Jonathan James

Permission to Speak

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PERMISSION TO SPEAK is an exciting theatre project, providing Wanaka teenagers with an opportunity to explore issues pertinent to their world today. Three weeks of intense physical theatre, improvisation, and rehearsing, will lead to performing an electric play, performed in the Festival of Colour 2019.

High school students from around the country have spoken their truths to us about gender equality, what feminism means to them, toxic masculinity and the way forward for men, and body image. Their verbatim dialogues are presented with movement and song in this powerful Wanaka production. Our talented cast of 19 teenage actors are facing these issues head on.


PERMISSION TO SPEAK stars music & drama students from Mount Aspiring College, who get to work on a professional show while being mentored by GOYA Theatre's practitioners, Fiona Armstrong and Jonathan James. 

Fiona Armstrong is an acclaimed ex-local director, most recently helming the gritty, sell out production of 'Losing Faith', and its subsequent Otago tour, which played to rave reviews. She is the producer of 'CONSTANCE', a TVNZ New Blood production which is set to shoot in Wanaka in 2019.

Jonathan James produced GOYA Theatre's successful double-bill season of 'No Science to Goodbye/ Todo Verano' at Te Pou Theatre in Auckland. He is currently in pre-production for 'THOMAS', a new web TV show.

Fiona & Jonathan are trained, working actors, alongside being working teachers of the arts. With years of experience working with children of all ages, they are excited to mentor & guide the students of Mount Aspiring College to devise PERMISSION TO SPEAK.



It's such a great opportunity for local students and it speaks about important issues that simply cannot be ignored.PERMISSION TO SPEAK will fuel the energy of the students as they explore matters of concern to so many Kiwi teenagers and their families. The opportunity to perform and be part of this unique site-specific show will have an incredibly positive impact on the students involved. 

Developing professional theatre in regional New Zealand is important to Fiona and Jonathan. With your support, GOYA Theatre will give local students an exceptional theatre experience.



We need just $5,000 to make this project possible. Your donation will go towards:

- Better props & costumes.

- Equipment necessary to provide for the outdoor requirements of our show (keeping you dry).

- Hiring top of the line lighting & sound equipment, to take this production to an extremely high standard.