Our Story

The Basement is Auckland’s culture-defining powerhouse - home to an artistic mixtape of theatre makers, dancers, visual artists, poets, musicians, comedians and everyone in between. We are chocka-block full of original local content - world premieres make up over half of our programme- and we proudly showcase the best new voices and fresh perspectives. 

The beating heart
of Auckland theatre
—Winner of best Theatre, Metro Magazine (2014)

Smack-bang in the middle of a car park in the central city - coming to The Basement is always an experience no matter what’s on.  All tickets are under 30 bucks, so bring a date, because you can shout like a high-roller (and whether you love the show or not, it’ll be a great icebreaker). Come watch sweat drip and spit fly as some of the brightest new talent earn their chops at our place. 

You can’t download theatre - come get something live.


  • We believe arts are vital for life!
  • Between bangin' art and bangin' profit, we'll choose art every time.
  • We are game changers, and we urge others to change it up too.
  • We go hard out for our artists, our audiences, and our community.
  • Our powers combined — collaboration smashes competition.
  • We want everyone to feel at home at the Basement.


  • From when we opened the doors in 2008 the Basement has played host to over 600 productions and thousands of artists both onstage and off.
  • Since 2013, we have paid out almost $800K to artists through the Risk Share Model and hosted over 100,000 audience members.
  • In 2016, 90% of our content was New Zealand work, and 80% of the works were world premieres.



Want to put on a show at ours? Mean. Check out our Artists page for everything you need to know.   

Our programmes

Artist development

Basement Theatre is committed to supporting a thriving performing arts industry in Auckland. We put lots of our energy and resources into artist and industry development. Follow the link to find out more about our Artist Development Programmes, or to apply to participate in one. 


A programme that offers free tickets to theatre each year for our partner schools, as well as transport to and from the venue, education packs and Q & A sessions with the artists. 



Elise  Sterback - Executive Director

Elise Sterback - Executive Director

Gabrielle  Vincent - Programming Director

Gabrielle Vincent - Programming Director

Ronnie  Livingstone - Technical Manager

Ronnie Livingstone - Technical Manager

Faith Tapsell  - Bar Manager

Faith Tapsell - Bar Manager

Vanessa Crofskey - Producer in Residence

Vanessa Crofskey - Producer in Residence

Ali  Nicoll van Leeuwen - Box Office Manager

Ali Nicoll van Leeuwen - Box Office Manager

Tim Blake - Marketing Manager

Tim Blake - Marketing Manager

Sara Shirazi - Venue Producer

Sara Shirazi - Venue Producer

Ahi Karunaharan - Programming Assistant

Ahi Karunaharan - Programming Assistant

Deanna Borren - Education Co-Ordinator and Lovers Liaison

Deanna Borren - Education Co-Ordinator and Lovers Liaison

Julie Zhu - Venue Producer

Julie Zhu - Venue Producer

Natalie Tozer - Administrative Co-ordinator

Natalie Tozer - Administrative Co-ordinator

Basement Board 2017.JPG

Our Trust Board

Basement Theatre is a charitable trust, and is governed by a trust board. We are lucky to have these fantastic, passionate people who believe in the arts and in what we do!

On our board is Matt Kenealy (chair), Sarah Longbottom, Josh McBride, Katie Prescott, Cat Ruka and Wendy Youens.

Core Partners