Katherine McRae

Director, Writer - Theatre, Film, TV

After graduating from Toi Whakaari in 1985 Kathy began working as an actress in theatre, television, radio and film. She was awarded a Best Actress award in 1995 for her role as Thomasina in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, directed by Susan Wilson at Circa Theatre.

In the late 1990s Katherine began to direct theatre in Wellington. Highlights include her premiere productions of Ken Duncum’s Trick of the Light and Cherish, directing Jennifer Ludlam in Beckett’s Happy Days and setting Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People in New Zealand in 1880 starring Peter Hambleton, Wi Kuki Kaa and Rachel House. That production won six theatre awards in 2003, including director and production of the year.

In 2005 Katherine and her family moved to Auckland because of her role as Brenda on Shortland Street. After her character was killed off by a serial killer, Kathy became a director of the show.

She has gone on to direct episodes of Nothing Trivial, Go Girls and Filthy Rich. Her NZ Film Commission funded short film Abandon Ship , has screened at various international film festivals including Toronto’s TIFF Kids Film Festival 2016 and at the LA International Women’s Film Festival this year.

Over the last few years she has taught screen-acting and screen-directing at various places such as The Actors’ Program, Toi Whakaari, The Film School and Unitec.

Since returning to Wellington in 2015 she has been acting again – playing Brenda in the classic New Zealand play Joyful and Triumphant at Circa Theatre and she stars in the upcoming telefeature Catching the Black Widow, directed by Thomas Robins.

In 2018 Kathy is directing a production of Emily Perkins’ re-imagining of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at Circa Theatre.

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