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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, 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." 

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Jennifer to Co-Produce and Direct Fallout–The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

Last Tapes Theatre Company and The Large Group are co-producing Fallout–The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior
(formerly Where Were You?), a play recounting the sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour on 10 July 1985, an act of terrorism that changed New Zealand forever.  In this, the 30-year anniversary of the event, Fallout will bring this culturally significant event back into the spotlight to examine how it contributed to the establishment of New Zealand's unique position as a nuclear-free country.

Jennifer is director and producer (for The Large Group).  It will be presented 19-30 May at The Basement.  Click here to book.


NZ Herald:  "Director Jennifer Ward-Lealand uses [pulsing soundscapes and evocative screen montages] to maintain sensory interest and to anchor the show historically ... Educational for some; a trip down one of memory's unexpected lanes for others.  A hell of a tale"

Theatreview:  "Director Jennifer Ward-Lealand takes the documentary vibe of the play and runs with it ... The actors delight in switching between characters, bringing small town New Zealanders to life in rich and amusing ways ... The fresh telling of the legend recalls a united New Zealand working together"

Pantogtaph Punch:  "Jennifer Ward-Lealand’s direction is clean and sleek, moving through the story easily and without fuss. The integration of three screens with beautiful, evocative images is similarly clean and it lends the piece a theatricality without overwhelming the text.

What's Good: "I walked into The Basement expecting to be educated but not engaged. However I came of the venue with a different view entirely. Enchanting and educational, Fallout achieves an unexpected feat with its portrayal of the events of 1985 ... Fallout ultimately provides both an informative resource to every New Zealander wishing to either learn about or remember this nation-identifying event, and a memorable original piece of drama to general theatre enthusiasts".

The producers are seeking support via The Art Foundation's crowd-funding site, Boosted.  Please click here for more information about the show, or to donate.  Also supported by The Greenpeace Trust, PADET Trust, and the Lealand family.

The video at right is narrated by the captain of the Rainbow Warrior:

Jennifer Narrates Find Me a Maori Bride

Jennifer is the narrator of new tv series Find Me a Maori Bride.  The comedy, from the creators of Auckland Daze, is about Tama (Cohen Holloway) and George (Matariki Whatarau), a pair of metrosexual Maori men on a quest to find themselves an authentic Maori bride.  Also starring Amanda Billing, Siobhan Marshall, and Te Kohe Tuhaka.  See the show's Facebook page.

From the NZ Herald preview:  "Must-see TV ... a hilariously earnest voice-over from Jennifer Ward-Lealand ... our new favourite show and it's a likely candidate for local comedy of the year"

Find Me a Maori Bride premiered Friday, 22 May 2015 and will continue showing Fridays at 8 p.m. on Maori TV.  Click here to watch the first episode online.

Jennifer to Host Himalayan Trust Art Auction

Jennifer will be the MC for the Himalayan Trust Art Auction, 5 June 2015 5:30 p.m. at Gus Fisher Gallery.  Click here for information and the auction catalog.  Works on view at the Gallery 3-5 June, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The auction is a fundraiser for Nepal.  One hundred percent of all money raised will go to the Himalayan Trust to rebuild schools and hospitals in the Solukhumbe region devastated by recent earthquakes.

The following New Zealand artists have given their works for this auction:

Edith Amituanai, Gavin Chilcott, Vita Cochran, Elliot Collins, Octavia Cook, Bronwynne Cornish, Judy Darragh, Dilana, Sarah Hillary, Julian Hooper, Lonnie Hitchinson, Fiona Jack, Ian Jervis, Richard Killeen, Rosie Lascelles, Saskia Leek, Peter Madden, Simon Mark, Allan McDonald, Simon McIntyre, Sara McIntyre, Kim Meek, Simon Morris, Solomon Mortimer, Neil Pardington, Johanna Pegler, Lucien Rizos, Marie Shannon, Kate Small, Mickey Smith, Lorene Taurerewa, Imogen Taylor, Isobel Thom, Ruth Thomas-Edmond, Barbara Tuck, Adrienne Vaughan, Denys Watkins, Ruth Watson, Virginia Ware, Amber Wilson

Recent Work

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)
Singing in The Anzac Concert – Arohaina Mai, Maori TV (26 April)
Teaching 'Flying Solo' for The Actors' Program (1-2 April)
Speaking to Royal Oak Ladies Probus Club (20 April)
Teaching 'The Craft of Acting' for The Actors' Program (1-2 April)
Singing with Jubilation a cappella gospel choir at Unitarian Church, Ponsonby (29 March)
Connie White in My Name is Gary Cooper rehearsed reading for FCC (28 March)
Auntie Pie in The Book of Everything for Silo Theatre/Auckland Arts Festival (14-22 March)
Panelist on 'Mental Wellness in the Performing Arts' at PANNZ Arts Market (10 March)
Host, Skin of Fire, Auckland Arts Festival (7 March)
Judge, One Night Stand play festival at The Basement (6 March)
Director, performer, and host, Black Dog Relief – A Cabaret for Robbie Tripe (1 March)


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.