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World of WearableArt® has announced the creative team for the 28th WOW® Awards Show, New Zealand’s largest performing arts event founded by Dame Suzie Moncrieff.

Returning Show Directors Aucklanders Mike Mizrahi and Marie Adams will spearhead a team which includes Musical Director Don McGlashan as well as a number of New Zealand’s most significant artists and designers, technical experts and theatre practitioners.

Mizrahi and Adams were the Artistic Directors for the acclaimed 2015 sell out show and WOW is delighted to see them return.

Chief Executive Gisella Carr says that the show is New Zealand’s most technically complex theatrical production, running for 15 shows in Wellington across a three-week season.

“As our annual 55,000-strong audience will know, each year the Show creative team has the task of creating the theatrical setting – the world – for the successful entries to the international WearableArt design competition. We aim to match the quality of the entries with the theatrical experience. 

Each year the world is different. Over the course of its 28 years, the show has created surreal landscapes filled with sand, flying neon dancers, circus big tops and a volcano. Audiences have been taken to a Chinese palace complete with Shaolin Monks, and worlds inspired by visual artists, as in last year’s show when the production drew on the work of New York Artists Shana and Robert Parke Harrison.

We are increasingly finding that the theatrical show in itself is a magnet for creative talent, attracted by the unique nature of the show and its strong reputation.”

Mizrahi and Adams have a long and distinguished track record of producing large scale theatrical events in many different countries. They have worked with Louis Vuitton worldwide, on David Jones fashion shows in Sydney for over ten years and a number of high profile projects for the New Zealand Government, including the giant Rugby Ball project in Paris, London, Tokyo and Sydney. Mike Mizrahi says

“the annual WOW show is particularly interesting for us as it allows us to return to our theatrical roots. It is an exercise in elegant “Worlds” being created and then seamlessly dissolving, one into the next, each serving as a platform and backdrop to stunning works of Wearable Art.

WOW is a simply awe inspiring. Surely the largest visual spectacle in the country and for practitioners like ourselves this is a dream job.

The competition results in incredible pieces of wearable art that need to be integrated into these worlds each one with its own narrative, character and stage presence. These are not stage costumes but works of art in their own right, full of complex architecture and detail. Add to this the fact that we do not know what these pieces are until July and that the show is highly sophisticated and technical – we really have an exciting creative challenge.

The team we have put together to meet the challenge this year, are an impressive group of individuals at the top of their game.

Joining Victoria Colombus and Ross McCormack our amazing choreographers from last year’s highly regarded production, is Hugh Taranto from Sydney- long term collaborator on the David Jones fashion shows, Robin Rawstorne top production designer currently working in China, Bruce Ferguson our partner and collaborator of over 10 years in the world of motion graphics, the superlative Don McGlashan our new Musical Director.  This year we add to the mix Richard Taylor and his team at Weta Workshop.  Long-time supporter and sponsor of WOW, now part of the creative team. As our backbone we draw on the work of Reuben Paterson – the stunning New Zealand visual artist who serves as this year’s inspiration – our colour and flavour.

It is truly exciting to bring these explosive creative forces into one room at one time…. be prepared for a visual and audio feast.

The 28th annual World of WearableArt® Awards Show which will be worth an estimated $22.6million to the Wellington economy. will run from September 22nd – October 9th at Wellington’s TSB Arena.


2016 World of WearableArt Creative Team:

Don McGlashan

Director of Music for 2016 is composer and singer / songwriter Don McGlashan. Don has been composing music, wiring and singing songs since 1976. Best known for his years with Blam Blam Blam and later the Mutton Birds he has written some of New Zealand’s best known contemporary songs, including Anchor Me and Dominion Road. As well wring songs Don has composed sound scores for dozens of movies including Other Halves, An Angel at My Table and Deadlands.

Reuben Paterson

Reuben Paterson is a source of creative inspiration for this year’s show. A dynamic young artist known for his creations in glitter and diamond dust. Along with exhibitions at public institutions throughout New Zealand, highlights of his international career include inclusion in shows at the Musee du quai Branly, Paris, France (2011), Cambridge University of Anthropology and Archaeology Cambridge, England (2007), and the International Biennale of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Prague (2007).

Kip Chapman

Assistant Director Kip Chapman is an actor, director and theatrical writer. He is well known for the successful production Apollo 13 and more recently Hudson and Halls, both plays receiving critical acclaim throughout New Zealand.

Ross McCormack & Victoria Colombus

Principal Choreographer Ross McCormack and Director of Choreography Victoria Colombus have both worked on WOW before, Ross for the first time in 2015 and he brings a wealth of experience to the show. He has been commissioned to choreograph numerous works for New Zealand and Australian companies. He was commissioned for the 2014 New Zealand Festival of the Arts and most recently the 2016 45th Hong Kong Arts Festival. He is the most recent recipient of the 2016/17 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship. Ross has his own company MuscleMouth which tours original works in New Zealand and Internationally.

Victoria has been involved with the awards show since 2010.  She has also performed and toured with Black Grace Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, Michael Parmenter Commotion Company and Muscle Mouth. She has been a tutor at the New Zealand School of Dance since 2010.

Robin Rawstorne

Show Designer Robin Rawstorne is based in Auckland. He also spends some of his time working outside of New Zealand particularly in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.He enjoys working on a wide variety of creative projects within the fields of exhibition design, installations, opera, theatre, ballet, live events, architecture and advertising.

Elizabeth Whiting

Character Costumer Designer Elizabeth Whiting has been with WOW since 2011 and is responsible for helping to create some of the most memorable scenes in the show. She has spent over 30 years designing costumes for the likes of the New Zealand Opera, Auckland Theatre Company and numerous other theatrical productions.

Hugh Taranto

Lighting Designer Hugh Taranto has extensive experience in lighting and lighting design for large scale live events, theatre, music and television. Much of his work has been for live concerts which has taken him around the world with artists as varied as American jazz singer Norah Jones and rock bands such as Silverchair. Based in Sydney, he is responsible for lighting various large Australian television productions most recently including The Voice.