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The Performance Arcade brings together visual arts and performance in a specially curated ‘exhibition-event’ of live art practices on Wellington Waterfront. An arrangement of shipping containers and scaffold structures provides a temporary architecture for this unique project, housing a bar space, a programme of live music and events, and new performance installations by NZ and International artists. Open 13 hours a day, this event is free to the Wellington public.

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Francesca Emms writes things. The things she writes vary in both content and length. Sometimes people say the things she writes aloud and other times they look at the words. She is partly responsible for a lamb named Colin, enjoys tap dancing and gets car sick really easily.


Since 1999, Rajni Shah has worked independently and with other artists to create the conditions for performances, publications, conversations, and gatherings on and off-stage. Key performance works include The Awkward Position (2003-4), Mr Quiver (2005-8), small gifts (2006-8), Dinner with America (2007-9), Glorious (2010-12), Experiments in Listening (2014-15), Lying Fallow (2014-15), and Song (2016). Rajni has been an Artsadmin Associate Artist (2009-2013) and an Honorary Research Fellow at The Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Birkbeck College (2012-2016). She is currently living in Sydney, Australia, and undertaking a PhD at the University of Lancaster, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and supervised by Professor Geraldine Harris.


Claire is a founding member of the experimental performance company Binge Culture Collective, whose work 'The Joy Booth' was in the Performance Arcade 2014. She is the co-director and producer of their participatory street show, Whales, which won Best In Fringe at its premiere in the NZ Fringe Festival 2013, has toured all over New Zealand and was most recently part of the Capital E National Theatre for Children Festival 2017, and this year will be at the Edinburgh Fringe. She is also the director of Wolf, a performance exploration of female body hair and wildness. Claire's script Huia, which premiered in the lighting and sound installation Nests by fellow Live Press writer Marcus McShane in the NZ Festival 2016, will be published in an anthology by Penguin Random House in 2017. Claire has a BA with First Class Honours in Theatre and English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington. She was born, and grew up, on a sailing yacht and spent the first fifteen years of her life circumnavigating the world with her family, returning to New Zealand in 2002. She is currently writing a memoir of this experience at Victoria's International Institute of Modern Letters. 


Dilohana Lekamge is an emerging artist and writer based in Wellington. Having graduated from Massey University with a BFA (Hons) in 2015, Lekamge’s performance-based art practice explores concepts of diaspora, multiculturalism, immigration and emotional distance from female issues in Sri Lanka where she was born. Lekamge’s practice explores the use of the body as a site of protest and storytelling – using her body to further explore her social position and resist the stereotypes placed upon it. Lekamge is one of two current Writing and Publications Interns at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, a current studio artist of MEANWHILE and a member of the Wellington Circuit Critical Forum. Recent exhibitions include For any who come to take from here, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, (2016), Angel Wave, play_station, (2016) and Pool Party, Meanwhile, (2016).


Jess Richards is the author of three literary fiction novels which are published in the UK and Commonwealth by Hodder & Stoughton: Snake Ropes (2012), Cooking with Bones (2014), and City of Circles (August 2017). She also works in performance art/writing, collaborating with Sally J Morgan as Morgan + Richards. Their work has been shown internationally in various galleries, festivals and symposia.  



Writer and theatre-maker Jo Randerson's published works include short-story collections The Spit Children, and Tales from The Netherworld and have won her the Robert Burns Fellowship, an Arts Foundation New Generation Award and the Bruce Mason Award for playwrighting. Her recent play The Spit Children premiered at Antwerp’s largest youth theatre HETPALEIS in 2014. 

 She is the founder and artistic director of Barbarian Productions theatre company whose new work  Soft N Hard  is touring New Zealand, and they areat work on a new children's theatre show Odd One Out with Capital E National Theatre for Children for touring this year. Jo’s writing has recently appeared in the Journal of Urgent Writing, Pantograph Punch and Future Conditional: Notes forTomorrow. Please see for more information.


Reuben Friend (b.1981) has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Post Graduate qualifications in Museum Studies from Massey University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Māori Visual Art and a Diploma in Te Reo Māori from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. He is an artist, curator and is currently employed as the Director of Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua. His artworks including painting and digital interactive media, using Māori painterly practices to interrogate narratives in Western art and history. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions including; ‘Gold & Greenstone’ at the Gold Coast Art Gallery in 201; ‘Art That Needs You’ at Tauranga Art Gallery in February 2018; and ‘Performance Arcade: Counter Narratives’ in Wellington in February 2018. 


Keren Chiaroni has written two books on the Second World War and the French Resistance, and articles on design for live performance, costume and fashion. She teaches French at Victoria University and is Editor for the Pacific in the  World Scenography Project. She is especially passionate about contemporary dance and French philosophy. And well-designed Côtes du Rhône reds


John Hall is a poet who makes both page-based and visual poems. His most recent collection of poems is As a said place, and there have been companion Selected Poems called Keepsache (2013)  and the earlier Else Here (1999). In recent years he has collaborated with the late Lee Harwood, with Peter Hughes, David Prior, Emily Critchley, and Ian Tyson. He has written many essays on poetry, poetics and performance writing, mostly collected in two volumes. He has also been a teacher, for most of his career at Dartington College of Arts, where he was closely involved in the pioneering Art and Social Context course and led the planning of Performance Writing. He is Professor Emeritus of Performance Writing at Falmouth University and is a Visiting Professor at York St John University (both UK).


Marcus McShane has worked as a bicycle mechanic, a professional writer, a translator, and is one of New Zealand’s most prolific lighting designers. Marcus is mildly obsessed with efficiency, which has led him to attempt installation works powered by washing machines, bicycles, free food, waves, wind, and the action of opening a door.  He has a Masters degree in philosophy that he is philosophical about, and his interests include building bicycles, writing, sailing, cooking vegetables, and reading stuff worth reading.


Samuel Phillips makes live theatre that collide texts, found spaces and new technologies. He brings the heart of a dramatic text into a space, be it theatres, art galleries or abandoned buildings.

Samuel works with young people as MediaLab Coordinator at Capital E, and has taught acting and improvisation across New Zealand. He created acclaimed Wellington theatre company Bright Orange Walls, best known for their large scale site-sympathetic Shakespearian projects.

Samuel is based in Wellington, where he is on the BATS Theatre Board and the Wellington theatre awards judging panel. He received his BA in Theatre (HONS First Class) and Victoria University of Wellington, and trained with Long Cloud Youth Theatre.


The higher the fewer my friends.


John Jarboe is a director, singer, cabaret artist and writer based out of Philadelphia. He's currently using the music of Mr. Rogers, David Bowie, Exuma, German composers from the 1920s, and the Disney songbook to explore the rise of nationalism, American cultural imperialism, and the death of irony (light subjects). He runs The Bearded Ladies Cabaret in Philadelphia, an ensemble of composers designers and performers that combines the sensibilities of cabaret with those of opera and theater to create what they call "Cabaplays," works that sit on your lap and tell you a story. Jarboe also curates and hosts an monthly cabaret series at FringeArts at which artists such as Justin Vivian Bond, Penny Arcade, and Erin Markey have performed.

Pax Ressler (they/them) is a genderqueer creator, composer, music director & performer based in Philadelphia. Their compositions for choruses and instrumental ensembles have been performed across the United States as well as internationally. Pax's primary work lies in the intersection of music and theatre, including musical theatre and original live music for stage plays, physical theatre, and dance.


Amelia Jones –  is Robert A. Day Professor, Roski School of Art & Design, USC, and is a curator and scholar of contemporary art, performance, and feminist/sexuality studies. Recent publications include Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012); co-edited with Erin Silver, Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories (2016); and the edited special issue “On Trans/Performance”of Performance Research (2016). Jones is currently working on a retrospective of the work of Ron Athey and a book tentatively entitled In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance.


Franco Lora –  Born and raised in Cali - Colombia, Franco moved to Wellington to find his “Porpoise”. Achieving his Masters of Design at Massey University in 2016, he insists he owes much of it’s completion to Amelia Taverner. Forever indebted to her, he now works as The Performance Arcade’s Graphic Designer. When he’s not designing for the Live Press or calling his mum in Colombia, he is taking Hae-In out on “muy caliente” dates around New Zealand.

His graphic novel “I’m not from here” and other illustrations are available for purchase through his Patreon page 

Keep up with Franco’s adventures by following him on Facebook at

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