Our Team

We’re a bunch of creative misfits who make opportunities for children and young people to take part in and express, creativity. Meet the team that ignite the spark of creativity!

Creative Minds

Director of Children and Young People, Dr Sarah Rusholme Director of Children and Young People, Dr Sarah Rusholme

Sarah Rusholme

Director of Children & Young People – Experience Wellington

Sarah is Experience Wellington’s Director: Children & Young People. Based at Capital E, it’s her job to make sure that the youngest members of our audience feel welcomed, included and important whenever they encounter us. Sarah is the wrangler of a family of boys and dogs, a fencing fanatic and generally haphazard ukulele player.

She loves, loves, loves the capital.

Contact: sarahr@experiencewellington.org.nz

Fundraising Coordinator, Ruby Armstrong-Kooy Fundraising Coordinator, Ruby Armstrong-Kooy

Ruby Armstrong-Kooy

Fundraising Coordinator

Ruby is a small ground-dwelling mammal frequently sighted in the wilds of Wellington. When she’s not coordinating fundraising at Capital E, she can be found running up hills and learning how to make beautiful things out of whatever materials she has at hand.

Capital-E-Staff-Kit-Benham Capital-E-Staff-Kit-Benham

Kit Benham

Technical Coordinator – Digital

Kit is a Capital E Digital tutor who works hosting students in Capital E’s OnTV Studio, MediaLab digital suite and around the Capital through our mobile programmes. A self-professed technophile and with a background in computing and film and television, Kit also works as technician for the OnTV Studio. Outside of class contact, Kit works with the Digital team on programme development, liaising with teachers and is responsible for the media creation and editing requirements of the OnTV Studio and mobile programmes.

Creative Producer - Public Programmes, Karen Carey Creative Producer - Public Programmes, Karen Carey

Karen Carey

Creative Producer – Public Programmes

Karen is not only a super mum, but is also a super organiser. With her savvy skills in putting together new and exciting activities for children, Capital E is always buzzing with fun family events.

Contact: karenc@experiencewellington.org.nz

Halo Collins

Public Programmes Coordinator

Halo is the public programmes coordinator for Capital E and uses her creativity to reshape the PlayHQ space in different ways. She is an avid artist in her spare time and lives and breathes fantasy; from reading epic novels and immersive RPG gaming, to creating towering headpieces, she always has a couple of projects on the go.

Halo also hosts Little Creators every Wednesday at 11am, and encourages children to push the boundaries with their artwork.

Head of Programming and Partnerships, Mel Conway Head of Programming and Partnerships, Mel Conway

Melissa Conway

Head of Programming and Partnerships

Mel leads the Live performance, Digital and Public Programming teams through the design, development and delivery of all our creative content and experiences for children and young people. Mel’s background is in education and moving image production – she has taught in schools in both Auckland and Wellington and has worked in a wide range of roles in the film and television industry.

Contact: melissac@experiencewellington.org.nz 

Marten Coombe

Creative Producer - Digital

Over the years Marten has worn many hats. A parent, an illustrator, animator, artist, and organiser of many fine creative groups, as well as a producer working on both film and television projects.

When not exploring the wonders of the digital world, Marten loves kicking off his shoes and wandering the beaches of New Zealand, or tucking himself up with a good juicy book.

Contact: MartenC@experiencewellington.org.nz

Natalie Crane

Marketing and Communications Manager

Natalie is a born, bred Wellingtonian with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Theatre. She has 8 years experience in advertising and marketing including stints at TVNZ and Clemenger BBDO, and spent 2 years in Japan as  a ‘JET’ Assistant Language Teacher. Her claim to fame is being a hobbit in the Hobbit movies (extended DVD version only)! She is a self-described ‘creative-type.’

Delyse Diack

Acting Head of Business and Development

Delyse joins the Capital E team from Auckland, heading to the coolest little capital in the world for family, culture, and adventure. Delyse has marketing and communications experience in not-for-profit organisations and is passionate about sharing the message and knowledge of the cause. In her spare time, Delyse can be found with a good book, a crochet hook, and a cup of tea. Contact: delysed@experiencewellington.org.nz

Ariane Galope

Digital Tutor

Ariane is a proud Wellingtonian and has been hanging around Capital E since she was in the single digits. Now well into the double digits, she uses her passion for all things digital to deliver MediaLab and OnTV classes in the hopes of inspiring younger generations to develop an interest in art and technology.

In her spare time, Ariane spends her days attempting to finish her postgraduate study in the public library and giving pats to good dogs around the city.

MediaLab Coordinator - Loren Kennedy MediaLab Coordinator - Loren Kennedy

Loren Kennedy

MediaLab Coordinator

Originally a Dunedinite, Loren worked in film and television in Auckland and then became a primary school teacher in Wellington. She then decided to combine all her talents at Capital E and help children discover their inner digital wizard. Her hobbies include watching horror movies, doing SFX zombie make-up on children, working on interminable, intricate embroidery and tapestry pieces and visiting NYC every two years or so.

Contact: lorenk@experiencewellington.org.nz 

Hana Makin

Relationship Development Coordinator

Hana moved to Aotearoa in 2016 from Yorkshire, but is originally from the land of the perpetual drizzle and great music (Manchester). She loves travelling and cooking, having been to amazing foodie spots in India, Morocco, Malaysia and Thailand with so many more on her bucket list! Hana trained in archaeology and has worked in the UK with children’s archaeology groups. She loves working with and being inspired by kids, so it’s great Hana can work with teachers and students to help them experience the awesome opportunities Capital E can provide.

Contact: hanam@experiencewellington.org.nz

Keely McCann

Associate Producer - Public Programmes

Keely is cat mum to a troublesome pair! When not snuggled up at home, her work experience lies in production and event management, having worked around the country and abroad on theatre shows, outdoor festivals and art exhibitions.

Keely’s main focus for 2019 is bringing Capital E events to fruition, with her focus on logistics, production and technical elements. She is looking forward to the next Wellington Maker Faire, coming up soon in October!

Harriet Newman

Bookings Coordinator

Avid organisation queen by day, costume-making vigilante by night… Harriet is a double Toi Whakaari graduate (costume construction and performance design) and she loves making stuff – clothes, jokes, designs for shows, baking, conversation…. Much like her better half Joe (also featured on this page), she’s pretty passionate about awesome storytelling across multiple mediums - but her favourites are books. You can generally find her in the Capital E office juggling bookings and phone calls, or running ragged about Wellington in op-shops hoarding knick-knacks, trinkets and costumes for shows. For booking or venue enquiries, contact Harriet on capitalebookings@experiencewellington.org.nz

Production Technician, Joe Newman Production Technician, Joe Newman

Joe Newman

Production Technician

Since moving to New Zealand from England, Joe has worked with Capital E around the country on all things backstage. Now, as Production Technician, he is responsible for managing equipment and technicians on both local shows and national tours, making sure there are enough plugs and things to be plugged in.

Ashleigh Pearson

Visitor Services Host

When she’s not at Capital E, Ashleigh can usually be found hibernating under a pile of blankets with Netflix, or looking for cool socks to buy. Some of her favourite activities are going to the supermarket, kickboxing, and coming up with wacky film ideas.

Ashleigh is a free-range, organic, locally grown Welllingtonian, and is currently studying at Massey University.

When she’s finished university Ashleigh plans to make films, have lots of dogs, and be rich.

Abby Rainbow

Education Bookings Coordinator

Abby joins the team to help coordinate all of those bookings and play booking Tetris. She comes from many years in the theatre and not for profit sphere and loves being part of the journey to allow children to have amazing experiences. As a life coach on the side, you will find her with her nose in psychology and self-help books or listening to Deliciously Ella’s podcast. Or you’ll find her going to as much theatre as possible, walking in nature and searching for the greatest cheese scone.

Contact: capitalebookings@experiencewellington.org.nz

Kristen Rowe

OnTV Coordinator

Kristen is a born and bred Wellingtonian, who has spent over 12 years working in the local film and television industry. She’s an organisational whizz who has worked on a unique mix of productions over the years that have involved children, helicopters, explosions, dragons, puppets, seaghosts, hobbits, celebrities, and beyond! Kristen loves hanging out with young people – hearing their insights and creative ideas, and seeing them grow through stepping out and taking on new challenges. At Capital E, you’ll find her teaching groups of children behind-the-scenes and front-of-camera roles amongst the organised chaos that evolves into recording ‘live’ studio shows!

Contact: kristenr@experiencewellington.org.nz

Creative Producer NTFC, Marianne Taylor Creative Producer NTFC, Marianne Taylor

Marianne Taylor

Creative Producer – National Theatre for Children

Marianne has worked in the performing arts sector in New Zealand, Australia and Canada as Producer, General Manager, Arts Funding Officer, Production/Tour Manager, Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for the past 25 years. Her qualifications include Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute, Graduate of the Banff Centre for the Arts in Lighting Design, and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Film. Marianne has recently returned home to Wellington with her family from Tasmania, Australia and is thrilled to be back in a city where she can feel the wind in her hair and live in a city full of action!

Contact: mariannet@experiencewellington.org.nz 

Elena Torres

Marketing Coordinator

Having a passion for creativity Elena graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Creative Technologies and a major in Digital Media. Finding her home in the creative capital of New Zealand, Elena dived into design, film, photography, media and then eventually found her new passion for marketing. Elena is now the new marketing coordinator in the Capital E team.

Fiona Tucker

Office and Visitor Services Manager

Fiona looks after all the customer service staff you may meet when you book in at Capital E or when you come to a show, event or the festival. You might see Fiona around helping out at some of our different events, and often she’s the one on the end of the phone when you make a booking.

Associate Producer NTFC - Sonia van der Heyden Associate Producer NTFC - Sonia van der Heyden

Sonia Hardie

Associate Producer - National Theatre for Children

Sonia is the Associate Producer for our theatre team, coordinating all of the production elements of the show. You can contact Sonia for information relating to the many shows we have in our repertoire.

Contact: soniavdh@experiencewellington.org.nz

Visitor Services host, Cara Waretini Visitor Services host, Cara Waretini

Cara Waretini

Visitor Services Host

Cara works part time in the public space as the Visitors Services Host. During the rest of her week, you could find her doing any number of her other jobs as a Costumier, Costume Designer or Producer for film and theatre. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with her family drinking tea and playing board games.

Creative Casuals

Casual Visitor Services host, Catilin Fitt-Simpson Casual Visitor Services host, Catilin Fitt-Simpson

Catilin Fitt-Simpson

Casual Visitor Services host and Birthday Party Host
Casual Visitor Services host/ Birthday Party Tutor, Sassy Shepheard Casual Visitor Services host/ Birthday Party Tutor, Sassy Shepheard

Sassy Shepheard

Casual Visitor Services host/ Birthday Party Tutor
Casual Visitor Services host, Carrie Green Casual Visitor Services host, Carrie Green

Carrie Green

Casual Visitor Services host

Adam Koveskali

Casual Visitor Services Host and Dance Extraordinaire

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