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Stephen Bain (b 1966)

Live-performance and theatre-maker


Stephen Bain began his interest in live performance by way Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington (BBSc 1987 - School of Architecture), furthered by actor training at Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School (Dip. Acting 1991). He appeared on stage and screen in numerous productions around New Zealand but was quickly attracted to the role of director and designer where he has done his most innovative work. His early productions combined documentary, spatial design and drama, receiving numerous commissions through Creative New Zealand (the NZ arts council) as well as critical acclaim and awards.


In 1995 he studied in Paris with Pantheatre, where he began a seven-year collaboration with French Choreographer France Hervé forming Choreographic theatre company Under Lili’s Balcony. This company presented many successful theatrical productions in New Zealand (1996 – 2002) while simultaneously creating a strong pedagogic curriculum teaching in performance studies institutions in NZ and France.


In 2004 Stephen founded Winning Productions ( to accommodate his growing involvement in design and a widening view of performance as public interaction. Seven Winning Productions’ projects have toured nationally and two productions have toured extensively throughout Western Europe (2008 – 2011) to over 150 arts festivals, live-performance venues and street-theatre festivals. Recent interactive installations and performances have toured to Perth and Montreal.


In 2011 his dance-theatre production When Animals Dream of Sheep 2011 was co-commissioned by Oerol Festival in Netherlands and The EDGE in Auckland, it also played at Chalon-dans-la-rue festival in France as a co-production between Winning Productions and Netherlands-based dance-theatre group TragicTrio.


Stephen regularly teaches Video for Performance at Toi Whakaari, The National Drama School in Wellington and on the Hybrid/Live Art elective for Unitec Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland. He has also taught performance at Massey University (Wellington and Palmerston North), Victoria University of Wellington (Dept of Theatre & Film), Ucol (Acting Studies – Palmerston North) and Wellington Performing Arts Centre (actor/dance training).


In 2006 he was founder and director of Luxembourg Gardens, a multi-disciplinary performing art development centre in Auckland. This organization ran for 3 years and was supported by Auckland City Council and Creative NZ (Arts Council).


His performance work is frequently supported by new-media, such as his award-winning wireless headphone performances Intimate Questions 2 (Wellington Fringe Oudoor Performance Winner 2014) I wanna be na nah na nah nah (The Auckland Fringe Award 2015), multi-channel sound installation SOUNDIG (Auckland, Perth, Montreal) and frequent integration of video projection Kafka’s The Trial (site specific theatre performance), Passage (Herald Theatre Auckland), Antarctica (2015 collaboration with video artist Janine Randerson).


His design project Luminoceros appeared as part of the NZ exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial 2011 (International expo of performance design). He was Artist in Residence at Massey University in Palmerston North in 2005 and again in 2015. In 2014 he completed a 3 month Artist residency at Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, sponsored by Asia Foundation NZ.


In 2012 Stephen was artistic director and curator for a festival of cross-discipline live-art, the New Performance Festival in collaboration with The EDGE in Auckland presenting NZ and international work. In 2014 he co-produced The Festival of Uncertainty with collaborative cross-artform group Feasting House, an ongoing collective of performing arts radicals.


His gallery work includes collaborations with visiting international artists including William Pope L. (Te Tuhi, Auckland), Golden + Senneby (Artspace, Auckland).


Installation work includes - Why Not? (group show) Taipei Artists Village 2014, This Means You (solo video installation & live performance) Taipei Artists Village 2014, This Means You & What have you done to me?, Turku New Performance Festival, Turku, and Madhouse Festival, Helsinki, Finland. Futurehotel (solo exhibition show & durational performances) The Audio Foundation, Auckland 2015 and They come from far away (group show NZ & Finland), Te Uru, Auckland 2016).

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