New Zealand has been on the professional theatre touring circuit since the 1860s. In the 1960s, Downstage Theatre in Wellington was established and other theatres soon followed.
Dunedin’s Fortune Theatre, Christchurch’s The Court Theatre, Palmerston North’s Centrepoint, Wellington’s Circa and Auckland’s Mercury Theatre (now the Auckland Theatre Company) all now offer vibrant work from a full company. Amateur dramatic and operatic societies and repertory theatres can be found in main and smaller centres. Niche theatres abound, with children’s theatre, improvised comedy (theatre sports) and experimental theatre all finding an audience.