Matt Baker - Editor | Theatre | Food
Matt is an Auckland based, award-winning actor, director, and critic. In 2007, he graduated from the Unitec Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Performing And Screen Arts in Acting for Screen and Theatre, but has been working professionally since his stage debuts in New Zealand (Macbeth) and Australia (The Lion King) in 2004. Since then, he has continued working as an actor in theatre (Bright Star, Tigerplay), musical theatre (The Buddy Holly Story, The Full Monty), television (The Almighty Johnsons, The Luminaries), short films (Breakdown, After Here), and commercials (The National Bank, Speight’s). He began writing critically in 2012 with Theatre Scenes, travelling to Romania in 2013 to attend an International Young Critics’ Seminar. That same year, he graduated from the University of Auckland with a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts specialising in Drama, making his directorial debut the following year with critically-acclaimed productions of An Unseasonable Fall of Snow and Mo & Jess Kill Susie by New Zealand playwright Gary Henderson. In 2017, he graduated with a Master of Arts in Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Matt is represented by Kathryn Rawlings & Associates, is a member of New Zealand Actors’ Equity, and is the inaugural New Zealand member of the International Association of Theatre Critics.
Ben Van Lier - Film | Television
Born and bred in West Auckland, Ben has been working as an actor in New Zealand for over 10 years since graduating from the Unitec School of Performing And Screen Arts in 2006. He has appeared on both stage and screen, featuring in film (The Water Horse, City of Souls), television (Hilary, The Bad Seed), theatre (Stag Weekend, Yours Truly), and commercials, with recent screen credits including leading roles in tele-features In A Flash and War Stories, as well as a supporting role in American Playboy: The Life of Hugh Hefner. Stage highlights include Tribes by Nina Raine and Apollo 13: Mission Control, which toured the United States. Although primarily an actor, Ben also works as a playwright and theatre director. Ben is represented by Auckland Actors and is a member of New Zealand Actors’ Equity.
Rebekkah Schoonbeek - Dance
Having trained for a decade in jazz, tap, contemporary dance, and hip hop at The Dance Studio in Auckland, Rebekkah continued developing her skills as a professional dancer, choreographer, singer, and actress at the Broadway Dance Center in New York. Her choreographic work has been seen in musicals, music videos, corporate events, and competition performances, and she has been heavily involved in New Zealand dance education, creating and developing curriculums for multiple institutions. In 2015 she was awarded “Stand Out Female Performer” for her contemporary piece The Crickets Have Arthritis (Short + Sweet Dance Festival), and in 2016 completed a one-month Contemporary Indigenous Dance Residency at Banff Arts Centre in Canada. Rebekkah’s most recent credits include Chicago (Auckland Theatre Company), Pleasuredome, and Shortland Street the Musical (ATC). She is also the co-artistic director of Night of The Queer (2018-19) and produces dance work under Luck & Schooney with her business partner James Luck. For more information, see rebekkahschoonbeek.com