Hidden in Ōtautahi Christchurch’s suburb of Addington is New Zealand’s largest theatre company. In its post-earthquake refuge - an old grain shed – is a magical world of happiness, laughter, drama and intrigue.
Inside the walls of the old grain shed is a diverse and dynamic company of 60 permanent staff plus hundreds of artists and artisans who produce 19 productions each year. Over 150,000 ticket buyers enter The Court each year to feast on the varied offering of theatrical works, all created and produced on-site.
The Court has matched the ever-diversifying Ōtautahi Christchurch population and creates and supports work for everyone in our community including children and families, for the Tangata Whenua and for Christchurch’s growing Pasifika communities.
A strong education programme at The Court fosters and nurtures the future of theatre in New Zealand through drama and improv classes, holiday programmes, workshops, theatre intensives, master classes and the Ambassadors, Youth Company and Youth Crew programmes. Those involved in the education programmes find a safe space to play and explore in a place free of judgement, where everyone’s individuality is celebrated.
The Court supports new writing for theatre and commissions plays from a diverse range of New Zealand playwrights. This work may be destined to be a theatrical event on the mainstage, or more intimate and edgier work for the adventurous Forge audience, or quite simply creating magic for the kids’ audiences. Recent commissions have involved playwrights Hone Kouka, Gary Henderson, Alison Quigan and Oscar Kightley.
The Court Jesters need no introduction – they’ve been making Ōtautahi Christchurch laugh since 1990. Available for private and corporate event entertainment as well as running Theatresports™ competitions and New Zealand’s longest running late-night comedy show, Scared Scriptless, Christchurch’s hunger for comedy keeps The Jesters on their toes.
The Court has something for everyone. It has something for those who want their entertainment king-sized and world class, for those who want to sit back and enjoy a good laugh, and for those who want theatre to challenge, to spark debate and to stay in their mind long after the show has finished. The Court creates and helps create work for all the people of Ōtautahi Christchurch.
The Court doesn’t belong to a government or council. It doesn’t belong to an individual. It doesn’t belong to the practitioners that work here. It belongs to you; the audience. The Court is reaching further, pushing out, trying harder to expand that audience so that all the people of this country can share and celebrate in the work the theatre produces.
The Court Theatre is your theatre. Whoever you are.