Locomotive is an improvised theatre training centre based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand). We deliver grounded, well-rounded training in theatrical improv and related skills through term-based, weekend, and one-off workshop programmes. We aim to grow improvisors into performers and creators with strong stagecraft, competent skills, joyful teamwork, and an awareness of the context and whakapapa of the work they create and contribute to.
Locomotive launched in 2019 with a range of touring teachers and workshops, and at the start of 2020 took on delivery of Late Night Knife Fight including hosting, producing and coaching. While gearing up to start a range of other training opportunities, 2020 happened (as it did to all of us!) and that, plus the birth of director Jennifer's first child meant a lot of our plans became significantly waylaid. In 2021 we continue to lead LNKF, perform our long-form show One Act/Play, and look forward to bringing those overdue training opportunities to Wellington.
kaupapa / values
to show generosity, care, and respect to our students, our community, and to each other
to take responsibility for the ways we impact our environment, society, and industry, and to be stewards of our art form
to deliver solid teaching that integrates theory and practice, and to continually strive for improvement in ourselves as teachers and in our students, whatever their journey may be
to work honestly, transparently, and reliably to achieve our goals
kindness & empathy
towards each other and towards our students
to remember why we are here and enjoy the ride!
meet the team
We are teachers, directors, coaches, and performers.
Director & Co-Founder
Jennifer O’Sullivan is an improvisor, director and creative producer living in Te Motu Kairangi (Miramar). She holds a MFA (Creative Practice) in Theatre from Victoria University, a BA (Hons) in English literature, and a BA in both English literature and linguistics. Outside of Locomotive, she is the director of the New Zealand Improv Festival and creative lead for Kickin’ Rad Productions, as well as a freelance administrator, designer, and teacher. She founded Funny Birds, a group for women and non-binary individuals working in and around comedy in New Zealand, and has mentored through Cultivate Mentoring Lab and other networks. As an improv teacher she has travelled nationally and internationally, helping improvisors become fearless and work naturally on stage, while working with almost every improv company in Wellington. As a performer she has been in countless shows (mostly improvised) with many different companies, including Awkward Threesome (Tastiest Show NZ Fringe 2016) and many more. The last decade has seen her advocating for women, improv, LGBTQ*, and creative safety throughout the performance industry. In 2016 she created Late Night Knife Fight to encourage innovation and experimentation in improv forms, and to have a good time. Also, she has a very cute dog.
Clare Kerrison is an improvisor, trainer and arts administrator based in Wellington. She is originally from Rohe Pōtae o Maniapoto (King Country) and is of Pākehā and British descent. She holds a bachelors degree in Psychology from Waikato University and an advanced diploma in performance art from NASDA. Outside of Locomotive, Clare is a workshop facilitator for a Wellington business and a freelance actor and comedian. Internationally, Clare has run her own improv school in Cambridge UK, played in several London Harold Teams and is a member of the Applied Improv Network. In Wellington, Clare has been Business Manager for BATS Theatre, played the title role in the 2009 contemporary NZ adaption of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, served as Creative Director for WIT, co-founded Basejump Improv and developed her solo show, Infernal Recall. She currently plays with Best on Tap and Soap Factory. She is an active advocate for diversity in Improv; meaning diversity of improv players, diversity of improv styles and diversity of audiences served. Clare is equally proud to be reviewed as 'creating funny characters' (Theatreview), 'a beautiful mover' (colleague), and 'my clown aunty' (nephew).
Christine Brooks is an improvisor, trainer, director and creator/co-creator of weird improv show concepts including The Long Weekend, The Museum of Broken Relationships, Love Isthmus: Dystopia Edition, The Restaurant, Taking off the Bird Suit, Thrills & Swoon, Definitely Not Witches, Definitely Not the Babysitters Club, The Mackenzie Morgan Advice Dispensary and many more. They started improvising at high school through Theatresports in Christchurch and have loved it ever since. Formerly a public servant working mostly in the labour market and arts, culture & heritage sectors, they are currently studying towards their Masters of Teaching and Learning at Victoria University and on their way to becoming a high school English teacher. They hold a BA (Hons) in Political Science and History and a GDipArts in English Literature. They were a founding member of the New Zealand Improvisation Trust and former Artistic Director of the New Zealand Improv Festival. They were Co-Creative Director of WIT. They have travelled and taught improv across the world including teaching and performing at many international festivals. They were a member of Ohana (the Young European Improvisers Project) when they lived in the UK. They currently perform with Soap Factory and Playshop. They have worked to create safe spaces in improv, especially for women, so that improv can be a place where everyone’s stories can thrive. They love character-driven relationship based improv and also believes that committing hard on stage is the most important thing.
Matt Powell’s love affair with improvisation began in high school, when a member of the senior Theatresports team broke their arm the night before the big final. Some years later, a chance meeting on a staircase kicked off a 12-year career with Christchurch improv stalwarts The Court Jesters, before Matt moved to Wellington in 2015 to pursue new opportunities. Since then, he’s performed, directed, and taught with WIT, PlayShop, and Soap Factory, as well as other companies around New Zealand and Australia. A three-time Wellington Pun Battle champion and regular Late Night Knife Fight competitor with a background in dance and musical theatre, Matt is a true triple threat who believes that spontaneity and quality should not be mutually exclusive. Outside of improv, Matt writes web applications, including the software that powers the New Zealand Improv Festival, and spends far too much time thinking about RuPaul’s Drag Race.