RAW! ASMR – Wellington Premiere

BATS Theatre 2023 Autumn Season

In case you missed the Audio Introduction – Wellington Premiere.
After the show please take 2 minutes to fill this out – Audience Survey – FOR ANY SHOW, HELP US OUT!

Letitia Lickkit seductively licks a slice of orange.


Tēnā koutou,

Haere mai to our RAW! ASMR – Wellington Premiere season at BATS Theatre. To anyone who is sitting here having watched RAW! ASMR – Development Season #1 back in March 2022… an enthusiastic welcome to you, my friend! Ngā mihi for getting a ticket and coming to see how this fruity show has developed in 12 months.

What is ASMR?

Letitia Lickkit will tell you soon… but ASMR — Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response — refers to the scientifically recognised ‘tingling’ sensation some people experience from seeing or hearing  ‘triggers’. Triggers might be whispering, the tapping of wood, the crinkling of paper, or carefully executed ‘boring’ tasks such as preparing vegetables. It’s a phenomenon that has seen millions of videos created for YouTube with billions of views.

In case you weren’t sure… I love ASMR! I experience it, too. And, I delight in introducing people to ASMR trigger videos on YouTube. For this show, I have taken my most loved ASMR videos and adapted them into live theatre with the help of a very silly character, I love performing as, called Letitia Lickkit. I hope to share with you the funny side to all the beauty, relaxing nature, and comforting intimacy of ASMR videos.

Did you know there are very few Kiwis making ASMR trigger content on YouTube!? Shiver Me Tingles and Nānā Fox are two Aotearoa ASMR creators I know of – go check them out!

As far as we know, no one is currently performing theatre about ASMR in Aotearoa and I know of only three international shows on the topic. This means RAW! ASMR is Aotearoa’s first and only Live ASMR show! Director Sara Hirsh and I are so proud to have created something so fresh, and so new.

Prepare your brain for Letitia Lickkit’s live comedic anarchy and tingle inducing spectacular organised chaos!

Amy Atkins (she/her)
Creator, Performer

Director’s note

When Amy first approached me and asked if I was interested in directing a solo clown show about ASMR and raw vegetables my honest response was 1. Where has this question been all my life? 2. Obviously yes and 3. What exactly is ASMR?

Amy is a meticulous theatre maker. Doubling as performer and producer she has left no banana unpeeled. Together over the last 12 months we have waded through the weirdest ASMR YouTube, tested every idea on the table, and crunched through more fruit and veg than is comfortable to find the clowniest content for your consumption.

Considering we are closing in on the apocalypse it has been refreshing to allow ourselves to bask in the whispers and tingles of ASMR. My hope for this show is that we can dish up some depth while also reveling in the simplicity of satisfying sound, and the pure naivety of the clown – a welcome break from all the loud out there. 

This show is what happens when everyone keeps saying “yes.” It is a celebration of sound and produce and has been a true collaboration. The show reflects the process. Joyous, thoughtful, messy, hilarious, unpredictable, and thoroughly feminist. It was even my 10 month old son James’ first taste of the rehearsal room (back in February 2022). Thanks so much Amy for giving me an opportunity to share laughter and creativity with him, with the team, and with the audience.

– Sara Hirsch (they/she)
Learn more about Sara here.

How Was ‘RAW! ASMR’ Created?

Back in February 2022, a team of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington creatives I brought together (The Creative Crew) devised the first iteration of RAW! ASMR over six weeks – just 14 rehearsals in total! Rehearsals were joyous, tasty, and very silly. We experienced belly laughs and also cringe. We delighted in discovering what a #FeministSpace looks like in the theatre. For us, it meant checking in with each other, making space for Sara’s baby James to join us, making space for many cloth nappies to be changed, and taking breaks for a cup of tea no matter what.

RAW! ASMR – Development Season #1 was performed at BATS Theatre, in Wellington, 8-9 March 2022 as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. Audience members gave us feedback on this version of the show through an online survey.

In May, over five weeks – 8 rehearsals – Sara and I devised even more material. Audience feedback from the first showing let us know everyone wanted MORE ASMR! We 100% agreed! So, we did a deep dive into ASMR trigger videos on YouTube and made notes on all our favourites. Then we improvised lots of ASMR live for each other, making more notes on all our favourite bits. At the end of this process, we had loads of new material and we weaved lots of it into the second iteration of the show.

RAW! ASMR – Development Season #2 was performed at The Red Door Theatre, in Nelson, 30 June – 2 July as part of the Nelson Fringe Festival. Audience members gave us feedback on this version of the show by filling in a paper survey.

In August on the 22, 25, and 26 August, Sara and I revised the show for what we expect to be the last time! We reviewed all the constructive criticism from Nelson audience members and Nelson reviewers and discussed our own thoughts on the show to work out what needed to change. We diligently worked through a list of questions we had about the show. To answer these we devised new moments, tweaked the structure, and reworked existing sections of the show. We had two dress rehearsals with the new structure and I even got to perform for a small test audience.

RAW! ASMR – The World Premiere Season was performed at Basement Theatre, in Tāmaki Makaurau, 30 August – 3 September as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival. And, we finished 2022 with a season at Little Andromeda in Ōtautahi Christchurch from the 3-4 November.

That brings us right up to 2023! This iteration of the show is a distillation of a year of thoughtful mahi, two development seasons, and two premiere seasons. Excitingly, no one has ever seen this specific version of the show before! Yes, we premiered RAW! ASMR back in August 2022… but Sara and I just adore tweaking the show to make every season the best version yet. We all hope you delight in the journey Letitia Lickkit takes you on tonight!

THE Creative crew

Amy Atkins (she/her)
Creator, Performer, Producer & Publicist

Amy is a creative artist, theatre-maker, and event manager based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Amy has a passion for puppetry, live art, and theatre.

Amy is an alumna of John Bolton Theatre School, holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre Studies, and holds an Advanced Associate Diploma in the Teaching of Speech and Drama.

RAW! ASMR is Amy Atkins’ second solo work – period. a comedy about menstruation was her first solo and it premiered at the 2019 New Zealand Fringe Festival at BATS Theatre downstairs on The Stage.

Sara Hirsch bites into a radish.

Sara Hirsch (they/she)

Sara is a London grown creative practitioner now based in Pōneke. An acting graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Sara has a background in collaborative and devised theatre.

More recently Sara has been heavily involved in the international spoken word scene and is co-founder of the Aotearoa New Zealand charity Motif Poetry. Sara is an award winning writer and has performed and taught poetry around the world. Their TEDx talk Louder Than Words speaks to their work with young people and the importance of creativity in the curriculum. Their work has been published in two full collections as well as a host of journals and anthologies.

Dani Sciascia bites into a nectarine.

Dani Sciascia (she/her)
Lighting Design & Tech Operator

Dani is originally from Te Matau-a-Māui Hawkes Bay. Growing up Dani was always fascinated with cameras, how they work, and how light affects the overall mood of film and theatre. Dani loves anything visually creative. Dani began studying film straight out of high school and continued to study for a combined 6 years, earning a Bachelors Degree in Photography, and 2 Film diplomas. In 2017, Dani received a bronze award for their student cinematography, for the short film “Maximillian the Great.” Dani has now been a full time freelancer in Te Whanganui-a-Tara for the past 5 years, specialising in Lighting and Camera.

Bethany Miller bites into a strawberry.

Bethany Miller (she/her)

Bethany is a maker, performer, and producer in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Since co-launching Toi Ngākau Productions (art with heart) in 2019, Bethany has created/performed five seasons of Waste Not Want Not: Bethany’s Guide to the Thrift Life, and co-produced and produced sold-out seasons of Running Late, Celestial Nobodies, and the award-winning DEEP and MEANINGFUL.

Bethany is an improviser and won “Spirit of the Festival” at NZ Improv Fest 2020. She specialises in improvised musicals.

Bethany gets a buzz out of theatre and sound/music genre mixing, especially with an eco focus, such as in her MFA research production 100% Pure Tour, an audio-immersive satirical tour of the Wellington waterfront.

Booth pulls a face.

Booth (they/them)

Amy Booth aka Booth the Clown graduated Te Auaha’s circus course in 2019 with a major in clowning and a minor in aerial hoop. Booth is known for their distinct comedic physical storytelling style that has graced stand-up gigs all across Wellington – often using everyday objects as props. As a producer Booth is the proud creator and star of The Little Clown that Fell to Earth and was nominated for “Most Potential” for their 2020 Fringe premiere. It is Booth’s mission to share messages of compassion within their work, uniting audiences through the catharsis of laughter.

Liz Butler poses with a munched on cucumber.

Liz Bulter (she/they)

Liz Butler trained as an opera singer before falling in love with devised theatre, improvisation, and clowning. Liz holds a Theatre degree from the University of Denver and has over 15 years of improv and theatre experience. Liz co-founded the Yellow Cat Collective a company dedicated to performance work with feminist themes. They teach a Character course focused on physicality and voice for Improv Connection. Liz has taught, performed, and directed at the NZ Improv Festival three years in a row. Liz is a dedicated clown and has played with the Feminist Clown Posse in Wellington for a year.

Pája bites into a strawberry.

Pája Neuhöferov (she/her)

Since 2017, Pája has worked as a performance artist, clown, comedian, improvisor, musician, puppeteer, tutor for kids, and a hula hooper. Pája has a Bachelor of Arts, from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, in Non-Verbal and Physical Theatre.

Pája is part of a comedy duo with Liz Butler called Jester Gestures and won Late Night Knife Fight in 2021. In the 2021 New Zealand Fringe she also premiered The Wild Card. Pája has completed a 16 week clown course with Fraser Hooper.

A bit about BATS Theatre

BATS Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre that aims to light up lives with live art. For over 30 years BATS has nourished various artistic communities, played a key role in developing new creative voices in Aotearoa, launched many successful careers, and become a second home for people on and off stage.

Join us in our mission to create safe spaces for artists and audiences to expand possibilities. BATS has always been the place to take a risk, so why not take a stab at what’s coming up… check out bats.co.nz for more info.

A note oN food waste!

What about food waste? Not a problem! Amy is big on #ZeroWaste. After rehearsals, Amy collected up all the part eaten and uneaten produce and took it home. Anything that was used but not eaten was washed and dried and used in the week’s cooking. For anything that had a bite taken out of it Amy cut out the bite marks, wash and dried the produce, then used the leftovers in the week’s cooking. Any unusable scraps were taken to Epuni St Community Compost to be broken down into excellent compost for Aro Valley!

An arrangement of fresh produce featuring lots of bok choi.
An arrangement of fresh produce featuring two large marrows.
An arrangement of fresh produce featuring lots of apples.

The Creative crew would love to thank:

Wellington City Council Creative Communities for the generous funding supporting this season, Susan Williams for editing the Audio Introduction, Judith Jones for continual mentorship on accessibility, Bethany Miller for long term loaning us a condenser mic, Thomas Kay for ongoing moral support, the entire BATS Theatre team for supporting this silly wee show, and…

The 54 patrons who donated a total of $5,022 towards our successful Boosted campaign back in February 2022; our fifth Devisor James who is two years old now; Tessa Waters and Anya Tate-Manning for bringing the clowns together, and Toi Poneke for being a welcoming and warm rehearsal venue.

Originally developed with the kind support of the New Zealand Fringe Festival & Creative New Zealand through the Kākano Fund.

Previously supported by Harbourside Market Wellington.