Below is the original Free Theatre Christchurch Manifesto (written in 1982).
Writings by Free Theatre
Here we present additional writings by Free Theatre collaborators who have written about company productions and related subjects.
Free Theatre had a long connection with the University of Canterbury and we also include links to the MA and PhD theses of company members, which include explorations of Free Theatre work.
Featured writings from the Free Theatre archives include Peter Falkenberg's 'Theatre of Unease', a chapter in a book on New Zealand theatre titled Performing Aotearoa: New Zealand Theatre and Drama in an Age of Transition (2007).
Acting and its Refusal in Theatre and Film
Marian McCurdy, Intellect, 2017
"Theatre after the earthquake: what's it worth?
Peter Falkenberg, Keynote Address, Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies, June 2016
"The Last Word"
George Parker, Playmarket Annual Journal, No. 51, September 2016
"Christchurch's 'edgy' strategy needs a home for edgy artists"
George Parker, The Press, September 2016
"Does a new Performing Arts Precinct make Christchurch a more vibrant diverse city?"
George Parker, June 2016
"Christchurch theatre post-quake"
George Parker, 2015 [.PDF 63kb]
"Here be Taniwha: performance research on the edge of the world"
George Parker, Embodying Transformation, 2015 [.PDF 3.3mb]
"After the Rupture: Restoration or Revolution"
Peter Falkenberg and Thea Brejzek, Performance Research 19 (6), 2014
"Place-making or place-faking?: the river and the city in Canterbury Tales"
George Parker, 2014 [.PDF 168kb]
"Creative thinkers engage with real world problems"
Ryan Reynolds, George Parker and Peter Falkenberg, The Press, 18 November 2013
"Getting a swamp-on: translating and adapting Werner Fritsch’s Jenseits to Christchurch, New Zealand"
George Parker, 2013 [.PDF 147kb]
"Quake space in avant garde time"
Peter Falkenberg, 2013 [.PDF 127kb]
"The Arts Circus: how might the arts play an integrated and intervening role in the creation of a city?
George Parker, 2012 [.PDF 103kb]
"The new Christchurch"
George Parker, A letter to the 'Blueprint team' of the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU), 2012
"The Theatre as Counterpublic: From The Balcony to Distraction Camp"
Peter Falkenberg, 2010 [.PDF, 100kb]
"Nico: I'll be your mirror"
Peter Falkenberg, 2009 [.PDF, 88kb]
"Nothing Ever Happens Here"
Peter Falkenberg, 2007 [.PDF, 96kb]
"Remake: Parker-Hulme and The Maids"
Marian McCurdy, 2007 [.PDF 584.5 kb]
"Seeing 'new' seas/lands from the beach"
(Conclusion to PhD thesis: 'Actor Alone: Solo Performance in New Zealand')
George Parker, 2007 [.PDF 123kb]
"Moving Targets: An "Illogical" Theatre of Resistance in (Pre)Occupied Territory"
Ryan Reynolds, 2007 [.PDF, 80kb]
"Theatre of Unease"
Peter Falkenberg 2006 [PDF, 147kb]
"Fear of Flying (I): Samson Airline"
Peter Falkenberg, 2005/2006 [.PDF, 100kb]
'Why Devise? Why Now? Why New Zealand?"
Peter Falkenberg, 2005 [.PDF, 76kb]
"Lacking Desire/Making Drama: The Theatrical Meets the Prosaic in a Post-Puritanical World"
Peter Falkenberg, 1999 [.PDF, 164kb]
"Lacking Drama, Making Theatre: Why Can't Robinson Crusoe Play?"
Peter Falkenberg, 1998 [.PDF, 112kb]
Towards a Free Theatre...
Manifestos from artists that have inspired Free Theatre's work:
André Antoine - From the Free Theatre (1890)
Alfred Jarry - From Of the Uselessness to Theatre of the Theatre (1896)
Ivan Goll - Preface to Methusalem or The Eternal Bourgeois (1922)
Karl Valentin - From Compulsory Theatre (c. 1925)
Antonin Artaud - Letter to Comoedia (1932)
Tadeusz Kantor - From Impossible Theatre (1972)
Writings about Free Theatre
Below is a range of writings about the company, which also give a sense of how Free Theatre (and theatre) is seen within the Christchurch and New Zealand cultural landscape.
"A Canterbury tale of Rebirth"
Charlie Gates, The Press, 2013
"A National Theatre in New Zealand? Why/Not?"
Sharon Mazer, Theatre and Performance in Small Nations, 2013
"Outside the Square"
Rebecca Macfie, The Listener, 2012
Philip Matthews, The Press, 2011
"150 Reasons to Love Canterbury: Free Theatre
"Offering a manifesto of daring theatre"
Chris Moore, The Press, 2008
"Inspiring the space"
The Press, 1991
"The Free Theatre"
"'Free Theatre' starts anew"
The Press, 1982
"New experimental theatre in the city"
The Christchurch Star, 1982
Theses by Free Theatre members
Sounding World: The Iconic Power of Sound in Tarkovsky’s Films
Stuart McKay, PhD, 2018 (in progress)
A Constant Magic: Explorations of Magic and Polyphasic Consciousness in Recent Theatre and Film.
Liz Boldt, PhD, 2017
Between Liminality and Transgression: Experimental Voice in Avant-Garde Performance.
Emma Johnston, PhD, 2015
Acting and its Refusal in Theatre and Film.
Marian McCurdy, PhD, 2014
Evangelistic Performance in New Zealand: The Word and What is Not Said
Greta Bond, PhD, 2008
Actor Alone: Solo Performance in New Zealand
George Parker, PhD, 2008
Women Murder Women: Case Studies in Theatre and Film
Healing maori through song and dance? Three case studies of recent New Zealand music theatre.
Emma Johnston, MA, 2007
Moving targets: Political theatre in a post-political age
Ryan Reynolds, PhD, 2006
Stripping Men: A comparison of the New Zealand play Ladies Night and the British film The Full Monty as they (re)define maleness in the post-feminist world.
George Parker, MA, 2000
Seeing Friday: Problems of Perception and Reception in Post-Colonial Theatre.
Greta Bond, MA, 1998
Theses by former Free Theatre members and people that have taken part in or written about Free Theatre productions include:
Creating a Modern Māori Identity Through Kapa Haka
Te Rita Papesch, PhD, 2015
Incapacity and Theatricality: politics and aesthetics in theatre involving actors with intellectual disabilities
Tony McCaffrey, PhD, 2015
The Rebellious Mirror, Before and after 1984: Community-based theatre in Aotearoa
Paul Maunder, PhD, 2010
The praxis of postcolonial intercultural theatre in Aotearoa New Zealand
Lilicherie McGregor, PhD, 2004
The idea(l) of the 'group' in radical theatre: a dramaturgical analysis of three American Theatre Groups of the 1960s
Roy Montgomery, PhD, 2002