Cen­tre­point’s new leader here

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CARLY THOMAS

Cen­tre­point Theatre will move into a new era when its newly ap­pointed creative di­rec­tor Dan Pen­gelly starts next month.

Pen­gelly will be tak­ing a stepup from his role as as­so­ciate di­rec­tor at Christchurch’s Court Theatre, where he has worked for three years un­der its artis­tic di­rec­tor and Cen­tre­point Theatre alumni Ross Gum­b­ley.

He will take over from Jeff Kings­ford-Brown and says he feels priv­i­leged to lead the artis­tic vi­sion of a much-loved com­mu­nity icon.

‘‘Cen­tre­point is this brave pro­vin­cial theatre that, in ad­di­tion to its pop­u­lar main stage plays, has made bold choices that re­ally en­gage its com­mu­nity. That nim­ble­ness is a strength and has been key to its longevity.’’

Pen­gelly’s as­so­ci­a­tion with the Court Theatre goes back to 2000 through the High Schools Theatre­s­ports com­pe­ti­tion and am­bas­sadors pro­gramme. In the years since, he has per­formed with The Court Jesters, in kids’ shows and play read­ings. He has di­rected in the young play­wrights’ pro­gramme, the kids’ pro­gramme and The Forge.

Pen­gelly holds a masters in theatre arts (di­rect­ing) from Toi Whakaari and Vic­to­ria Univer­sity of Wellington.

The 30-year-old ad­mits he is both ex­cited and ter­ri­fied at the prospect of start­ing his new role in mid-Fe­bru­ary.

‘‘It is the best com­bi­na­tion be­cause it makes me want to get up in the morn­ing and face new things, learn and con­quer.’’

Pen­gelly said he is keen to get to know Palmer­ston North and its creative com­mu­nity.

‘‘I want to em­brace the his­tory of Cen­tre­point Theatre – why it is what it is, and help it grow. My aim is to see peo­ple of all ages en­joy­ing live theatre, ei­ther by be­ing en­ter­tained by it, or us­ing creative pro­cesses to ex­press them­selves.’’

Pen­gelly said his first love is com­edy and he is keen to bring that and his di­rect­ing skills to the stage when he fronts the theatre’s Christ­mas show Ropable.

SUP­PLIED

Dan Pen­gelly will start at Cen­tre­point Theatre in mid-Fe­bru­ary.

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