The BATS story

Matawhānui Vision
Live art lighting-up lives.

Whakatakanga Mission
To create safe spaces for artists and audiences to expand possibilities.

Click here to download our Strategic Plan for 2020-2022.

From a gorgeous three level repurposed historic building we nurture creative talent and showcase exciting new NZ performance. Our buzzing year-round programme is an alternative mash-up of theatre, dance, improv, stand-up, and experimental work.

​We partner in the development of exciting and bold performance. Through the meeting of digital and live art, bolstering BATS as a hub of creativity and showcasing diverse festival activity we support career sustainability and wellbeing for all.

Over the years BATS has been the spark that lit the careers of many household names. We’re the place to get up close to Aotearoa’s next generation of performers, writers, directors, designers and event technicians.

With a cosy boutique bar and art gallery on site, a night out at BATS is a unique and immersive Wellington experience.

Coming to shows at BATS makes you an important part of our vibrant passionate super-beautiful dynamic community. 

Nau mai, piki mai, haere mai!



How is BATS funded?

BATS is not-for-profit and sustained with the support of our core funders Creative New Zealand and the Wellington City Council, and through the generosity of people like you.

In an increasingly challenging funding environment BATS relies more and more on donations from trusts and individuals. Find out more about our awesome supporters or make a donation.

Who runs BATS?

A dedicated team of hard-working staff keeps BATS running. We have six full-time staff and a brilliant bunch of casual box office staff, bar staff, house technicians and volunteers.

Our General Manager reports to BATS' Board of Directors who provide valuable governance of the business. We all work to keep our vibrant community of performance makers and art lovers at the heart of everything we do.

Who owns BATS?

BATS is operated by BATS Theatre Limited (formerly BATS Holdings Limited), a company wholly owned by the BATS Theatre Charitable Trust.

Our iconic theatre building is owned by The Wellington Film Properties Trust who purchased number 1 Kent Terrace in late 2011, generously securing the building for BATS’ use. They undertook strengthening work and an incredible renovation in 2013 and 2014.

BATS rents 1 Kent Terrace from The Wellington Film Properties Trust. BATS' landlords are not involved in the governance operation or funding of BATS theatre, but we literally wouldn't be where we are today without their amazing support.

To hear more about BATS' incredible beginnings, listen to this great  interview with Ken Duncum, recorded by Radio New Zealand in conjunction with the release of the anthology, BATS Plays, a collection of seminal plays produced at BATS in the eighties and nineties and co-written with Rebecca Rodden which you can buy here.