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UPCOMING       |  cabarets:  Falling In Love Again | The Look of Love 

Since training at Auckland's influential Theatre Corporate, New Zealand actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand has worked extensively in theatre, film and television for over 35 years.  She has excelled in both dramatic and comedic roles, as well as numerous roles in musical theatre and cabaret.

As an accomplished singer, she presents her own shows, Falling in Love Again and The Look of Love, Evocative/Provocative, at festivals and venues in New Zealand and Australia.  She has recorded Falling in Love Again to cd (click here for info).  She is also in demand as a tutor of musical theatre.

Jennifer was a founding board member of the Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of The Large Group and The Actors' Program. She is currently President of Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Arts Regional Trust, Silo Theatre, Clarence St. Theatre, and Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Years Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit "for services to theatre and the community." 

Follow Jennifer


Jennifer is directing Super HUGH-Man - The Legend Lives On

Jennifer is directing Super HUGH-Man, starring Rutene Spooner, 20-23 September 2017 at The Basement.  It is part of Auckland Live International Cabaret Season.  Click here to book.

One day, a little Maori boy from the east coast turned on the TV and discovered his childhood hero.  Seventeen years later, that same, much older, Maori boy sat in a movie theatre and said goodbye.

In a world where mutants once fought good over evil, a tired Wolverine finally faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will change the course of history.  Armed with the power of song, a young Maori musical mutant arrives to resurrect his legacy with a plan that will lead Wolverine to ultimate immortality.

Click here for an interview with Rutene, talking about the origins of Super HUGH-Man.

Jennifer and Rutene will be guests Wednesday morning on The Cafe on TV3 to talk about the show.

Jennifer in Auckward Love

Jennifer revives her role as sex-shop worker Barbara in the first and second episodes of the new third season of Auckward Love.  She originated the character in the second season, in episodes 2.1 and 2.5.

Auckward Love is a funny, sexy, and almost romantic web series created by actress Holly Shervey, and co-written with actress/writer Jess Sayer and actor/director Emmett Skilton.  It follows Alice (Holly Shervey) and her three unlikely best friends, Vicky (Luci Hare), Grace (Jess Holly Bates), and Zoe (Jess Sayer), as they force her back on the road to find love ... whether she wants them to or not.

Auckward Love
shines a light on what it's like to be a single 20-something female in today's dating game, complete with the trials and tribulations, the fun times and hard, and of course, the highs, and the ridiculously ridiculous lows.

All three seasons are available to New Zealand viewers on TVNZ On Demand (click here), and the first two seasons are available on You Tube (click here).  The third season will be made available on You Tube in the near future.

Jennifer directed That Bloody Woman

Jennifer was rehearsal director for the 2017 tour of Luke Di Somma & Gregory Cooper's That BloodyWoman, originally directed by Kip Chapman and starring Esther Stephens as Kate Sheppard.

New Zealand's smash hit rock musical That Bloody Woman is back.  Our favourite daughter, suffragist, activist and cyclist Kate Sheppard is transformed from the face on the $10 note into a feminist firebrand raising hell and rocking out.  Fresh from sell-out seasons in Auckland and Christchurch, Kate takes the show on the road in 2017.

"Bursting with wit, verve and righteously rocking tunes", That Bloody Woman presents New Zealand's founding mother like you've never seen her before – loud, proud, and in your face.  Leading the charge to win women the vote, Kate takes on the patriarchy, publlic opinion and even Prime Minister Richard 'King Dick' Seddon.

Stratford Press:  "a bloody good show ... delivering hilarity, wit and sadness in equal parts ... The songs cover a range of genres - from hard-hitting punk rock, to 80s pop, gospel, blues and folk.  The songs were so catchy you will find yourself singing them days later"

Theatreview: "A spectacular show! ... From the opening through to the triumphant end the audience is challenged to think about what it means to be a feminist, what it means to be disenfranchised and powerless, what it means to fight with passion for a fairer society.  All of this is done with humour, irony, passion, wit, intelligence and fantastic musical numbers that span 20th century rock"

Stuff:  "a phenomenally powerful show that blasts onto the stage ... with clever songs that are witty, fun and often brash ... Both cast and band perform with infectious energy. They dash about being musicians and actors or both. Every characterisation is brilliantly performed".


Taranaki International Arts Festival, 29-31 August   Dunedin, Fortune Theatre, 26 September-8 October
Hawera Memorial Theatre, 2 September   Nelson Arts Festival, 11-12 October
Hamilton, Clarence Street Theatre, 7-9 September   Napier, Municipal Theatre, 17 October
Wellington Opera House, 13-16 September   Tauranga Arts Festival, 19-20 October
Auckland Live International Cabaret Season, 19-21 September    

Click here for info and to book.

Jennifer's teaching

27 September 2017, visiting vocal coach, University of Canterbury School of Music, Christchurch
4 October 2017, workshop for New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir, Christchurch
24 March 2018, The Craft of Acting for Trinity College, Tauranga

Recent Work

Panelist for Te Reo Maori discussion, Maori Language Week, Auckland Central Library (12 September)
Ambassador at Maori Language Week launch in Wellington (11 September)
Performing Falling in Love Again at Uxbridge Theatre, Howick (9 September)
Directing workshop of Aroha Awarau's Provocation, Koanga Festival (6 September)
Rehearsal director for That Bloody Woman (21-25 August)
Host and speaker at Brown Pages' CulturePRO Masterclass (24 August)
Teaching Flying Solo at Musical Theatre New Zealand Boot Camp (18-20 August)
Guest speaker at The Actors' Program (10 August)
Teaching Flying Solo for The Actors' Program (7-10 August)
Performing Falling in Love Again at Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville, Queensland (28 July)
Performing Falling in Love Again at Noosa Alive!, Noosa Heads, Queensland (28 July)
Directing workshop for Flaxworks' Conversations with Dead Relatives (17-21 July)


J E N N I F E R   W A R D - L E A L A N D   O F F I C I A L   W E B S I T E
        Acknowledgements & Thanks                    Click here for contact information.