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The Dell, Wellington Botanic Gardens

11th - 25th February 2023


Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Season oF

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Welcome to the 2023 Wellington Summer Shakespeare production of The Tempest.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is proud to again support Summer Shakespeare in Wellington in its 40th year, an event that we are particularly pleased to see return following the disruption of the past couple of years. 

The University’s strong association with Summer Shakespeare began in 1983. For 40 years, our students, graduates and staff have taken part in Summer Shakespeare productions and it continues to be a privilege to support them and see the performances. At least a third of the cast and crew involved in this year’s production, including the Director, are Victoria University of Wellington students or alumni. 

This year Director Megan Evans, from the University’s Theatre programme, presents an eco-ethical investigation of The Tempest. Of all Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest speaks to the issues in many exciting and challenging ways that remain relevant today.

This is Megan’s first year as a Summer Shakespeare director, and it’s exciting to see her vision unfold.

Summer Shakespeare is an institution on Wellington’s theatrical calendar. It is an annual tradition for many who live in the city, it is accessible to all and plays an important role in cultivating our creative capital – our ability to imagine and innovate, to express new possibilities through creative activity. It is always a memorable way to spend a summer evening. 

I hope you enjoy the performance! 

Professor Sarah Leggott 

Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculties of Humanities & Social Sciences and Education
Victoria University of Wellington

Enough? What does ‘enough’ look, sound, feel, taste, and smell like? In The Tempest, Shakespeare’s Prospero is an occupier, an enslaver, and a revenge-seeker. Shakespeare’s Prospero often speaks for others, even about their own experiences. In developing this production, we have looked for opportunities to let characters speak more for themselves. We have also worked hard to unsettle Prospero’s settled assumptions: that he has earned his ‘supernatural’ powers; that he is entitled to direct these powers as he sees fit; and that he can afford to ignore the mounting costs of his actions.


Humans need to change many things about the ways we live – both for future (human) generations and for the sake of the myriad of other beings and systems with which we share this beautiful planet. As Prospero achieves many of his goals, he also begins to see evidence of unintended burdens and consequences. By the end of the play, he voluntarily sets down his ‘rough magic’, accepts his own flawed humanity as ‘enough’, and opens space for healing to begin. To change everything, we need everyone. We need climate scientists and sociologists and engineers. But we also need actors and artists and audiences to help imagine new ways –wider, fairer, co-creative ways of preparing together for the tempests to come.


A note about pronouns: we have been inconsistent. We set pronouns for characters through an extended exploration that was attentive to the wishes of the actors but that also opened space to allow the visual ‘presentation’ of a character to differ in marked ways from his/her/their spoken label. We invite you to make what meaning you will from our final choices.



40 years ago, on 9 February 1983, Summer Shakespeare in Wellington was born. Adrian Keirnander gathered a collection of students and past students excited by his vision of combining “accessible” Shakespeare with the zeitgeist of Wellington at the time of the production.  The first production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream proved a resounding success. This vision has been maintained through the years and has been a key factor in the ongoing popularity of Summer Shakespeare here in the coolest little capital! That first production was staged in the old Quad with subsequent productions moving off and on campus as resources and concepts demanded although in recent years the Dell has proven particularly popular.

If you’d like to learn more of the history of Summer Shakespeare in Wellington check out  Wellington Summer Shakespeare 1983-2017 published by VUW Press.


After two years impacted by COVID-19, the Trustees knew that we needed something very special for the 40th year and were excited when Megan pitched her ecologically based version of the ever popular The Tempest. We know you will enjoy her interpretation. The Trust thanks Megan for her enthusiasm and commitment and all the cast and crew who have spent many hours translating the idea into what they will bring you this evening.


Summer Shakespeare Trust was born out of the Victoria University Drama Club and the Trustees particularly wish to thank our principal sponsor Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington for your continuing confidence and support. We thank the Wellington City Council and our other sponsors and corporate supporters for keeping the faith. Most of all we thank you, our audiences, for coming on this journey of discovery with us.


Graham Atkinson



Summer Shakespeare Trust Board 2023

Graham Atkinson, David, Carnegie, Jeremy Collie-Holmes, Hakaia Daly, Lauren Fergusson, Val Hooper, Lori Leigh, David O’Donnell, Cohen Stephens & Aimée Sullivan.

Act One: 1 hour, 10 minutes

15 minute interval

Act Two: 40 minutes


cast x

cast y



Director - Megan Evans (she/her)

Stage Manager - Tasman Hughes (she/her)

Assistant Stage Manager - Rosie Mazur (she/her)

Production Manager & Lighting Design- Neal Barber (he/him)

General Manager - Jo Marsh (she/her)

Production Designer and Set construction - Megan Gladding (she/her)

Marketing, Design & Trust Liaison Officer - Aimée Sullivan (she/her)

Costume and Puppetry Designer - Sarah Bell (she/her)

Choreographer - Hannah Grant (she/her)

Wardrobe Manager - Danielle Donselaar-Clark (she/her)

Assistant Puppet Designer - Jess Cave (she/they)

Set Build - Ian Gladding (he/him)

Composer for Masque/Sound Engineer - Felix Ashworth (he/him)

Sound Design/Composer - Matthew Parkinson​ (he/him)

Trust Liaison Officer - Lauren Fergusson (she/her)

Front of House Manager - Jack McGee (he/him)

Audio Description - Sameena Zehra (she/her)

Dress Rehearsal Photography - Alex Rabina (he/him)

Rehearsal Photography - Aimée Sullivan (she/her)

Videography - Mean Productions


Special thanks to all our donors who keep Summer Shakespeare alive, the team at Victoria University for all their support, Capital Magazine, Regional News, Stuff, Wellington City Council, Circa Theatre, Grouse Lighting, Wellington Botanic Gardens, Toi Whakaari Drama School, Capital E - Part of Experiences Wellington, Jan Bolwell, Victoria Nicholson, Kaarin Slevin, Francis Gallop, and all our cast and crew, without whom this show would not exist.


​Megan would especially like to thank Aly McHaffie, Cathy McCullagh, Katie Hill, Dr Ewan Clark, and Frank O’Connor for all their support. Special thanks to Lori Leigh for early dramaturgical support.


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Photos by Alex Rabina Photography


Photos by Alex Rabina Photography


Photos by Alex Rabina Photography


Photos by Aimée Sullivan