Archived: Q&A with Basement's Vanessa Crofskey

Producer in Residence at Basement Theatre and Producer of Work Do
Q&A with Basement's Vanessa Crofskey

Basement Theatre’s 2018 Producer in Residence is performance artist, poet and producer Vanessa Crofskey. Check out Vanessa's take on why you should see Work Do, Basement Theatre's annual Christmas show.

She is a Rising Voices National Finalist and winner of the 2015 Auckland University Poetry Slam, Auckland Regional Slam and the Auckland Fringe Festival Best Storytelling award. This year, Vanessa has made exhibitions for RM, The Performance Arcade and Window Gallery (Inconsolata, A is for Aardvark, Daily Exposure) and performed for Auckland Writer's Festival (Best of the Best) all whilst taking the reins as the Producer in Residence at Basement Theatre. Vanessa has been published in Hainamana, Pantograph Punch, Scum Mag and Dear Journal. 

She produced her first show, Maumahara Girlie, as part of her residency at Basement Theatre this year, and is of course producing the theatre’s annual Christmas Show written by Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden. 

Your artistic practice spans the boundaries of installation, poetry and performance, what do you love most about producing comedy?
This is the first comedy show that I’ve produced - it’s outside of what I would normally do but am really enjoying working with a bunch of funny, talented and committed people!

What is the most unique thing about being the Producer in Residence for the Basement Theatre Christmas Show? And the most exciting thing?
The most unique part of being the Producer in Residence ahead of the Christmas Show is the trust this organisation gives you. It’s a huge opportunity and learning curve. Not many producers have a support team of such kind and competent individuals behind them to deliver such a show. There’s also this big feeling of love for Basement that comes through, from the cast, the crew and the annual audience. People really want to give back to the venue.

What’s something we NEED to know about the Christmas Show?
It’s the only public annual fundraiser as a charitable trust. The money received goes straight into continuing to maintain the venue and supporting artists. Also, it’s wildly funny.

Which character do you identify with the most? Why?
Probably Karen, for her obsessive shrine-making.

The Christmas Show usually has a celebrity guest, who would be your ultimate?
Suzy Cato!

Why should people come to the Basement Christmas Show?
This year is the tenth annual show, written by Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden. It’s everything you’d want your Christmas party to be, but never is.

Finally, what’s something we can’t learn about you from Google?
I got really obsessed with pie (the food) when I was about nine years old. I changed my name on Facebook to reflect this avid interest. I kept my name as Vanessa “Pie” Crofskey on Facebook for two straight years. I joined Farmville just to make pie shaped art out of haybales. I wrote an ultimate list of all the different flavours of pie that existed and got up to 252. I won “Best Dressed” at Ngaio School’s End of Year Disco for dressing up as, you guessed it. I memorised 100 decimals of pi (the mathematical constant) that I can still recite to this day. I don’t know why I got so fixated on filled pastry but, that’s why I’m most like Karen from Work Do.

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Last updated: 22 December 2018

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