Meet the team
SIMPLE TRUTH THEATRE
To Simple Truth, live performance in its most raw and real form is pure and magical, it can start movements, draw crowds and effect change.
We believe storytelling - since drawings on cave walls- is and always has been an integral part of our society and well-being as humans, yet it is in danger of dying.
We want to make a change by instilling passion and hope for performance, theatre and the arts in both audiences and artists alike.
Our mission is to begin with youth, to help build the audiences of the future. We at Simple Truth endeavour to create a gateway into theatre that is accessible and relatable to wider society. Strip the story back to its heart and what do you get - theatre that is beautiful, that is simple and that is truthful. See what we did there?
As the sole female member, Rhian helped start Simple Truth Theatre alongside Taylor Griffin almost as a happy coincidence, they decided to tour a show around schools the year following their graduation and through this discovered they worked fantastically as a team and it was clear they were meant to continue working together and get a group of incredible artists on board with them to establish an enduring company with the same drive, passion and motivation – which has very much happened.
Rhian currently works as a Voice Tutor and guest director at Hagley Theatre Company in Christchurch after moving down to have a beautiful son with fellow company member Tyler Brailey.
Some of her credits include co-writing and directing Simple Truth’s Ruminations, co-directing and co-producing Simple Truth’s Bare, performing at the premiere season of the Pop Up Globe in Antony and Cleopatra, in Auckland Theatre Company’s Jesus Christ Superstar and in Proof at Te Pou Theatre; as Stage manager and Publicist of Manawatu Summer Shakespeare, as Producer of Dark Deeds festival, as Production manager of Manawatu Festival of New Arts and she has also travelled to America to learn from Double Edge Theatre Company and much more.
She is excited to continue her work with Simple Truth Theatre by potentially directing their upcoming tour of An Unseasonable Fall of Snow and hopefully returning to the stage after a long hiatus with some short plays in Christchurch.
Taylor founded Simple Truth Theatre in 2015 alongside Rhian Firmin to bring their joined passion for theatre back to their home towns (and beyond.) While he primarily takes the role of artistic director for Simple Truth he is an accomplished Actor. Between projects for Simple Truth he has had multiple roles on stage and screen, having worked for both Auckland Theatre Company and appearing on Shortland St. Yet even through this Simple Truth Theatre is where his true passion lies.
Tyler has always been an entertainer and took up acting on stage as a teenager. He came to be a part of Simple Truth Theatre through his connections to both Rhian and Taylor and because he wanted to be a part of what they were trying to build as a Company. He comes alive in front of an audience and is often referred to as the life of the party. Since graduating Unitec in 2015, Tyler has credits that include acting in the inaugural season at the Pop Up Globe, working with Auckland Theatre Company, an acting appearance on Shortland Street and more. Tyler relocated to Christchurch with partner Rhian Firmin to raise their first child and has recently been dabbling in the vibrant stand-up comedy scene in Christchurch.
Rob joined the Simple Truth team while in his final year at drama school as an assistant producer. Once he graduated from Unitec's Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts degree he joined the ranks and became part of the core team to produce our High School Tour of Miranda Harcourts' 'Verbatim' and is now an integral member of Simple Truth Theatre.
John Rata is a Writer, Director and graduate of Unitec's Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts degree. He has since worked in various management and assistant roles in film & Theatre, from NZFC funded short films to the Pop-Up Globe.
In 2016 he premiered one of Simple Truth Theatre's debut plays, The Ball Date, at Te Pou Theatre. John's first play as a writer & director. He is currently undergoing a writing mentorship with Script to Screen under their South Shorts initiative.