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.
Abey George - Joined 2011
Abey is a former mathematician, practicing vegan and his comic idol is Adam Sandler. He doesn’t think anything else needs to be said.
Alice Gatland - Joined 2013
Alice Gatland is a newsreader, engineer, and music school dropout. She runs interactive events and is famous for her elaborate birthday party games. Alice likes improv because it showcases the skills she has developed from a lifetime of being underprepared.
CJ Le Mon - Joined 2011
CJ loves the sense of play with purpose that she gets from Improv. She considers it a brilliant creative outlet and a great counterpoint to her day job. She marvels at how she learns something every time she steps into a workshop or onto the stage.
Gill Berry - Joined 2002
Gill performed in NZ’s first all female improv troupe show Femprov in which became Barbie is Dead in 2003 with shows in Auckland and Wellington. She became completely immersed in her job and neglected one of her true loves, performing improv. After a long break, she is back to exercise her funny-bone once again. Of late her main audience has been a classroom of undiscerning five year olds. She is now relishing the chance to behave like one!
James Ting-Edwards - Joined 2014
Having grown up across the road from where the Covert runs it workshops, James finally got in on the act. He loves philosophy, his wife Judy, and dropping computer game references on brother Nik. We’re pretty sure he’s not a Vulcan.
Jeff Cox - Joined 2010
Jeff has been a part of many shows over the years both as an improv comedian and musician. He has been a force of music adding a rich dimension to Private Dick and Instant Broadway – the Covert’s improv musical show. Jeff is a musician and writer, while also finding the time to work in I.T.
Jesse Liwag - Joined 2014
Jesse, originally from the Philippines, has led a very structured life working in the Internet industry since 1995. He currently works in advertising. In a previous life, he’s worked as a teacher, writer, and film editor. In an even more previous life he used to ride unicorns and fight dragons.
Kay Hammond - Joined 2011
Kay is a comedienne who is definitely not giving up her day job. She enjoys being mentally challenged and creating chaos. Improv allows her to live a life in which dignity is no object.
Keir Robertson - Joined 2001
Keir joined the Covert after graduating from South Seas film school. He played with the kids onstage for a few years before finding his niche doing lights and sound where he remains as a stalwart techo for most of the Covert shows since. Keir really relishes the chance to use his improv experience alongside the cast with light and sound, and from the techies box; enjoys the best and funniest view in the house.
Kerry McComish - Joined 2010
Kerry began her foray into acting after attending an Improv Bandits Show. She had spent her formative years cannily avoiding all appearances on stage, unless quietly designing and painting the scenery while no-one else was there. She left it up to other more outgoing souls to provide the entertainment until the night of the Bandits show where she made the mistake of sitting in the front row. With no time for stage fright, she was pulled up onto the stage - and thought this is fun! She joined Covert workshops the next day. Her only regret is she didn’t find these workshops sooner, as after all - she believes that girls just wanna have fun!
Kevin Barron - Joined 2013
Kevin found his way to the Covert through a mixture of acting, being Father Christmas at a department store and making things up on the spur of the moment during corporate presentations and training. When not working, he also writes novels, travel books and business guides.
Luke Stopford - Joined 2003
Half Irish, a wee bit of French, plenty of Kiwi and all crazy. Luke is a master of mayhem who delights in the dark side. He played the lead in ‘Private Dick’, the Covert’s long form film noir show debuting at the 2012 NZ International Comedy Festival. His ready wit and leading man looks balance his wooden acting beautifully.
Narelle Jackson - Joined 2014
Narelle started off as a little performer and then lost her way. 20+ years later she has taken to the stage and it's loads of fun! She joined Covert to bring out her creative side and loves seeing what forms from nothing and getting to play and explore scenes with other adults.
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?
Pree Lecamwasam - Joined 2002
Pree's first foray into comedy was to be pulled up on to the stage by the MC's at a stand up comedy show and left to fend for himself. He considers it his improv debut. It didn't deter him from joining the Covert Theatre 2 months later where he started doing improv and found that he loved it. Pree's Sri Lankan born Kiwi who loves to improvise in work, life and play. He truly believes laughter is the answer to life's problems.
Sam Holmes - Joined 2013
Sam immensely enjoys improvising with the Covert. He finds it makes a change from the day job where he sits at a computer writing code and is a great way to lose himself and be completely different person or three for the evening. He loves it but can’t speak on the audience’s behalf.
Sean Toland - Joined 2010
Sean joined up as part of a dare after seeing Covert Improv Night. He has found that improv suits his creative, random, playful side. His only terror is taking part in backwards scenes and interviews which fill him with an unholy dread which will not be washed away by holy water.
Shirley Booth - Joined 2014
Working as a teacher, children's writer and musician, Shirley is happiest when being creative or enjoying the outdoors, kayaking or tramping. Past adventures have seen her travel to over 70
countries but New Zealand is her favourite by far.
Willie Ashton - Joined 2004
Willie is a master builder with his hands and also his mind. He built the Covert’s famous Ferris Wheel set and in 2014 attended the Loose Moose summer school in Canada. Willie finds improv gives him a greater perspective in dealing with life’s challenges and makes it more fun!