Our Story


The metaphor of Carving in Ice evokes the transience of theatre. Ice sculptures are crafted by artisans whose sculptures last only for a short while, then melt and disappear. Theatre too is ephemeral in its nature; once the season is completed, the existence of the play, the shapes, sounds, movement in space, the light on actors’ skin disappear from view – but as with ice sculptures the traces of the experience continue to live on in the minds of those who were present.

Carving in Ice Theatre’s commitment is to present meaningful contemporary theatre which deals with the sometimes murky, messy stuff of life and not to turn away from provocative or troubling material. Our rehearsal period tends to be extended to allow for a slow simmer and layering of performances rather than a quick fix to production issues. I believe that the work is richer for the patience.

So far our productions have featured relatively large casts and treated such material as mental illness; ageing, memory loss and sexuality;  identity crises; psycho-sexual damage;  post-natal depression; redundancy; gender identity; suburban dysfunction and violence; medical ethics; forgiveness and death.

Artistic Director

Gaye Poole


Gaye spent years as a professional actor with the Queensland Theatre Company (Brisbane), the Hole in the Wall Theatre (Perth), The Old Tote Theatre Company and Marian St Theatre (Sydney). Roles she recalls with particular affection: Eurydice in Jean Anouilh’s Point of Departure and Lady Teazle in Sheridan’s The School for Scandal. She also had huge fun doing pub theatre in Newtown, Sydney.

Since moving to New Zealand Gaye has directed 23 Carving in Ice Theatre productions and 13 staged readings between 2007-2019.

For Theatre Studies at the University of Waikato she directed 13 productions, and 2 productions for the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme. A full list of these productions is available to view here.

Gaye has taught Theatre Studies and Film Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia, the University of Newcastle, Australia, University of Lodz, Poland, University of Waikato, New Zealand, and for shorter periods of time at the University of Debrecen, Hungary and the University of Turku, Finland.

Professional highlights while working at The University of Waikato included an International Office staff exchange to the University of Aristotle, Thessaloniki, and a period of Study Leave as an assistant director at the Humana Festival of New American plays, in Louisville Kentucky, where Gaye worked on  Lee Blessing’s Great Falls. There she met playwright Jennifer Haley; that contact led to the 2009 staging of Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.