By Joe Zarrow
Directed by Sheila Summers
Season: June 17 – July 2
New Zealand Premiere
Armed with dreams of changing the world along with an accelerated certification program for ‘career changers’, Kay quits her corporate job to teach English in a Chicago public high school. On her first day in the English Lit office she finds that the copy machine, the system and the spirits of her fellow teachers are all broken. Or are they? A dark comedy of academic intrigue that takes a peek at the politics behind the closed door of the teachers’ lounge.
"There are very few excellent plays about public education. This is one." –Chicago Tribune
Now retired, Sheila is doing voluntary work and singing. Her professional life included teaching drama, training in the corporate sector and acting.
She appeared in the first Close to Home series, Shortland Street, at the Court Theatre, Christchurch, and toured New Zealand with Circle Theatre. Last seen at the Dolphin in A Doll’s House, Sheila has won many awards for acting and directing, notably best actress (The Sleeping Prince) and best play (A Madman Sings to the Moon).
She says Principal Principle is a wonderful play – well worth coming out of retirement for.
The last time Valerie appeared on the Dolphin stage, she was playing a verbally incontinent hypochondriac with a shoe obsession in The Memory of Water (2014). Now returning to play a novice teacher with a slightly overactive perfectionist gene, she has once again found something in common with the character she inhabits (though the teaching part is still beyond her). She takes her hat off to all those who do it for real.
Anya is currently studying at The Actors Program, soaking up key skills for stage and screen. Recently she appeared in Benjamin Henson’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest at the Pop-up Globe. She was drawn to Principal Principle as a lover of English literature, educational politics and satirical comedy. Aside from acting, Anya likes to sing, dance, and curl up with a good book! She is excited to be performing for the first time at the Dolphin theatre, working with a diverse cast and crew.
Zimbabwean-born Sandra is an amateur to anything related to theatre, but she has always loved watching characters come to life on stage. She has been involved in a couple of script workshops with Auckland Theatre Company and Titirangi Theatre and is eager to portray the passion and strength of Ola's character; she hopes to do her justice. Sandra has been profoundly influenced by the great matriarchs in her family.
Many years ago Ruth was one of Sheila Summers’s students studying for speech and drama exams, gaining Grade 8 honours. During the last few years she has found more time to enjoy all things thespian, playing Laura in Shortcut to Happiness, Mrs Bradman in Blithe Spirit amongst others. She works part time, specialising in dance and drama in a primary school. When not teaching or involved in theatre she can be found out on the water (working towards her boat-master certificate), tramping or surviving a fitness boot camp.
as Mrs Wei
Nicole studied TV, Film and Media at the University of Auckland for two years before becoming a procurement professional. She chose to further her directing skills in filmmaking by doing a Bachelor of Film Arts at SAE Auckland and furthering her performing skills with screen acting training courses. However, as a loyal fan of live theatre, to perform a role onstage has always been a goal. She says it is a privilege to play Ms. Wei, the provoking, passionate and wickedly funny character with whom she has found many similarities.
Nicole is enjoying a new challenge.
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