Former student thriving in Dunedin’s Arts and Culture

Posted on October 08, 2020

Since leaving Macleans College, former student Joseph Cooper (Rutherford House 2013 – 2017) has kept a busy schedule studying and working in the Dunedin arts and culture scene.

Joseph is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Theatre Studies at Otago University.  He credits the inspiration to undertake his university studies to the Macleans College Performing Arts Faculty, and in particular his Drama teacher Ms Walsh.

In 2018, Joseph was the recipient of the Hayward Prize.  This prize is awarded to only one male and female resident of Hayward College who are outstanding community citizens and demonstrate commitment to scholarly achievement.

Over the past two years, Joseph has notched up an impressive acting career.  In 2018 he had a lead role in the Globe Theatre Company’s “The Devil and Mr Mulcahy”.  At the UNESCO International Short Play Festival in 2019, Joseph undertook lead and supporting roles in three plays.  Last month Joseph took on his first bout in paid professional acting, performing in Arcade Theatre’s “Dayboy” as lead role Jack, meeting great reviews.

This year alone Joseph has acted in professional theatre, written a full-length play which was performed live on zoom backed by a director and dramaturge, and has auditioned, rehearsed and directed a short excerpt for a private audience of directors and theatre lecturers.  He is also currently planning to pitch a play he has written for the Lunchtime Theatre Company 2021 season.

Alongside his studies and theatre work, Joseph has been working as a simulated patient for practicing healthcare professionals, worked at the Lunchtime Theatre Company as a sound technician and stage manager, and as a stagehand for Southern Lights and Services where he was able to work on concerts such as Queen + Adam Lambert, Elton John and Six60.

Joseph has taken advantage of all available opportunities and is infinitely grateful for his time spent in Dunedin.  He looks forward to the future and being able to tap into the Auckland theatre scene on his return later this month.