Brian Burke will join forces with veteran Show Director Malia Johnston to lead the creative team to create a reimagined staging and fresh 2022 WOW show experience.
WOW Founder, Dame Suzie Moncrieff says the competition has always attracted the world’s best designers and performers to New Zealand and Brian is the latest exceptional international talent to join the team.
“World of WearableArt is all about creativity and new ideas so I am excited that Brian is joining the team bringing his wealth of experience of large-scale productions and his injection of creative flair. I look forward to WOW soaring to even greater heights in the future as we bring in new ideas and creative talent.”
Brian brings an impressive wealth of producing and directing experience across a range of genres from multi-media stage productions to smash hit tv series. His experience spans the international stage from Las Vegas and Broadway to the Sydney Opera House. Brian says:
“I have fallen in love with everything about WOW, the creativity, the garments, and especially the people. Crafting unique live experiences with an incredible creative team has always been my passion, so I am truly honoured and humbled to become part of this very special WOW family.
“I am enthusiastic about the future and know the alchemy of our creative collaboration will bring new, exciting, and unforgettable experiences to WOW audiences.”
Building on his past successes, Brian will bring his artistic vision and concert-scale expertise to take the WOW show experience to the next level, says Chief Executive David Tingey.
This year’s show returns to Wellington from 29 September – 16 October and features three recurring sections – Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open – as well as three new sections – Architecture, Elizabethan Era and Monochromatic. Prepare for a WOW spectacular like never before, led by the talented team of creatives below.
2022 WOW Creative Team:
Brian Burke | Executive Creative Director
Brian Burke spent the early part of his career as Production Supervisor of the international Australian touring sensation Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs. In 2002 he partnered with former Cirque Du Soleil mastermind Franco Dragone and served 10 years in his company as Artistic Director of Las Vegas Resident shows Celine Dion – A New Day, which became the highest-grossing residency of all time, and Le Rêve – The Dream, which won Best Production Show for nine consecutive years.
His worldwide stadium, arena and festival tours include Lionel Richie, Keith Urban, Westlife, Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins and Pitbull. Brian is the creative producer of the world’s most successful TV format, America’s Got Talent and co-executive producer of American Idol. He creatively produced numerous shows internationally including Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor, The Latin Grammy Awards and earned an International Emmy Nomination as Co-Executive Producer of La Banda. He has produced hundreds of live tv performances for music superstars of all genres and his combined work to date has over five billion views.
Malia Johnston | Show Director
Choreographer and performance director, Malia Johnston has been involved with WOW for almost two decades. Malia is a brilliant craftswoman who has a talent for bringing out the best in performers. She has created a significant repertoire over the past 20 years across a range of genres.
She was lead choreographer of Auckland Theatre Company’s box office hit Billy Elliot-The Musical, director of multi-award-winning shows Meremere (three national tours) and Rushes programmed in the New Zealand Festival of the Arts.
Patrick Neys & Drop the Spoon | Audio-Visual Content Designers
Belgium-based audiovisual company, Drop the Spoon has contributed to a variety of internationally renowned shows and theatrical productions over the past 15 years. A collective of premier visual and conceptual artists, they provide a unique approach for every project that they develop covering conceptual design, video design, video editing, software expertise, technical production, and award-winning directing.
Robin Rawstorne | Production Designer
Robin Rawstorne returns to the WOW Creative Team for his fourth year. Robin comes from a global design background that was immersed in the worlds of theatre, dance and opera. Originally from the UK, he has worked extensively overseas including on large-scale events in China.
Kayla Paige | Choreographer
She has 10 years of choreography experience and loves to create work in several genres of movement, from jazz to commercial and contemporary. After graduating from APO Arts Academy in Melbourne, she went into choreographing and performing across several facets of the entertainment industry in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe.
This included television shows, large-scale theatre productions, live events, arts festivals and music videos.
Andrew Cesan | Choreographer
Andrew is the director of Momentum Production in Auckland. He is a choreographer, dancer and music producer who enjoys amalgamating these mediums to create works for television, music videos, live shows, and corporate events.
In 2013-2014 he won two silver medals in the world Hip-hop dance championships in Las Vegas as part of Identity Dance Company. Since graduation, he has toured Europe and Australia. He was the lead choreographer for X-Factor NZ and has performed in the 2018 WOW Show.
Paul McLaney | Music Director
New Zealand-based composer, singer and guitarist, Paul McLaney returns as Music Director for the third WOW Show running. For more than two decades, Paul has built a strong reputation for his solo and collaborative work with Kiwi musicians including Concord Dawn, Anika Moa, Fly My Pretties and SJD. His career spans drum and bass and electronica to symphony, jazz and blues.
Eden Mulholland (Ngāti Uepohatu, Aotearoa) | Composer
Eden Mulholland is one of Australasia’s most respected composers and producers for theatre, film, and contemporary dance. A gifted multi-instrumentalist and digital artist, he is known for his generous and uninhibited delivery, whether performing solo or with his bands.
Trudy Dalgeish | Lighting Designer
Trudy specialises in musical theatre and arena spectaculars, and is absolutely honoured to be part of this year’s WOW, as: "it’s a truly special and unique event to work on". She graduated from the technical production course at NIDA in Australia and then spent 10 years at the Sydney Entertainment Centre as their Lighting Director where she lit everything from circus to opera – rock shows, theatre, ice skating, and sporting events.
For the past 20 years, she has returned to the freelance world and has worked all around the world including on the West End and Broadway.
Gabrielle Stevenson | Costume Designers
Gabrielle is a costume designer with more than 20 years of experience in the film, television and theatre industries. She has worked on many internationally acclaimed productions including The Luminaries, Ghost in the Shell, Mortal Engines and The Hobbit. She designed for the award-winning television show Reservoir Hill and has been nominated for best costume design at The New Zealand Film and Television Awards.