“I love writing plays because you get to invent just about everything within the world of drama. Theatre works in three dimensions, so when you see your play in action, you are watching a living, breathing experience that you have created. It is a bit like playing God.”
Author, playwright and teacher, Dr Angie Farrow has been involved with theatre since she was a student when she became addicted to the process. “I think theatre chose me. It is addictive because it is such a total, all-consuming process. Nothing short of dedication will do. It grabs you by the throat and won’t let go until the work is over. Then you think you will never do it again. A few weeks later, you find yourself searching for the next theatre ‘fix’,” says Angie.
After becoming involved in the process of theatre-making when she was a student, teaching was a natural progression for her. “Writing develops my curiosity and my creative instinct. Teaching lets me share what I know with others.”
After completing her teaching degree in Britain, Angie moved to Manawatū, where she focuses on theatre and creativity at Massey University in Palmerston North. She has won several awards that recognise Angie’s enthusiasm and dedication to her students and the arts. These awards include the National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, and she was voted Lecturer of the Year in 2011 by Massey University students.
The arts help us to know each other more deeply.
“Teaching is a great privilege. I feel very lucky to be at Massey and to be able to teach the things I love. At best, teaching is an art form because you have to be instinctive as well as have a strong knowledge base.”
Angie has won numerous national and international awards for her theatre and radio plays. Some of these awards include first prize in the Canadian international playwriting competition. Her theatre works have been performed in Canada, Singapore, Australia and India.
She has been an advocate for the arts both at Massey University and in the community for many years. Her creative interests led to the development of the Festival of New Arts, which gives artists in Manawatū a forum for presenting their work. Angie is also the driving force behind Summer Shakespeare, a production that gives people in Manawatū a chance to perform on stage.
“The arts help us to know each other more deeply,” she says. “They can be a gateway to new knowledge, new directions; they give us an anchor into the world or the imagination; they help us to dream and make some of the dreams happen.”