Oral History

 

 

Everyone has a story to tell. Oral history enables people to tell their stories, recording them in their own voice so they can be heard by others, illuminating the past for people in the future. It often feels a privilege, this work, especially when recording life histories. That’s perhaps why I’m drawn to biography. And I generally photograph the people I interview.

Inevitably much of my oral history is related to my books but I also have commissions in which the interviews are an end in themselves, to be available for future researchers and writers. Most recent of these has been the completion of stage three of the New Zealand Theatre Archive Oral History Project. Over the last decade I have recorded the lives of 19 people who have in various ways shaped the development of professional theatre in New Zealand.  These last interviews, with Roger Hall, Renée, Ray Henwood, Peter Vere-Jones and Elric Hooper, were funded by Lottery Grants Board. They are deposited at the Oral History Centre, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Some of my earlier theatre interviews are also held at the Nola Millar Library at Toi Whakaari o Aotearoa: New Zealand Drama School.