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Pedro Ilgenfritz

Senior Lecturer, Theatre Studies
School of Creative Industries
Location: Building 170, Room 1024


BA Performing Arts/UDESC Brasil, MTA Directing Vic., and Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School.


I am a dedicated theatre artist driven by the commitment to search for the possibilities that play at the intersection of theatre tradition and innovation; my ultimate goal as a cultural activivist is to find poetic solutions for human experience and to nurture an uncompromising attitude towards arts practice and life.

I am a theatre director, deviser, dramaturge, researcher and teacher in the areas of theatre history and theory, clowning, mask improvisation and acting training with experience spanning more than 20 years. I am inspired by the work of Jacques Copeau, Konstantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Jerzy Grotowski, Dario Fo and Lacques Lecoq.

I am a senior lecturer of Unitec - Performing and Screen Arts Department, founder and director of LAB Theatre, and since 2009 the company created: One By One (2013) STAMP – The Edge - Arts Development Program at The Herald Theatre as part of 2013 Auckland Fringe Festival, The Whau Fables, a theatre intervention at The Rosebank Artwalk as part of Auckland Arts festival 2013, Comic Interludes (2012) a collaboration with The Edge/Auckland City Council – a street theatre performance in the back of a truck as part of Wrapping Christmas Festival; and Alfonsina (2009) performed at Wellington and Dunedin Fringe Festivals in 2010 and VERTICE BRASIL 2010 – International Theatre Festival in Florianopolis/Brasil.

In 2012 I gave a lecture/demonstration at L’Arlecchino Errante – Meeting Internazionale per l’arte dell’attore, organized by Scuola Sperimentale dell’Attore in Pordenone/Italy on the techniques of devising and acting training.

In 2008 I directed Touch Compass Dance Trust’s Harmonious Oddity. This work premiered at Maidment Theatre as part of Tempo Festival of Dance 2008 (Tempo Awards People Choice), with subsequent touring to Hamilton, Dunedin and it premiered in Melbourne, Australia as part of Art of Difference Festival in 2009.

In 2014, I collaborated with Moss Patterson’s Moko by Atamira Dance Company as a dramaturge and enrolled in PhD in Theatre at Auckland University researching the concept of play in acting training.


Byrnes, V., Miller, M., Whitham, A., Wallace, W., Hawthorne, E., & Ilgenfritz, P. (2023). Tertiary Education Reforms Challenge the Conservatory: Actor Training at Unitec and the Creative Agency of Change (Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand). The Australian Actor Training Conference 2023: Crisis and Creativity, Ballarat, Australia/Online.

Ilgenfritz, P., & Janman, P. (2022). Memories of the Future: The problem of Devising Contested History in a University Context. Fitzsimmons Frey, H. Hyland, N. & McKinnon, J. London.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2022). Aotearoa dell'Arte - Uma pesquisa sobre a meia-máscara em Auckland na Nova Zelândia (translation: Aotearoa dell'Arte - A Research about half-masks in Auckland, New Zealand). III Colóquio Internacional Mascaramento na Cena Expandida: Criação e Transmissão de saberes, Crato, Ceará - Brazil.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2022). It was, and it wasn't Commedia dell'Arte: A conversation about Leilani by Mahuika Theatre Company. Di Niro, C. & Crick, O. London.

Byrnes, V., Miller, M., Hawthorne, E., Whitham, A., Wallace, W., & Ilgenfritz, P. (2022). Values-based education in Te Pūkenga conservatory: Successful actor training at Unitec. Unitec-MIT Research Symposium, Auckland, Online.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2022). The Journey of Jacques Lecoq's Theatre Pedagogy to Aotearoa New Zealand. Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Conference, 2022, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2022). Máscaras Teatrais e a Cultura Māori: Experimentos Sincréticos no Pacífico Sul. 4° Encontro Poéticas do Inanimado: Campos Expandidos, Curitiba, Brazil.

Ilgenfritz, Pedro., Hazou, Rand., & Woodland, Sarah. (2021). Performing Te Whare Tapa Whā: Building on Cultural Rights to Decolonise Prison Theatre Practice. RiDE - Research in Drama in Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performanc (Vol. 26(3)).

Ilgenfritz, P. (2020). Bienvenue au théâtre du geste - Welcome to the theatre of gesture: Welcoming Jacques Lecoq's theatre methodology in New Zealand. ACTS OF GATHERING. PERFORMING FUTURES. ROARING CHANGE. Goodbye-Hello. Hello-Goodbye. Sydney, Autralia.

Lazzari, F., & Ilgenfritz, P. (2020). Um Retorno as Origens. Caixa de Ponto - Jornal Brasileiro de Teatro (Vol. 12).

Ilgenfritz, P., (Co)-creator (2019). Ngā Pātū Kōrero: Walls That Talk. Auckland Prison Paremoremo, 14 June - Massey University Project.

Ilgenfritz, P., (Theatre Director) (2019). Mascaras, a theatre performance as part of International Theatre Festival, Festival Isnard de Azevedo/Floripa Teatro. Teatro da Ubro, 27 September, House of Fools.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2019). Masking to reveal: Mediating the real in prison documentary theatre. Performing Artefacts is an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the Performance of the Real Research Theme, The University of Otago, Ōtepoti/Dunedin, New Zealand.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2018). The Joyful Spirit of Mask Improvisation. Drama NZ Conference 2018 - He ngākau ngahau : a joyful heart, Auckland, New Zealand.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2017). Neutral Mask and Jacques Lecoq Theatre Pedagogy in New Zealand and Brazil. University of Auckland, Auckland.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2017). Belonging and theatre masks in Aotearoa: Mahuika Theatre Company and the theatre masks of 'Leilani'. Performing Belonging ​in the 21st ​Century - Australasian Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), Annual Conference, Auckland University of Technology - Auckland, New Zealand.

Ilgenfritz, P., Hazou, R., Gordon, D., & Diamonds, D. (2017). Theatre Behind Bars - Prison Performances. (1 Hour performance). Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, 22nd June 2017.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2017). Jacques Lecoq's Neutral Mask and the universal poetic sense of Marcel Jousse. PhD Work in Progress Day, University of Auckland.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2016). Guide me without touching my hand: Reflections on the dramaturgical development of the devised-theatre show One by One. Auckland, New Zealand, UNITEC ePress Occasional and Discussion Paper Series (Vol. Number 4/2016).

Ilgenfritz, P. (2016). Masked Street Intervention by Mahuika Theatre Company - Auckland Arts Festival 2016, White Night, Auckland. Street Theatre, 12th March.

Ilgenfritz, P., (Director), & (Dramaturg) (2016). Leilani. Q Theatre, 4 - 13 August, Mahuika Theatre Company.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2016). Diversity Project - Ngati Whatua meets Mahuika Theatre Company. Ngati Whatua Orakei Marae, 3rd December, Mahuika Theatre Company and Ngati Whatua Orakei Kapa Haka Group.

Ilgenfritz, P., (Director) (2015). '2063'. Auckland, New Zealand, Performing and Screen Arts Acting Department, Unitec.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2014). Guide me without touching my hand: The process of dramaturgical development of a devised theatre show without words. Tangier, Morocco. 30 May - 2 July.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2014). Dialectical Theatre and Devising: Dramaturgy as a Dialogue between the Author and the Audience. K. Trencsenyi, and B. Cochrane (Eds). New Dramaturgy - International Perspectives on Theory and practice. Bloomsbury: London.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2013). The Whau Fables - Street Theatre (Director/writer). Rosebank Road Artwalk/Site Work - Auckland Arts Festival. Curated by Marcus Williams. Auckland, New Zealand.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2013). One By One [a play]. (Director & Producer). Auckland Fringe Festival, Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, February 26 - March 2, LAB Theatre Company.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2013). Clown Workshop. New Windor Primary School - Auckland.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2013). Mask Improv Workshop. UNITEC.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2012). Comic Interludes by LAB Theatre commissioned by The Edge - Unwrapping Christmas Project. Aotea Square - Auckland.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2011). One By One (Director). Musgrove Studio - Auckland, Performance season from 1/8 to 6/8 - 7 performances.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina. Dunedin, Globe Theatre.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina. Auckland, Musgrove Studio.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina. Auckland, Marist College.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina. Auckland, Epsom Girls Grammar.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). The Preparatory Work for Neutral Mask Training: Breathing, Sustaining and Transition. Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies 2010 Conference, Canberra, Australia, 29 June - 2 July.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina. New Zealand and Brazil, Various locations in Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland and Florianopolis.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina (Director). Wellington Fringe festival, Gryphon Theatre. 4 Mar 2010 to 6 Mar 2010.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Heart, Honesty and Discipline: Mask Training and the Foundation of Lab: Research Theatre Company. E-Journals, New Zealand Journal of Research in Performing Arts and Education: Nga Mahi a Rehia (Vol. Volume 3).

Ilgenfritz, P. (2010). Alfonsina (Director). Florianopolis. Brazil, SESC Prainha Theatre. 17th to 18th July 2010.

Ilgenfritz, P., Ariel, A., Burson, K., and Cohen, G. (2009). Alfonsina. Auckland.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2009). Alfonsina. Auckland, Unitec Theatre.

Ilgenfritz, P., and Chappell, C. (2009). Harmonious Oddity. Melbourne. Australia, Gas Works Theatre.

Ilgenfritz, P., and Chappell, C. (2008). Harmonious Oddity. Auckland, Maidment Theatre.

Ilgenfritz, P., and Chappell, C. (2008). Harmonious oddity. Dunedin, Mary Hopewell Theatre.

Ilgenfritz, P., and Chappell, C. (2008). Harmonious oddity. Hamilton, Meteor Theatre.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2007). Clown Workshop for actors, dancers and drama teachers. Focused on improvisation, mask work and basic elements of comedy. Auckland, Luxemburg Gardens.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2007). Theatre Workshop for the Immigrant Centre. The workshop was aimed at young immigrants. Auckland, Auckland Regional Migrant Services Charitable Trust - Three Kings.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2007). Clown workshop for young women - Future Leaders Programme - YWCA. Auckland, UNITEC.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2007). Comedy workshop for high school students at Kristin College - Albany. Auckland, Kristin College.

Ilgenfritz, P. (2007). Workshop - A Dance/Theatre collaboration between theatre director Pedro Ilgenfritz and choreographer Catherine Chappell for Touch Compass Dance Trust. This was a workshop to develop material for a new show in 2008. Auckland, TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre.