2013): 24-32.
    • “A National Theatre in New Zealand? Why/Not?” In Theatre and Performance in Small Nations. Editor: Steve Blandford. Intellect Books, 2013. 107-122.

Highlights of 2013

Canterbury Tales (FESTA 2013)

Christchurch Cathedral Square. Sunday 27th October, 2013.
As a follow up to Luxcity 2012, Free Theatre Christchurch and FESTA, in collaboration with TAFS students and staff, presented a night of carnivalesque delights. Canterbury Tales was a performative exploration of the city of Christchurch whereby a procession of large puppets and masked performers travelled to urban locations where different Canterbury tales were performed in interactive environments created by artists in collaboration with architecture, design and scenography students and local businesses. This event was about exploring local identity and the idea of ‘place-making’ through performance.

Earthquake Memorial Sculpture

Song Song (A Musical Bridge) is a sound sculpture designed by Chris Reddington, Technical Director and Designer, Theatre and built by Chris and Stuart Lloyd-Harris, Technical Director and Designer, Theatre. The work was selected as the CPIT earthquake commemoration artwork and was unveiled on the anniversary of the February 2011 quake.

The Soldier's Tale

Associate Professor Peter Falkenberg directed the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra production of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for the 2013 Christchurch Arts Festival. PhD student Emma Johnston and tutor George Parker played the roles of the devil and the soldier.