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Martyn Roberts

Martyn Roberts profile photo

BA(VUW) MFA(Otago)
Theatre Manager, Designer
Professional Practice Fellow

Office – Allen Hall Theatre
Tel  +64 3 479 8825
Email martyn.roberts@otago.ac.nz

Martyn has been creating award winning light and set designs for a number of years here in NZ and overseas. Works include This Other Eden for Opera Otago, The Caretaker, Punk Rock and Grounded for Fortune Theatre as well as working with Touch Compass Dance, Taki Rua Theatre and his own company, afterburner. He has worked as a designer and writer with devising companies such as Site-Specific creating Hotel and the innovative Wellington theatre company Trouble in the late 1990’s.

Nominated 12 times at the prestigious Chapman Tripp Awards for his work, Martyn has built a reputation for innovative and exciting design. His NZ festival designs include Dr Buller’s Birds for the 2006 International Festival of the Arts, Dark Tourists for AK07 and Mark Twain and Me in Maoriland for Taki Rua in 2010.

He founded afterburner in 2001, a light and sound collective creating installation/theatre hybrid pieces like Man on the Moon, The Telescope, and Fog and Mirrors. Other afterburner ventures include the Miranda Manasiadis written and directed work The Singularity (which Martyn co-designed with Rob Larsen), and Dark Matter, winner of two Dunedin Fringe awards in 2016 and Best of Fringe 2017 in Wellington. Dark Matter featured in the Arts Festival Dunedin 2018 and at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial as a VR exhibit.

Recent afterburner work Fission had its first showing in 2019 and is due for further development over 2020 to 2022. Martyn is a member of ETNZ (Entertainment Technology New Zealand) and chair of Dunedin’s theatre trust Wow! Productions.

Details of these productions, including some review material, and other plays designed, devised or directed by Martyn Roberts may be found on the Theatre Aotearoa database.

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Interests

Lighting and stage design

  • devised and site-specific theatre and Installation Art
  • co-founder of afterburner theatre and art collective based in Wellington and Dunedin
  • co-devisor for the Site Specific Theatre Company – winners of four Fringe awards for Hotel, 2006
  • photographer, writer and theatre maker.
  • Martyn has created light designs all over New Zealand, as well as Sydney, Brisbane, Edinburgh and Glasgow. He has exhibited his light installations at the Wellington City Gallery and at the Prague Quadrennial in 2004 and 2019. He was commissioned to create a light installation for the Macs Brewery on Wellington's waterfront, which was installed in 2007.
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Current Projects

  • Set and Lighting Design for a multi-year research project called Fission
  • Lighting Design for Bruce Mason’s play The End of the Golden Weather 2020 production for Wow! Productions, Dunedin
  • Creating an installation in November 2020 celebrating the dawn of 100 years of radio in NZ
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Awards

Chapman Tripp Lighting Design Awards

  • 1996 Black Monk (Trouble Theatre Company)
  • 1997 The Lead Wait (Trouble Theatre Company)
  • 2002 Copenhagen (Circa Theatre)
  • 2006 Yours Truly (BATS Theatre)
  • 2007 Maui - One Man against the Gods (NZ Tour)

Fringe awards

  • 2017 NZ Fringe – Best in Fringe Dark Matter
  • 2016 Best Design – Dark Matter – Dunedin Fringe
  • 2016 Best Multimedia – Dark Matter – Dunedin Fringe
  • 2006 Visual Art Award – Fog and Mirrors – Site Specific Light Installations
  • 2007 Best of Fringe, Best Theatre, Best Marketing, Best performance (Gavin Rutherford) – Hotel (Site Specific Theatre Company)

Dunedin Theatre Awards

o 2018 Lighting Design Award – Dark Matter
o 2016 Lighting Design Award – Wairua a line near
o 2015 Set Design Award Farley’s Arcade – The Wildest Place in Town
o 2014 Lighting Design Award This Other Eden

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Publications

Halba, H. (co-director, researcher, deviser), Roberts, M. (designer (stage, light, sound), deviser, researcher, producer), Hutchinson, D. (physicist, deviser), Kalogeropoulou, S. (choreographer, deviser), & Petersen, T. (musician, deviser) (2019, 26-30 March). Fission, an afterburner production, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Huber, R. (director), Kalogeropoulou, S. (choreographer), Fortin, M. (performer), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2017, 23-24 March). The Motorway (23-24 March), based on the short story La Autopista del Sur by Julio Cortazar, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting, audio visual, space design, sound design) (2017, 16-20 February). Dark Matter (16-20 February), an afterburner production, Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting design) (2016, 26 February - 1 March). Footnote New Zealand Dance: Who are we now?, Circa Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting, audio visual, space design, sound design) (2016, 3-7 March). Dark Matter, an afterburner production, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Halba, H. (co-director, researcher, deviser), Roberts, M. (designer (stage, light, sound), deviser, researcher, producer), Hutchinson, D. (physicist, deviser), Kalogeropoulou, S. (choreographer, deviser), & Petersen, T. (musician, deviser) (2019, 26-30 March). Fission, an afterburner production, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Huber, R. (director), Kalogeropoulou, S. (choreographer), Fortin, M. (performer), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2017, 23-24 March). The Motorway (23-24 March), based on the short story La Autopista del Sur by Julio Cortazar, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting, audio visual, space design, sound design) (2017, 16-20 February). Dark Matter (16-20 February), an afterburner production, Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting design) (2016, 26 February - 1 March). Footnote New Zealand Dance: Who are we now?, Circa Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting, audio visual, space design, sound design) (2016, 3-7 March). Dark Matter, an afterburner production, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (devisor, lighting design) (2016, 23-25 June). Wai=Rua A Line=Near, an afterburner and Ruaimoko Trust production, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Huber, R. (writer, director), Shaw Bennett, N. (recorded voice), Cattermole, J. (performer), Roberts, M. (lighting design), Kalogeropoulou, S. (choreographer), Huber, F. (music), & Powell-Moore, P. (music, recorded sounds) (2016, 15-16 September). Meat/Love/Die, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting design) (2016, 13 August-3 September). Grounded, by George Brant, Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Huber, R. (artistic director, writer), & Roberts, M. (production, design) (2015, 28 August-6 September). Farley's Arcade, devised by the WoW! Productions Trust (28 August-6 September), Athenaeum Building, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Petersen, T. (violin), Roberts, M. (video), & Egenes, J. (musical saw) (2015, 15 November). 653 Days: A Retrospective of Music by Jeremy Mayall, presented by the University of Otago Music Department, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Warrington, L. (director), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2015, 7-28 February). Outside Mullingar, by John Patrick Stanley, Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Young, S. (co-director), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2015, 21 August-14 November). The Keys are in the Margarine: A Verbatim Play About Dementia: New Zealand Tour, Herald Theatre, Meteor Theatre, Repertory Theatre, The Playhouse, Lake Wanaka Centre, Community Hall, Fortune Theatre, BATS, Auckland, Hamilton, Invercargill, Timaru, Wanaka, Alexandra, Dunedin, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Young, S. (co-director), Halba, H. (co-director), & Roberts, M. (designer, lighting & sound operator) (2015, 15 September-21 November). Be | Longing: A Verbatim Play: New Zealand Tour, Repertory Theatre, The Playhouse, Lake Wanaka Centre, Community Hall, Fortune Theatre, BATS, Invercargill, Timaru, Wanaka, Alexandra, Dunedin, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (set designer, lighting designer) (2015, 27 June-18 July). Punk rock, Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2014, 5 July-2 August). Jumpy, Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Diver, C. (writer, director, performer), Lawless, S. (writer), Young, S. (writer, director), Adams, C. (performer), Kewene, F. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2014, 19-29 June). The Keys are in the Margarine: A Verbatim Play About Dementia (19-29 June), Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Petersen, T. (violin, ensemble leader), & Roberts, M. (set designer, lighting designer) (2014, 10, 12, 14 & 16 October). This Other Eden (world première) (10, 12, 14 & 16 October), by Anthony Ritchie (composer) and Michelanne Forster (libretto), with Opera Otago, Westpac Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2013, 15 June-13 July). Tribes, Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2012, 27-30 June). Run, slip, spring, Q Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand. [Performance].

Young, S. (co-director), Halba, H. (co-director), & Roberts, M. (designer, lighting & sound operator) (2012, 1-3, 7-10 March). Be | Longing: A verbatim play, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Young, S. (co-director, co-writer), Halba, H. (co-director, co-writer), & Roberts, M. (designer, lighting & sound operator) (2012, 22-23 February, 1-3, 7-10 March). Be | Longing: A verbatim play, premiered at the New Performance Festival (22-23 February, 1-3, 7-10 March), Aotea Centre, Allen Hall Theatre, Auckland, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Roberts, M. (lighting design) (2012, 14 April-2 May). Red, Fortune Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Newlands, E. (performer, researcher & writer), O'Connor, S. (performer, researcher & writer), Halba, H. (performer, researcher & writer), Shaw Bennett, N. (performer), Young, S. (director, researcher, writer & stage manager), & Roberts, M. (designer & lighting operator) (2011, 28 February-5 March). Hush, Fortune Theatre Studio, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 5-6 November). Mo and Jess Kill Susie, by Gary Henderson, Studiobühne Essen, Essen, Germany.

Halba, H. (director), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 27 October). Skin Tight, by Gary Henderson, Consol Theater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Halba, H. (director), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 14 October). Skin Tight, by Gary Henderson, Studio 77, Wellington, New Zealand.

Shaw Bennett, N. (performer), Young, S. (director), & Roberts, M. (design) (2010, 25-27 February). My Name is Rachel Corrie, taken from the writings of Rachel Corrie, edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Newlands, E. (performer, researcher & writer), O'Connor, S. (performer, researcher & writer), Halba, H. (performer, researcher & writer), Shaw Bennett, N. (performer), Young, S. (director, researcher, writer & stage manager), & Roberts, M. (designer & lighting operator) (2010, 22-27 November). Hush, Maidment Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand.

Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2010, 8-9 October). Communitas, presented by the University of Otago Dance Studies Community Dancers, Allen Hall Theatre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 9 November). Mo and Jess Kill Susie, by Gary Henderson, Faculty of Theatre and Television, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 14 October). Mo and Jess Kill Susie, by Gary Henderson, Studio 77, Wellington, New Zealand.

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 21 October). Mo and Jess Kill Susie, by Gary Henderson, Kulturzentrum Triangel, St. Vith, Belgium.

Halba, H. (director), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 11 November). Skin Tight, by Gary Henderson, Fabrica de Pensule, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2010, 28 October). Mo and Jess Kill Susie, by Gary Henderson, Consol Theater, Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Cruz-Banks, O. (choreographer), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2009, 23-24 October). Underground Renaissance, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Newlands, E. (performer, researcher & writer), O'Connor, S. (performer, researcher & writer), Halba, H. (performer, researcher & writer), Shaw Bennett, N. (performer), Young, S. (director, researcher, writer & stage manager), & Roberts, M. (designer & lighting operator) (2009, 12-22 March). Hush, Mary Hopewell Theatre, College of Education, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Young, S. (translator), Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2009, 7-8 May). The Proposal, by Anton Chekhov, Allen Hall Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Warrington, L. (director), & Roberts, M. (lighting designer) (2008, 26 June-5 July). Old Times, by Harold Pinter, Globe Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Halba, H. (performer), & Roberts, M. (designer) (2007, 3 February-3 March). Backwards in High Heels, by Stuart Hoar, Circa Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand.

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Roberts, M., Davenport, J., Robinson, E., & Beer, T. (2014, June). Ecological design for performance. Panel discussion at the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) Conference: Restoring Balance: Ecology, Sustainability, Performance, Wellington, New Zealand.

Roberts, M. (2014, June). Dark matter: Engagement through threshold states. Verbal presentation at the Department of Music & Theatre Studies Research Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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