our reason for being
From grass roots to tall shoots
To produce and perform high quality improvisation theatre and provide a supportive environment for developing performing artists and showcasing world-class talent.
what we want to achieve
To create more fun, laughter and creativity in the community to help make a more vibrant and passionate world.
The Covert Theatre started off as its own venue at 84 Karangahape Road in Auckland, New Zealand from April 2001 - 2005. The 50-seat venue with a fully licensed bar was the brainchild of Wade Jackson. It then shifted its productions for a short time to the Classic Comedy Bar until establishing itself at the Musgrove Studio at the Maidment Theatre. The Covert is currently looking for its own fulltime venue. Stay tuned!
In the beginning…
Wade Jackson founded The Improv Bandits in 1997, a group that still performs today. In 2000, as a pre-cursor to the Covert Theatre company he produced a season of improv at the SiLO Theatre (now The Basement) and this cast become the founding group of the Covert Theatre, which was officially established in 2001.
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Wade Jackson - 2001
Geoff Simmons - 2001
Greg Ward - 2001
James McLaughlin - 2001
Mark Scott - 2001
Michael Fletcher - 2001
Paul Paice - 2001
Steven Lyons - 2001
Tom Kane - 2001
Tony Gilbert - Joined 2001
Keir Robertson - Joined 2001
Gill Berry - Joined 2002
Pree Lecamwasam - Joined 2002
Luke Stopford - Joined 2003
Willie Ashton - Joined 2004
Hiroshi Nakatsuji - Joined 2010
Sean Toland - Joined 2010
Kerry McComish - Joined 2010
CJ Le Mon - Joined 2011
Kay Hammond - Joined 2011
Kevin Barron - Joined 2013
Sam Holmes - Joined 2013
James Ting-Edwards - Joined 2014
Narelle Jackson - Joined 2014
Nik Edwards - Joined 2014
Nik lives by the maxim "Life is Improv". He’s at his best when he’s open to change, willing to go on a journey, and fully present in the moment. He reckons, what better way to hone this practice than being thrown into a snake pit or stranded on a desert island with a bunch of fantastic people?
Georgia Sutton - Joined 2015
Georgia’s parents forced her to do the Covert’s improv course to keep her dad company. Yes. You read correctly. Her DAD! She’s very glad they did because it’s helped her with her confidence and to grow as a person. When it comes to performing on stage she love it to always give it her best shot and have fun.
Alaine Tasker - Joined 2015
Alaine got free tickets to nearly all the shows at the Maidment Theatre in 2009 as her daughter was working there as an usher. She found the Covert productions addictive, and attended these each year (second row in the middle) until finally couldn’t stand it any longer and enrolled in the classes in 2015. Now she’s loving being on stage rather than watching.
Amanda Moore - Joined 2015
After dropping out of art school, living on fresh air as a painter, and being the back end of a business partnership, Mandy thrives in the company of Covert people. She adores the game of being fully present, connecting with fellow players, and discovering a story – it’s a thrilling ride and an inspiring metaphor for life!
Daniel Moore - Joined 2015
Dan took up improv because he discovered, a few years ago, that he had a serious problem: he spent too much time being too bloody serious. So something had to be done about it and improv was the medicine. Since taking up improv Dan is now only serious on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoon between 2 and 4
Darcy Murray - Joined 2015
Darcy, who also answers to Sarah, (who says you can't have 2 names?) gets lots of chances to make things up in her work as a builder. She highly values the chance to practice being present and in relationship, so she forces herself to do improv, which is often the highlight of her week.
Mike Witt - Joined 2015
Mike wondered if he'd taken the "step out of your comfort zone" idea a bit too far when he started doing improv, but now can't imagine life without it He is thrilled to be a part of this enthusiastic and fun group of people.
Tim Sutton - Joined 2015
Having watched live improv on and off for many years Tim was inspired by The Improv Bandits to hop on stage and try performing. He loves the spontaneity of improv and the enthusiasm and energy with which his fellow players rise to meet the challenge of generating scenes, no matter how challenging the gauntlet laid down.
Peter Allan - Joined 2015
After nearly 20 years of skydiving Peter was looking for a new way to get his kicks. Arriving in New Zealand from his native Scotland 6 years ago he tasted much of the adventure this country has to offer before recently discovering the wonderful world of the Covert. Peter loves the energy and teamwork of Improv. He reckons that stepping on to stage is like jumping out of an airplane and fellow players are like parachutes, but thankfully it's a lot more fun, and not nearly as messy when someone dies.
Ambika Kumar - Joined 2016
Ambika has a case of early-onset mid-life-crisis, but is far too sensible to buy a sports car. She has instead wound up at the Covert exploring her creativity, the unknown and generally enjoying the ride.
Tamara Androsoff - Joined 2016
Tamara loves how improv allows her to play in ways that are not allowed when you’re supposed to be a grown up. Making something from nothing with a whole bunch of fantastic people is a total joy and feels suitably subversive in an increasingly distracted and disconnected world. Do improv. Save the world.
Tina Wackrow - Joined 2016
Tina was part of the University of Auckland Comedy Club in the 1990s and was one of first lighting technicians for The Improv Bandits. After a long hiatus, she reignited the improv bug and loves breaking of the stifling chains of being an accountant by day, to be an improviser by night.
Nicolas Mankiewitz - Joined 2016
Phillip Rice - Joined 2016
Steve Robinson - Joined 2016