OUR TEAM

Jo Pilkington Director

Jo spent years in the music industry in London before returning to Aotearoa because she missed Tip Top Trumpets and Pohutukawa trees. She joined First Scene in 2008 and brings over 20 years of event management experience to her role. Her passions include laminating anything (which has earned her the title The Laminating Queen) and listening to tragic 80's ballads from the decade that taste forgot.

Alwyn Hamblyn Business Manager

Alwyn has been managing the coffers at First Scene since 2008. He brings a wealth of office management experience and is so good at his job we lock him in his office so he can't leave. Alwyn spends any spare time adding to his already hoarded collection of Halloween props and regalia and counting down to his favourite night of the year - October 31st.

Andy Dickson Head Stylist / Floor Manager, Costumes Dept

Andy “Flyboy” Dickson has been a long term member of the First Scene costume staff. He has a love and wide knowledge of cult cinema and a long involvement in the music and media industry. He is in huge demand as a Vintage Music DJ and brings his love of pop culture and retro fashion to First Scene’s happy party going punters.  He also held the Southland  Breakdancing title during  the 80s.

Tavai Pelenato Laundry Queen,
Costumes Dept

Tavai brings ten years of professional laundering experience to First Scene. Originally from Samoa, she has called Auckland home for the past 25 years. When she isn’t mothering the staff and giving out great advice, she rocks out with the Nafanua Band on the euphonium.

Miranda Russell Manager, Productions Wardrobe Dept

Miranda is the person who has been at First Scene the longest, joining the team in the late ‘90s when it was still owned by TVNZ. She hasn’t been slacking either… she’s worked in every department. When Miranda was nine her hobbies were Brownies and chess. Now her Brownies uniform won’t fit and no one will play chess with her.

Pania Hall Stylist, 
Costumes Dept

Pania is our 80s obsessed staffer. When she isn’t hanging out in the 80s aisle dancing and singing to tragic ballads you’ll find her counting her huge collection of converse sneakers. She loves theatre, dance, movies and cleans graves in her spare time.

Tessa Cochrane Head of Dept
Party Props Dept

Tessa’s passion for theatre and event design make her the perfect person to lead the props department. A degree in Spatial Design and a wicked sense of fun are the icing on the cake.

Jacqui Harrison Seamstress/Designer,
Costumes Dept

Jacqui started sewing at age three, designing and making clothes for dolls and a small Jurassic Park T-Rex figurine. She now has a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design, which she puts to use creating custom theatre, LARP and cosplay costumes, as well as taking part in historical sewing challenges. She enjoys anything related to fashion history, and still loves designing and making custom soft dolls and plushies.

Jo R Stylist,  Costumes Dept

With a self-diagnosed vintage addiction, Jo has a love for every waistcoat Jimi Hendrix ever wore, and a secret wish to be a cowboy. With a background in film and art-direction, she loves helping people curate awesome looks. It is rumoured she broke up with her ex-boyfriend because he told her she owned too many flared jeans and western boots.

Christina Houghton Stylist,  Costumes Dept

Christina joined First Scene after a fair amount of time at University studying 'Ecological Performance Art'. She has a background in dance, costume and fashion. She loves anything to do with the sea creating her own costumes made from rubbish, inflatable items and survival gear – as well as strong affinity to sci-fi cyborgs and other 80's icons. 

Ruth Milton Workshop Technician,  Party Props Dept

Ruth spent many years living in the USA and China but always comes back to Aotearoa. Since her last return we have enticed her into our props workshop. Ruth has a fine arts degree, majoring in glass, from MassArt in Boston as well as mad doctor skills. She’s our resident pyromaniac so watch out during Guy Fawkes!

Jennifer McCann Events & Props Co-ordinator,
Party Props Dept

A proud Helensvillian, Jenni has been volunteering with the Helensville Historical Society for over 12 years. She is a celebrant as a side hustle, hoping to one day do cosplay weddings. Jenni’s extensive skills come from a range of previous roles including butcher, milker and TV motorsport director. As well as a passion for everything Edwardian and Victorian, Jenni is our inhouse ‘Lord of the Rings’ expert.

Charlie Tu’inukuafe Props Co-ordinator,
Party Props Dept

Charlie has joined the props team as a part timer while she’s undertaking her degree in Marine Biology, driven by her passion in all things relating to the ocean and climate change. Charlie runs her own Kung Fu Club, having trained for nine years. Her goal is to get the First Scene team as fit and fabulous as she is (which might take a bit of time).

Alice Osborn Events & Props Co-ordinator,
Party Props Dept

Having grown up on a farm, Alice is our resident Dr Doolittle. Any spare time is spend creating beautiful abstract art for her huge Instagram following and planning trips around Aotearoa in her van.

Ruth Amato Stylist,
Costumes Dept

Ruth is a trained actor and seamstress with a passion for costume design. On the weekends she can be found trawling through flea markets, op shops and second hand bookshops looking for treasures. Some would call Ruth a hoarder, we call her a magpie with a penchant for vintage. She is crafty like Martha Stewart and Nerdy like Abed Nadir.

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