“Highlights during my study were working with Indian Ink Theatre Company and doing an internship with Red Leap Theatre. On-the-job learning worked well for me because I’m a very hands-on person,” states Sharu Delilkan, arts management graduate and freelance arts manager who primarily works as a theatre producer.
Since graduating six months ago, she has co-produced two plays, reviews regularly for the theatre blog theatrescenes.co.nz, and is currently securing funding for an original Kiwi-Zimbabwean play, Footprints on Ika’s Heart as producer.
“A pet project has been Newmarket Stage Company, a new theatre company. I co-produced Educating Rita, which had a hugely positive response, and we’re now trying to formalise the company and find a permanent venue in Newmarket.”
After 20 years in arts journalism, corporate PR and band management, Sharu went looking for a master’s qualification that would accelerate her change of career from journalist to producer within the Auckland arts industry.
Sharu particularly enjoyed her Master’s special research project which involved exploring the feasibility of Auckland theatre venues collaborating to advance their business practice. “I strategically interviewed five very different Auckland theatre venues, looking at co-opetition; cooperating while competing because I found first hand that Auckland’s theatre industry is not as collaborative as it should be.”
Sharu chose Whitecliffe for its personalised approach. “It was also a very flexible programme. We met on campus one weekend a month and the rest of the time we studied independently, staying in touch online. This meant I could keep working, which was important.”