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Sam creates performance art, installations, events, and performance design. He is the artistic director for the trans-disciplinary performance company The PlayGround NZ Ltd, and The Performance Arcade: an annual festival of performance art on Wellington Waterfront.

With The PlayGround Sam has directed and designed The Restaurant of Many Orders (UK, Italy, NZ). In 2008 he collaborated with Professor Philippa Gander at Massey University’s Sleep/Wake Research Centre to direct and design award winning Sleep/Wake (Wellington, Auckland, and New York). Their latest work Ecology in Fifths opened in Wellington in 2020 and toured to Hastings and Tūtira for the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival.

Sam’s work has been regularly published and exhibited in international contexts such as the Performance Research, The Prague Quadrennial, and World Stage Design. He has lectured in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas; and has written articles on performance for various publications worldwide. 

Between 2005-2009 Sam coordinated Massey University’s cutting-edge Performance Design Degree with Toi Whakaari, NZ Drama School. He was then employed as a lecturer in Spatial Design for the college of Creative Arts, Massey University. He has also taught at Victoria University Wellington, RMIT Melbourne, and delivered guest lectures at La Salle Singapore, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, and AUT Auckland. He is currently a Senior Design Tutor at Toi Whakaari O Aotearoa, NZ Drama School.

Sam conceived, directed and curated The Performance Arcade, a new performance festival on Wellington’s waterfront that has run annually since 2011. The success of this concept continues to support the growth of experimental performance practises in NZ, and has received various awards, citations and commissions from The Edge (Auckland), Wellington International Airport, and the ambitious WHAT IF THE CITY WAS A THEATRE? in 2021.


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PhD in Creative Practices (Deans list for Exceptional Theses Award), Massey University 

Masters of Design (with distinction), Massey University
PGDip in Fine Arts, Slade School of Fine Arts, University College London 

Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours), Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University




Wellingtonian of the Year (Arts Category) Award, Wellington, NZ

'A' researcher rating, Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) review of NZ Universities 2018

Massey University Vice Chancellor Doctoral Scholarship 2014-2017

Fulbright Travel Award 2015

'A' researcher rating, Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF) review of NZ Universities 2012

Emerging Researcher Award, College of Creative Arts, Massey University 2011

Gold Award (Spatial Design) at the Designer's Institute of NZ (Best) Awards 2009

Best Production Design (SLEEP/WAKE) - NZ Fringe Awards 2008

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