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Since training at Auckland's influential Theatre Corporate, New Zealand actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand has worked extensively in theatre, film and television for over 30 years.  She has excelled in both dramatic and comedic roles, as well as numerous roles in musical theatre and cabaret.

As an accomplished singer, she presents her own shows, Falling in Love Again and The Look of Love, Evocative/Provocative, at festivals and venues in New Zealand and Australia.  She has recorded Falling in Love Again to cd (click here for info).  She is also in demand as a tutor of musical theatre.

Jennifer was a founding board member of the Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of The Large Group and The Actors' Program. She is currently President of Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Arts Regional Trust, Silo Theatre, Clarence St. Theatre, and Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Years Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit "for services to theatre and the community." 

Follow Jennifer

Jennifer to Sing in From Broadway to La Scala

Jennifer will sing with Teddy Tau Rhodes, David Hobson, and Greta Bradman in the New Zealand tour of From Broadway to La Scala, with a special guest appearance by Dame Malvina Major and direction by Tyran Parke.  It will be performed in Auckland on 18 September 2015 (note change of date) in the Great Hall of Auckland Town Hall (click here to book) and in Christchurch on 20 September at the Isaac Theatre Royal (click here to book).  See the show's Facebook page.

From the press release: "From Puccini to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bizet to Gershwin, and Verdi to Cole Porter, this unique concert experience will feature many of the greatest songs, arias, and duets of the past two centuries, performed by these highly acclaimed contemporary singers and featuring the country's finest orchestras".

Song List

"Something's Coming"/"Tonight" from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

"Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein (Teddy Tahu Rhodes)

"So in Love" from Kiss Me Kate by Cole Porter (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Greta Bradman)

"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" from Pal Joey by Rodgers and Hart (Jennifer Ward-Lealand)

"Una voce poco fa" from The Barber of Seville by Rossini (Greta Bradman)

"Una furtiva lagrima" from The Elixir of Love by Puccini (David Hobson)

"You're Just in Love" from Call Me Madam by Irving Berlin (Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson)

"Toreador's Song" from Carmen by Bizet (Teddy Tahu Rhodes)

"Lily's Eyes" from The Secret Garden by Lucy Simon (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson)

"O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

"Libiamo" from La Traviata by Verdi (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman, with special guest appearance by Dame Malvina Major)

"Largo al factotum" from The Barber of Seville by Rossini (Teddy Tahu Rhodes)


"Broadway Baby" from Follies by Stephen Sondheim (Jennifer Ward-Lealand)

"Falling Slowly" from Once by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson)

"Anything You Can Do" from Annie Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

Papageno/Papagena duet from The Magic Flute by Mozart (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Greta Bradman)

"Reviewing the Situation" from Oliver! by Lionel Bart (David Hobson)

"O Soave Fanciulla" from La Boheme by Puccini (David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

"I'm Not Getting Married" from Company by Stephen Sondheim (Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

"Casta Diva" from Norma by Bellini (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

"Bess, You Is My Woman Now" from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, with special guest appearance by Dame Malvina Major)

"Au fond du temple saint" duet from The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson)

"You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein (Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, David Hobson, Greta Bradman)

Jennifer to Direct Te Puhi Workshop and Playreading

Jennifer will be directing a workshop and playreading of Te Puhi by Cian Elyse White as part of the Koanga Festival, in partnership with Going West Books and Writers Festival.  The cast includes Vicky Haughton, Ben Van Lier, Laura Hill, Milly Grant, Ngahuia Tawera, Regan Taylor, and Tiare Tawera.

Te Puhi is inspired by the historical crowning of the first Maori Miss New Zealand in 1962. It is a coming of age story, following a young Maori girl on her journey as Miss New Zealand and the challenging choices she is faced with in her pursuit of success.

"It is a homeage to our Kuia and their history of achievements as mothers, nurturers, hard workers and leaders. Our Puhi." -Cian Elyse 

The public reading will be 9 September 2015 7:30 p.m. at Te Pou, 44a Portage Road, New Lynn.  Click here for info.

Jennifer to Host Beads of Courage Ball

Jennifer will host the Child Cancer Foundation's Beads of Courage Ball on 19 September 2015 at St Margarets College, Christchurch.  Click here for info.

Recent Work

Panelist on Re-Think talking about the state of New Zealand theatre (TV3, 30 August; watch online)
Kalonike in Lysistrata, Auckland Theatre Company (30 July-29 August 2015)
Reciting Shakespeare sonnet 18 in Maori, with George Henare reciting in English, for Maori Language Week (26 July; watch online)
Panelist on Re-Think talking about being a Pakeha speaker of Te Reo (TV3, 26 July; watch online)
Pat Murdoch, Anna Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, and ensemble in Rupert, Auckland Theatre Company (29 June-19 July)
Narrator on Find Me a Maori Bride, episodes 1.1-1.8 (Maori TV; watch online)
Host of Himalayan Trust Art Auction fundraiser (5 June
Singing with Jubilation at A Strange Day's Night (fundraiser for Play it Strange Trust; 3-4 June)
Co-producer/director, Fallout: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior for The Large Group/Last Tapes Theatre Company (20-30 May)
Guest Artist at An Evening with George Henare, fundraiser for Newmarket Stage Company (23 May)
Jan (né James) Morris in Nepal Memories fundraiser for Himalayan Trust's Rebuild Appeal (reading; 17 May)


J E N N I F E R   W A R D - L E A L A N D   O F F I C I A L   W E B S I T E
        Acknowledgements & Thanks                    Click here for contact information.