intimacy coordinators aotearoa new zealand

Te Kāhui Kairuruku Taupiringa o Aotearoa

Carrie Thiel

(she/they)

TE WHANGANUI-A-TARA/WELLINGTON

Carrie is a founding member of Intimacy Coordinators Aotearoa. 

Carrie is a Wellington based performance director, fight director, intimacy coordinator and actor whose career has spanned projects in film, theatre, ballet, opera, television, and video games.  Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, she holds a BFA in Acting (UofA, Canada) and an MFA in Directing & Creative Practice (VUW, New Zealand).  She is also a trained and accomplished stunt performer and a certified fight director and instructor with Fight Directors Canada, as well as a founding member of Aotearoa Fight Directors.  

Carrie began training as an intimacy coordinator in 2018 under Rachel Flesher & Alicia Rodis (Intimacy Directors International, USA) and later with Ita O’Brien (Intimacy on Set, UK) with whom she is still under mentorship.  She has further attended courses with Intimacy Directors & Coordinators (USA), Theatrical Intimacy Educators (USA) and Intimacy Professionals Association (USA).  Carrie has worked as an IC on Cowboy Bebop for Netflix and several short films and professional theatre productions including Pakaru (BATS Theatre), HOLE  (CIRCA Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wellington Summer Shakespeare), and Ophelia Thinks Harder (Stagecraft Theatre).  She has co-developed and taught intimacy best practice workshops for ScreenSafe/SWAG, The NZ Fringe Festival, NZ Improv Festival, Toi Whakaari (NZ Drama School) and Victoria University of Wellington.

Carrie holds certificates in First Aid & Mental Health First Aid (Red Cross, St John & CoLiberate), Professional Respect for the Screen Industry (ScreenSafe/SWAG), Fundamentals of Child Protection (Safeguarding Children New Zealand), and has undertaken additional courses in Equality & Diversity,  Unconscious Bias, Sexual Harassment, Bullying and Harassment, Consent in the Classroom, Race & Choreography, Disability Awareness and Access, and Gender, Sexuality & LGBTQI+ Support Training.  

She is police vetted and trained to work with children & vulnerable populations.

Alongside her work as an intimacy coordinator, movement director and fight choreographer, Carrie is currently the Creative Producer at BATS Theatre in Wellington.  Through her previous work as motion capture director for film, she specialises in creature/non-human movement and contributed to 4 Oscar award-winning and 2 Oscar nominated films for digital visual effects.  She has developed movement & motion capture education programs for actors at the Vancouver Film School and Capilano University in Canada, and has travelled as an educator and consultant to the United States, England, Norway, Finland, Hong Kong and Australia. 

Carrie is passionate about supporting productions to help tell stories that involve violence and intimacy in rich and compelling ways while keeping performers physically, mentally and emotionally safe.  She continues to train in trauma informed practices as well as gender and sexuality studies and brings knowledge and sensitivity to these areas in all her work.

Email: carrie@intimacycoordinatorsaotearoa.co.nz

http://www.carriethiel.com/home.html

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1431050/

Testimonials

“Carrie brought a wrap-around professional process to the intimacy scenes starting with pre-planning including a thorough consenting process, cast briefing and rehearsals, through to onset scene choreography, management and support.  Having Carrie on set as IC helped the cast and crew feel comfortable and safe filming scenes involving nudity and intimacy. Performers gave positive feedback that they felt safe and supported and were able to enjoy the shoot knowing Carrie was there for them. Carrie also had a good debriefing process which was helpful in making sure that everyone was maintaining best practice standards.  I really enjoyed working with Carrie on Season One of Cowboy Bebop as she is professional, was always just a phone call away and approached the work with sensitivity as well as a good sense of humour.”  

ANNALISE PATTERSON (CASTING DIRECTOR, COWBOY BEBOP)

 

“As a playwright, actor and director, I wholeheartedly endorse the work that Carrie has introduced to me by way of intimacy co-ordination. I experienced first hand on my recent theatre production of Pakaru –  the value that her work brought.  The actors were left with more confidence and focus within a particularly sensitive subject matter.  I consider this work so important for our industry as our cultural tide shifts towards more responsibility, safety and respect.”  

MITCH TAWHI THOMAS (DIRECTOR, PAKARU)

 

“I have worked with Carrie as an actor on three different projects that had intimate scenes across theatre and film, and on every one she brought professionalism, personality, and care to the set, cast, and crew.  She brings a breadth of knowledge to every production and is an asset to any rehearsal room, as well as making the process fun.  She is very generous with her time, and makes sure you feel comfortable approaching her with any queries or questions, in or out of the rehearsal room.”  

AIMEE SULLIVAN (ACTOR, MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, FATSO, OPHELIA THINKS HARDER)

 

“I am so glad we had an intimacy coordinator on set!  Carrie firstly helped to break the ice between us all by playing consent games.  It certainly helped me feel more comfortable & relaxed around everyone – which helped create a more natural looking connection in the scene.  Carrie taught us a valuable lesson around the importance of consent to feel comfortable, and also that talking about consent/boundaries is okay and can actually be really sexy!  I also appreciated having a liaison between us and the crew, it was amazing knowing Carrie held a safe space for us to voice our concerns/questions without feeling like hassles.  Her presence was greatly appreciated!”  

KASIA JOHNSON (BACKGROUND ACTOR, COWBOY BEBOP)

 

“Thank you so much for working with us the other night.  I appreciated your easy going, friendly, empathetic vibe!  The exercises we did really helped set us up for the night.”  

CARLA SATRAM (BACKGROUND ACTOR, COWBOY BEBOP)

 

“Creating intimate scenes as a young Filmmaker opens a series of entirely new challenges. We knew how important it was to bring an Intimacy Coordinator into the production team to ensure the whole process (including shooting the intimate scenes) was handled safely, respectfully and professionally.  Carrie holds space in a calm, yet proactive way.  She helped ensure the dialogue between the production crew and the actors was clear and respectful.  Her work before, during, and after the shoot was integral to the production.  She was open, direct and kind.  In the current climate of the Film Industry, Carrie is a pioneer.” 

MAX DE ROY (DIRECTOR, LATE NIGHT PAWN)

 

“I had the pleasure of working with Carrie Thiel on a television project and she made the experience better than I could’ve ever imagined!  Carrie is a pro at creating a safe and comfortable space, coaching through the rehearsal process and advocating for the actors on and off set.  I believe having Carrie on the project made a massive difference to both me and the other actor especially since we (the actors) hadn’t previously worked together and had a very short time to build a rapport and work on the scenes.  Carrie made what could have been an awkward situation very comfortable and safe, looking back I can’t imagine the project without her!” 

ANGELIKA ZUEVA (ACTOR, COWBOY BEBOP)

 

“I worked with Carrie on HOLE (2020) where she was both intimacy coordinator and fight choreographer. Carrie’s warmth and openness meant that I felt comfortable discussing whether the work felt right. I valued Carrie’s check-out process and still use some of those tools today.”

STEVIE HANCOX-MONK (ACTOR, HOLE)

 

“Lynda’s script was challenging for actors in that it required a high degree of sexual intimacy and close physical contact between the three main characters. As a development season, the script was constantly being revised during rehearsals, adding to potential anxiety and discomfort for the actors. Carrie made an outstanding contribution to the production as our intimacy director. She was meticulous in her preparation, identifying all of the moments in the script requiring physical contact and intimacy. Her questions opened up the creative process and enhanced the script revisions. Carrie ensured that rehearsals were safe and positive spaces, and that the actors all felt comfortable within the process. She fully supported the actors, and negotiated on their behalf when necessary.”

DAVID O’DONNELL (DIRECTOR, HOLE)

 

“Carrie’s work was vital in supporting the kaupapa of our production. The initial two-hour intimacy workshop alleviated a number of anxieties the whole ensemble felt about embodying really difficult content.  The similarity between approaching fight choreography and intimacy in this play was really useful for actors daunted by either/both of these prospects.  Feedback on these scenes from the audience was that the actors appeared confident and safe in performing this material, which was a testament to Carrie’s work throughout this production.  Audience also said they were really invested and convinced by the love story, and the intimacy really supported this relationship as one we want to succeed, ultimately, because it represented the consent which was missing throughout the rest of the show.  I really appreciated how Carrie supported this notion of celebrating consent, and how the map of the love scenes empowered this relationship as one of equality. As a director, I was so grateful for the way she communicated with me and the actors about the intentions of the piece and how she could support their own intuition in working on scenes with stylized violence and intimacy to feel safe.”

NICOLA HYLAND (DIRECTOR, TE PUNA HIPI, VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON)

 

“For the past three years Carrie Thiel has introduced the principles of performing intimacy to our large first year acting course at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. Carrie tailors the content for our course in an engaging, relevant, and accessible way. The classes inspire our students, providing essential and actionable information for anyone involved in the performing arts.”

JAMES WENLEY (VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON)

 

“In 2021, Carrie and her colleagues ran an extended workshop in audience safety, stage intimacy and consent, and stage management protocols in the rehearsal room around these concepts. It was a brilliant workshop and had the largest turn out of any Artist Development workshop for the festival. For all artists, and especially Fringe artists as they are most often industry beginners, having a grasp of key concepts around safety and consent in live art is crucial for their development. Having this foundation of knowledge will evolve in better practices industry wide as these practitioners move further into their career. In particular Carrie was an excellent facilitator. She held the room extremely well and created grounded, real connections with the participants who hung on her every word. I’d highly recommend Carrie for any workshops, mentorships or tutorials in this area.”

TOM NOBLE (NZ FRINGE FESTIVAL)