Meegwai Productions is dedicated to creating unique comedic experiences, sharing our knowledge and inspiring connection.
Saying yes, building on each others ideas, and learning to love failure. Looking for ways not only to engage communities, but individuals.
“There are people who say ‘yes’ and there are people who would prefer to say ‘no’. Those who say ‘yes’ are rewarded by the adventures they have. Those who say ‘no’ are rewarded with the safety they attain.”
– Keith Johnstone. Author of “Impro”.
Inspired by masters such as Groucho Marx and Bugs Bunny, Derek has pursued a life in comic theatre. At a young age he became a student of Keith Johnstone, (author of “Impro” and creator of TheatreSports), and a Loose Moose Theatre alumni which saw him through a life as a street performer and cabaret act throughout festivals in Canada, Australia, Europe, and NZ. Eventually finding himself on at The Second City Toronto where he co-wrote and performed two mainstage shows and shared the stage with Colin Mochrie and Robin Williams.
Derek regularly plays improv festivals, comedy festivals,and comedy clubs internationally in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Germany, Dubai and in his home of New Zealand.
After founding the New Zealand Improv Festival in 2009, Derek moved to Christchurch and has taught kids and adults at The Court Theatre and played Captain Hook for the Anthony Harper season of Peter Pan in the summer of 2015. After successful runs of El Jaguar and The Unicorn at various fringes and comedy festivals he enjoyed going back to the theatre as a middle aged Zorro in ATP Calgary’s season of “Zorro; Family Code” for the 2018 Christmas holidays.
He team teaches internationally with Michi, together they have taught in Germany, Italy, Norway Dubai, Australia, New Zealand and China.
Derek is an approved and recommended ITI teacher.
Michi graduated from Gastown Actors’ Studio in Vancouver, B.C. and The Second City Conservatory in Toronto. While living in London she spent a year training with clown teacher Philippe Gaulier and was fortunate to also study with Improbable Theatre, Keith Johnstone, Theatre De Complicite, Told By An Idiot, and Angela De Castro. She has performed improv, stand-up and sketch and was half of the duo The Bad Habits. Since 2012, Michi has directed and produced work for Meegwai Productions in Australia and New Zealand. In Christchurch she produces The Annual South Island Raw Stand Up Competition and has taught improv and TheatreSports for The Court Theatre.
Michi is passionate about inspiring and mentoring new comedians and performers, applied improv, and therapeutic clowning.
She team teaches internationally with Derek, together they have taught in Germany, Italy, Norway Dubai, Australia, New Zealand and China.