Julia Croft is a New Zealand based live artist and theatre maker creating work uses feminist theory and politics to investigate themes of gender, power, representation and the body. She trained at as an actor at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School graduating in 2008 and has since undertaken further training at L'Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris in 2011 and with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company in New York City in 2014/2015. Julia also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre.
Julia has worked with some of the top theatre companies in New Zealand as a performer and devisor and since 2015 has been creating her own performances full time. Her works have had enormous success in New Zealand and have toured throughout the country as well as to Australia, the UK, and most recently Singapore and Canada.
Her solo work If There’s Not Dancing at the Revolution, I’m Not Coming has played to sold out houses and massive critical and commercial success in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Singapore, Invercargill and at Summerhall as part of the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, where it received rave reviews including a 4 star review from the Scotsman. This work was recently nominated for Best Live Art as part of the 2017 Melbourne Fringe, where Julia also won the Melbourne Festival Award. If there’s not dancing will continue to tour throughout 2018 and will next be performed at The MAC in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Her second solo, co – created with Nisha Madhan, Power Ballad premiered at the 2017 Auckland Fringe where it won ‘Best contemporary performance/Live art’ and “Best performer.’ Power Ballad was performed in Summerhall as part of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, receiving 5 star reviews, an overwhelmingly positive audience response and was shortlisted for the prestigious Total Theatre Award for Best emerging artist/company. It has also toured to Perth and Melbourne and will tour the UK in mid 2018, including a season at Battersea Arts Centre and before heading to North America in 2019.
In 2016 Julia traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico where she created This was supposed to be the future a dance, theatre and multimedia performance made in collaboration with Mexican artist Natasha Barhedia. This was supposed to be the future was supported by Raúl Anguiano Art Museum and premiered at LARVA (Laboratorio de Arte Variedades) in Guadalajara and returned for a season in June 2017 where Julia and Natasha were supported by LARVA to begin work on a new project Wake. Julia will return to Mexico in April 2019 to begin work on a new project with Natasha.
With Virginia Frankovich she co–created live art event, The Plastic Orgasm, which was performed in development as a part of a research series at the Basement Theatre in April 2016 supported by Creative New Zealand, at the performance arts series ‘Somewhere series,’ and as part of the artist exchange program at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. A full length version of this work premiered in May 2017 at LOT23 performance space to an overwhelming audience response. Julia and Virginia redeveloped the work in March 2018 to incorporate a large cast of female performers. This version of The Plastic Orgasm had a sold out season and received the ‘Spirit of the Fringe Award’ at the Auckland Fringe Awards.
In April 2017 Julia co-directed the show Boys, a feminist de-construction of Foreskins Lament, with Eleanor Bishop, for Auckland Theatre Company. The two also co-created the work Body Double which was the 2017 STAB commission for BATS theatre in Wellington. Body Double won production of the year at the 2017 Wellington Theatre Awards and was presented as part of the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival.
Julia is a part of the Creative New Zealand supported ‘International co-lab;’ a 3 year residency between Basement Theatre Auckland, West Kowloon, Hong Kong and Forest Fringe UK. She also recently attended the 10-day multi disciplinary residency program Time Place Space run by Arts House Melbourne.
Works in development include Medusa, a collaborative performance project created with Nisha Madhan and Virginia Frankovich. This work will premiere as part of the Women in Theatre Festival in Wellington in September 2018 and as part of the Q Theatre Matchbox season in Auckland in October 2018. She is also creating a new solo work working on my night moves, which was selected to be a part of the Basement Theatre’s inaugural friends with Benefits program and will premiere in March 2019.