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.

Maria Wood Retail Manager, Costumes Dept

Maria has a diploma in FX make-up, a background in photography, mixology and hospitality. She is addicted to global travel (over 50 countries and counting). She has spent time living in England and France and has been known to ride Harleys, elephants and camels.

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.

Rich Whall Supervisor, Party Props Dept

Rich is First Scene's resident musician and all round go to guy in our props department. His ability to think outside the square means he can create something unique for your event. When he isn't organising our huge range of props Rich spends his free time playing bass in The Jordan Luck Band.

Pania Hall Stylist
Costumes Department

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.

Jacqui Harrison Seamstress/Designer Costumes Department

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.

Elsa Strohmeier Customer Service Party Props Department

Originally from Germany Elsa was introduced to First Scene while travelling down under and fortunately for us has decided to stay in Aotearoa. Her extensive background in theatre, lighting and design across Europe make her a perfect fit for our Party Props Department. Added to which Elsa is the queen of Black Forest cake so we’re definitely not letting her leave the country.

Bridget Hollings Stylist Costumes Department

When she isn’t studying hard for her Fashion Degree Bridget spends her weekends creating fabulous looks for our clients. She’s also our go to girl for the kids parties held at First Scene.

Ruth Milton Workshop Technician Party Props Department

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!

Kiki Rockwell Stylist Costumes Department

With a self-diagnosed vintage addiction, Kiki 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.

Ang Reed Stylist Costumes Department

Ang is First Scene’s resident weirdo who joined us during the last of her three years of a Sculptural degree. With a passion for costuming and props, she spends most of her free time creating her own pieces for cosplays surrounded by her collections of 80s horror icons, Harry Potter memorabilia and old dolls.

Christina Houghton Stylist Costumes Department

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. 

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