RAW! ASMR – NZ Fringe

Tēnā koe e hoa,

Haere mai to RAW! ASMR. Ngā mihi for venturing out into Welly and getting yourself here for a 9pm show on a weeknight! Amy loves ASMR and hopes to share some of the joy with you tonight.

Did you know there are very few Kiwi’s making ASMR Trigger content on YouTube!? Shiver Me Tingles and Nana Fox are two ASMR creators we know of. And, no one is making theatre about ASMR which means RAW! ASMR will be Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Live ASMR show – we are so proud to have created something so fresh, so new.

The Creative Crew has been devising this work over the last 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 baby James to join us, many cloth nappies for Sara to change, and taking breaks for a good cup of tea no matter what.

Director’s note

When Amy approached me and asked if I was interested in directing a solo feminist 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 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 revelling 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 my 10 month old son James’ first taste of the rehearsal room. Thanks so much Amy for giving me an opportunity to share laughter and creativity with him, with the team, and with the audience.

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 (she/they)

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 (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 (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 (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 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 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.

Harbourside Market wellington

Ngā mihi nui to Fraser Ebbett the manager of Harbourside Market Wellington! Fraser said yes to supporting RAW! ASMR after other grocery stores had said no, no, no…. We’re so grateful for the very generous In-Kind Sponsorship we received in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Harbourside Market Wellington.

Amy thoroughly enjoyed her weekly walk to the market to collect a bag of produce to use the following week in rehearsals.

A note of 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!

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.

The Creative crew would love to thank:

The 54 patrons who donated a total of $5,022 towards our successful Boosted campaign, Harbourside Market Wellington for sponsoring all the fruit and vege for the shows and rehearsals, our fifth Devisor James who is only 10 months old, Amy’s Flatmates, Thomas for teaching us how to use a Looper and for carrying heavy stuff around Wellington, Kerry and Ben for babysitting, Motif Poetry for lending us a speaker, Bethany for lending us a condenser mic, Emma Barrett and Michaella Simpson for watching dress rehearsals, Tessa Waters and Anya Tate-Manning for bringing the clowns together, Deb and Circa Theatre, The New Zealand Fringe Festival, Creative New Zealand, BATS Theatre, and Aro Valley Community Centre!