About the Meteor
The Meteor is the Waikato’s most versatile space.
We are Hamilton’s home of New Zealand theatre. The Waikato’s most exciting, accessible and affordable Performing Arts venue!
Our Vision is to enhance the performing arts in Hamilton and New Zealand by providing a vibrant and thriving venue for theatre, music, dance, poetry, exhibitions, workshops, comedy, improv…and much, much more. The diversity is awe-inspiring!
The Meteor theatre is operated by the One Victoria Trust, which exists to foster, develop, and encourage all forms of creative and performing art, in a manner that benefits the community.
In our city. By our city. For our city.
The Meteor is accessible and affordable and exists to support the new and the established, the professional and the community, and the mainstream and the experimental.
So any person or group may use this lovely building, and you’ll pay an amount designed to facilitate your endeavours AND keep us operational, via a mix of low base fees and the sharing of successful ‘door takes’.
The Meteor Story
The Meteor Theatre has been a part of the Hamilton cultural landscape since it was first built in 1900 as an aerated water bottling factory by local bottler and brewer C.L Innes and Company (of Waikato Breweries). The Innes Tartan building stood strong until the 1960s when Waikato Breweries was sold to Lion.
After that, the building that became The Meteor underwent several transformations. Of its many iterations over the years, there’s none more iconic than when it became Skateworld from the 1970s until the 1980s. Skateworld remains a fond memory for many Hamiltonians, not only as a skating rink, but also as a music venue as well.
In the 1980s, interest in the performing arts in Hamilton rose as new groups were born and new spaces were created and, in 1996, the Hamilton City Council purchased the building and converted it into a black box-style theatre and, thus The Meteor Theatre was born.
From then, The Meteor became occupied by artists and companies looking to create an inclusive and accessible arts community. In 2007, part of the interior was renovated to create an open mezzanine office area for proposed creative industry initiatives, becoming Soda (now the Creative Cluster).
However, as costs rose and usage declined, the Hamilton City Council looked at 1 Victoria Street as a potential asset to be sold. Seeing the detriment that this would do to the creative community, a group of like-minded members of the arts community came together and, in 2012, the One Victoria Trust was established.
On the 1st of February 2014, the Hamilton City Council gifted The Meteor Theatre to the Trust. Part of the deed of gift for this venue to the One Victoria Trust was the need for earthquake strengthening. With the help of the community of users and local philanthropists and grants (as well as the support of the Council) The Meteor was able to raise the $1.1million needed to ensure that this space remains a functional and robust venue for our community.
In 2016, The Meteor Theatre closed its doors for six months as it underwent renovations and earthquake strengthening and, in May 2017, reopened as a fully accessible space.
Today, The Meteor Theatre remains Hamilton’s home of New Zealand theatre. From emerging local creators to national and international acts, The Meteor remains a place for the community to share creative experiences.
Aaron Chesham is the owner of ACLX lighting. He has a strong background in technical production, and has been involved with the Meteor since just after its inception. He passionately wants to see the venue used to its full potential.
Charlotte is a commercial lawyer at Davidson Twaddle Isaac. She is also a trustee of the WEL Energy Trust and D V Bryant Trust, one of the longest-running philanthropic trusts in the Waikato, whose primary objective is “to enhance human welfare in the Waikato”.
Outside of work Charlotte is passionate about the Arts and in particular theatre in Hamilton; acting, directing and producing a range of plays, in particular locally written or devised original works. Previous governance roles have included the Hamilton Performing Arts Trust, Creative Waikato, Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Curiously Cut Productions, Waikato Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lifeline Waikato, Netball Waikato Region, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic Netball, Hamilton Playbox Repertory Society and Riverlea Theatre & Arts Centre.
Ross MacLeod has been writing, directing and producing theatre in Hamilton for the last decade. While his focus is often smaller scale original works, he has directed productions ranging from musicals to Shakespeare. He has seen The Meteor space come a long way since his first show there in 1999, but a theatre is more than just a building and he is keen to pass on any support he can offer to new writers and performers wishing to use that theatre. He is also a board member of the Hamilton Community Arts Council.
Alec ForbesAlec likes Shakespeare, beer, football and planting trees. He co-founded Slip of the Tongue and Hamilton Fringe Festival, and served as Chair of the Hamilton Community Arts Council.Alec‘s connection to The Meteor goes back to the very first day the building started to transform into a theatre.
Adrienne has a dream job working as one of the Creative Waikato team. She has pretty much retired from stage performance now but would reconsider it if there weren’t too many lines to learn. Hiding behind a quiet and calm manner, Adrienne distinguishes herself from other artists by actually having an interest in numbers and finances. She is the company bookkeeper and a shareholder in Free Lunch Street Theatre Company. Adrienne holds a Diploma in Performing Arts (where she met her lovely husband Nick), and a BA in Drama and Management.
Toni Garson has been part of the theatre world since she was 6 years old. She directed her first production at the age of 14, and has continued to act in and direct plays and musicals since then. She founded One Duck Productions in 2017, with the hope of adding to the number of quality stage productions found around the Waikato. When not involved in a show, Toni can be found working on various TV and Film productions, mostly in the Art Department.
Toni graduated with a Master of Arts in 2017 in Screen and Media Studies from the University of Waikato, focusing on the production of web series. Toni is also a committee member of Musikmakers Inc.
She believes that The Meteor is an important venue to have here in Hamilton, as it allows so many different kinds of creatives share their art and passion with the rest of the Waikato.
Ruth loves cooking, numbers, art and playing the piano. She currently works as a senior financial analyst at PwC. Ruth graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance from the University of Canterbury is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). Being a Meteor Trustee quite simply blends the best of both worlds.
Deborah Nudds – Theatre Manager
Deborah has worked at the theatre from February 2014, when the One Victoria Trust took over. As Theatre Manager her role covers the programming and operations of the venue and also covers communications with audience and productions alike. She loves how each show and event brings its own magic and diversity to the Meteor. Always approachable, Deborah aims to find solutions to problems and is here to help all who use the theatre.
Deborah has an extensive background in the local café and food scene, having started and run some successful long-lived ventures over the years, including the iconic Metropolis Caffe (1991) and is co-owner of Scoff (2001). Deborah spent several years as a Hamilton Community Arts Councillor and has enduring interest in all the Arts but has a special love for the spoken word. Deborah is the creator and director of the Toi Wāhine Festivals (2018 & 2019).
Guy Coker – Technical Manager
Guy always loves a good bit of problem solving. With many years of industry experience, he’s always up for a challenge. Since the age of 8 he has been playing guitar along with other instruments including bass and drums. Playing in a couple of bands was his gateway into the industry. At a very young age Guy began working with companies such as Drury Lane & ACLX. Once Guy was old enough, he got a casual technician role at H3 and began taking on more freelance work. This has included working as a Stage Manager/Backline Tech for bands like Katchafire, Kora and Sons of Zion. After working on a multitude of different events be it in a Pub, Theatre, Festival or Stadium he was hooked. When Guy saw the opportunity to join the awesome team at the Meteor in 2017 he jumped at the chance. He loves working with everyone who comes into the space. Whether it be a community, corporate, or professional event Guy is always ready to make it happen.
Hannah Mooney- Marketing and Publicity
Hannah is 2016 University of Waikato graduate with a Bachelor of Communication Studies majoring in Public Relations. She has been working as The Meteor’s Audience Builder since 2017. Hannah is overjoyed to have a job combining her degree and one of her greatest loves: theatre. Hannah has been involved in theatre from a very young age with her first onstage performance being when she was four years old. Since that first moment in the limelight she’s never looked back going on to perform onstage, work backstage and produce shows in Hamilton. Hannah’s passion is producing shows, she loves working with others behind the scenes to get shows up and running. Two of her greatest producing achievements were productions staged at The Meteor. These include being the Assistant Producer for Blackbox Creative’s 2016 season of Spring Awakening and Co-Director for Toi Wāhine Festival 2019. Outside of The Meteor Hannah is known for her bad puns, love of Harry Potter and enjoyment of long-distance running.
Benny Marama – Box Office and Front of House
Benny Marama has been at The Meteor for many years, firstly as a user and now as the Experience Manager. In this role, Benny is both the go-to for anything box office related and the friendly face you see when you come to The Meteor. Having volunteered at The Meteor for many years, Marama joined the team in 2017. He is passionate about the arts and brings to this role his many years of knowledge and experience in the industry.
In his spare time, Benny is an award-winning playwright, actor and director. From 2016 to 2019, he adapted and directed the annual Meteor kids show, and is the co-founder of TAHI TA’I TASI; a theatre company dedicated to increasing the visibility of diverse theatre creators in the Waikato.
- Provide an innovative, adaptive space for the community that encourages artistic endeavour.
- Build and support the culture and creativity of our community, artistic and audience, in all forms of creative and performing art.
- Develop upon the legacy of the space and the various groups that have inhabited it whilst remaining forward thinking, with values and philosophy that respect the past, present and future.
- Operate a safe, affordable but sustainable space with a culture of accessibility and innovative support.
- Provide opportunities for development and presentation of unique and diverse performances.
- Respect and engage with the community and adapt to any change in their needs.
- Maintain a financial sustainability that facilitates the above purposes.
- Endeavour to impact the wider community and culture of Hamilton both for the current and future generations.
Our StructureThe One Victoria Trust, hereinafter referred to as The Trust, comprises a board made up of a minimum 7, maximum 13 Trustees, including representatives from each of the following community groups:
A Quorum of 5 is required for Board meetings.Simple majority required to pass resolutions.The Trust will:
- Local Community
- Creative Representation
- Sponsorship and Funding
- Business Leaders
- Abide by the terms and conditions given in the Deed of Charitable Trust of The One Victoria Trust Board Incorporated.
- Employ staff to fill particular roles.
- Form sub-committees in areas agreed upon by The Trust.
- Pay on-going operational costs include electricity, heating, insurance, telephones and internet, administration costs, cleaning, bar licences, etc.
- The Theatre building will be artistically programmed.
- While the building is ‘open’ to all, the right to say ‘No’ is reserved.
- The building will not be a home for any resident group; the artist(s) vacate once a project is completed.
- Any person or group may ‘apply’ to use the building.
- The programming of the building to be so structured that ‘new’ users or ‘alternative’ projects are given opportunity alongside ‘established artists’, and this to be actively promoted.
- The right to decline a person or group or project is reserved.
- The building may be used for more than one purpose or more than one performance on any one day.
- Use of the building implies and assumes trust, informed by a responsible and professional work ethic. That trust may be abused and thereby lost, and the right to use the building removed.
- Each project – an identified person in the project – is issued with an entrance code which enables people to work whenever they wish, within the agreed time frame of the project and respecting any negotiated use of the space(s) by others.
- Each user will pay a small amount for the right to use the space, observing the principle that many pay little (and thereby have access) rather than a few paying a lot (excluding the many who cannot afford a higher fee).
- User contracts will be used for each artist or group project.
- While acknowledging the need for creative and innovative activity, the observation of safety protocols, following established guidelines for theatre spaces, will be required by all users.
- Liability insurance cover may be required to protect the interests of both The Trust and the user(s).
- A mechanism to enable users to register comments, complaints, or suggestions about the building and its facilities will be established.