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Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Founder, Producer, Actor

Since she first trod the boards at the age of seven, Jennifer has become one of New Zealand’s leading actresses. In 1982, she trained at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, joining the main company soon after and appearing in plays including Hedda Gabler, The Trial, Top Girls, and King Lear.

Since then, she has worked extensively in theatre, film, TV, musical and radio. Theatre performances include Carousel, Agnes of God, Nana, The Irving Berlin Show (Mercury Theatre), Cabaret, Assassins (Watershed), Breaking the Silence, The Real Thing, Side By Side by Sondheim (Centrepoint Theatre), The Threepenny Opera (Downstage Theatre), Tell Me On a Sunday (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), Into the Woods, The Herbal Bed, The Graduate, The Bach (Auckland Theatre Company), and Pinter’s Old Times (Potent Pause Productions).

In 1989/90, she toured NZ and internationally with The Front Lawn, performing to sell-out houses. In the mid 90s she moved to Australia to appear in the comedy TV series Full Frontal and played Viola in the Adelaide International Festival’s production of Twelfth Night.

Jennifer’s film work includes The Footstep Man, Desperate Remedies, The Ugly, Fracture, Linda’s Body and The Painted Lady. Television includes Full Frontal, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Shortland St., and Duggan.

Awards include Best Actress (Sitges, Spain) for Desperate Remedies; Best Actress (GOFTA, NZ) for Danny and Raewyn; Best Theatrical Performer (NZ Entertainment Awards), and The Evening Standard Best Actress Award for Breaking the Silence (Centrepoint Theatre).
Jennifer’s directing credits includes include Sister Wonder Woman, Arohaotearoa (Silo), Let Yourself Go (which she also devised), Big River and By Thunder for Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, Handel’s Acis and Galatea for NBR New Zealand Opera; assistant director (to Michael Hurst) on Macbeth for The Large Group and A Christmas Carol for Auckland Theatre Company.

In 2003, Jennifer played Marlene Dietrich in the Potent Pause Production of Marlene to sell-out houses in Auckland .She also devised and performed a one-woman cabaret Jennifer Ward-Lealand Sings Marlene for the AK03 Festival Club and Hamilton Gardens Festival (2004).

2005 sees Jennifer performing in a return season of The Bach (ATC) and directing Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along (Silo).

Jennifer's official website is at www.jenniferwardlealand.com.