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Moira Fortin

PhD (Victoria University of Wellington, 2016)
MA (University of Otago, 2010)
BA with Honours, Theatre Studies (Universidad Católica de Chile, 2003)

Tel+64 3 479 7434
Office Arts 3C14

I tutored for the Spanish Programme at Otago University in 2003, while I was an undergrad student on an exchange programme here in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Before returning to Otago University, I tutored at the Theatre programme at Victoria University of Wellington (2013), and at the Creative Arts School at Massey University in Wellington (2015) a variety of papers including Cultural Encounters and Creative Communication respectively.

Although my background is in performing arts, my relationship with language and theatre comes from my childhood, as I studied in a bilingual German-Spanish school in Chile, where we had the chance to explore the use of the German language through the staging of different well-known German poems and plays, as well as our own literary creations.

After I finished my Master Degree in Pacific Island Studies at Otago University (2010), I moved to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) where I developed theatre workshops to facilitate the learning of the Rapanui language to high-school students, creating a play (2011) that the students devised and performed using the indigenous language from the island. My relationship with languages is clearly illustrated in the title of my PhD (2016) trilingually entitled "Tensions and Possibilities: The Interplay of 'Traditional' Cultural Elements and the Creation of 'Contemporary' Māori, Samoan diasporic and Rapanui Theatre [He Moto, He Koa: Te Hakapiri o te Haka Ara e te Api ki te Aŋa o te A'amu Api ki Māori, Sāmoa e ko Rapa Nui; Tensiones y Posibilidades: La Integración de Elementos Culturales 'Tradicionales' en la Creación 'Contemporánea' de Teatro Māori, diasporico Samoano y Rapanui]. The intension of using three different languages responds to my desire to acknowledge the different cultural sensibilities involved in my research and to engage with audiences from different cultural backgrounds, enabling them to resonate with the research from different perspectives.

Throughout my career as an actor I have been involved in theatre that was produced in one language only, either German, Spanish, Rapanui or English. However, recently I have become interested in the inclusion of different languages in one theatre production. I am interested in the interplay of the different languages to create meaning, and how the audience that does not speak one of those languages relates to what is being presented to them. In 2017, I worked with the short story La Autopista del Sur by Argentinian author Julio Cortázar, and created a bilingual solo performance. At the moment, I am working on a series of short stories included in the book Sub-Terra by Chilean author Baldomero Lillo to create another bilingual theatre piece.


  • Theatre as a Tool to Learn Another Language
  • Latin-American Theatre
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Creative Communication
  • Bilingual Theatre
  • Interdisciplinary Storytelling
  • Hispano-American Cultural Studies


Fortin Cornejo, M., & Steagall, M. M. (Translator) (2023). Practice as research: A collective form of activism from a South American perspective. In M. M. Steagall & R. Pouwhare (Eds.), Proceedings of the LINK 5th International Conference in Practice-Oriented Research and Global South. 4(1), (pp. 45-48). Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University of Technology. doi: 10.24135/link2022.v4i1.202

Fortin Cornejo, M. (2023, July). Between local expectations, touristic demands and virtual communities: Change and resilience at the annual cultural festival Tapati Rapa Nui. Verbal presentation at the 5th Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN) Conference, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Powell, E., Pasisi, J., Bean, T. M. P., Dziedzic, A., Asafo, D., Bennett, J. L., Fortin, M., … Fa'avae, I. A. (2023). Mapping otherwise realms. Proceedings of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS) Conference. (pp. 36-37). Retrieved from

Fortin Cornejo, M. S. (2023). Rapa Nui theatre: Staging indigenous identities in Easter Island. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 226p. doi: 10.4324/9781003293866

Fortin, M. (2022, November). Artes Escénicas en Aotearoa/Nueva Zelanda: Saberes tradicionales en la práctica contemporánea del teatro indígena. Keynote presentation at the XI Reunião Científica da ABRACE: Artes Cênicas na Amazônia: saberes tradicionais, fazeres contemporâneos, [Hybrid].

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