Matt Powell

Image by Emma Brittenden

Matt is a creative guru. The quality and flair of his graphic design makes ham‑fisted amateurs, like myself, want to give up. Leave it to the professionals.

Matthew Journee

Matt Powell is a designer, writer, director, improviser, and web developer from Christchurch, New Zealand.

By day, I develop web application interfaces for SLI Systems. I use a lot of CoffeeScript and SASS, which help me to get the mechanics of web development out of the way of designing applications people are going to use because they want to, not because they have to. I’m also spending a lot of time with the awesome Bootstrap framework. SLI is a great company to work for, and the work provides plenty of interesting challenges. You should definitely work here.

Outside of work, I do as much theatre as I can. I’ve been a member of The Court Jesters (a late-night improv, comedy, and corporate entertainment company) since 2002, and you can often see me on stage in Scared Scriptless at The Court Theatre. I’m also heavily involved with Canterbury Children’s Theatre, and it’s there that most of my writing ends up: I've written quite a few plays for young audiences, including adaptations of classic stories, fairy-tales, and Shakespeare.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with presenting my work in a way that will fascinate, inspire, and delight. I create original illustrated posters, flyers, advertisements, and websites for pretty much everything I’m involved in. As well as more conventional, ‘cartoony’ illustration, I like experimenting with minimalism and geometry: how many shapes do you need to recognise a particular film character, for example? Can I draw a troll with just two and a half circles? (Yes. Kind of.)

[Matt’s] code and coding practices are some of the cleanest and brightest I’ve seen.

Julian Suggate

Code and user interface design

There isn’t a lot I can show you here right now. Most of the interface design work I am involved with ends up behind password-protection on proprietary applications. Back when I was doing commercial web design, I did have a few examples I was really proud of, but it's been a while, and they’ve mostly moved on. The 2011 Christchurch earthquake even managed to find a way to put paid to one of my favourite sites: the site itself was fine, but the warehouse was demolished and they had nowhere to house their stock.

I'll try and find some time to curate something a little more germane; in the meantime, I suppose you could pick through my Github profile.


This screenshot is from Playtime, an application I developed for The Court Jesters to manage casting and statistics. Because we have a stable of around 20 performers, all of whom have busy schedules and commitments around the country, and two shows a week, we needed a way of keeping track of who is available for any given show. Any one of us can log in and mark down our availability on the calendar, and then the MC for that weekend’s shows can select a cast from the available players. This also gives us access to several years of statistics, all in a handy, responsive interface that is optimised for use on phones and tablets. Playtime uses Rails, Mongodb, Spine, and Heroku.

…the suave Matt Powell cruises up to the mic… and boy does he nail it!

John Smythe, Theatreview

Theatre and writing

For more information about these shows, or to request a script, please email me.

Plays for young audiences

Space Mouse, Underwater Mouse 2014
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland 2013
A modern adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic, with all your favourite characters. Canterbury Children’s Theatre
Cinderella 2011
Think you know the story of Cinderella? What happens if she doesn’t want to go to the ball or marry the prince? What happens if she just wants to design shoes? Canterbury Children’s Theatre
Slow Runnings: A Tortoise And Hare Story 2013
The classic tale of hubris, one-upmanship, and training montages. Canterbury Children’s Theatre
Stone Soup 2012
The classic folk tale retold with a large cast. Watch for famous cameos! Canterbury Children’s Theatre
The Comedy of Whiskers 2009
A tale of mistaken identity, cats, and rabbits. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Comedy Of Errors. Canterbury Children’s Theatre
The Magic Island 2008
A story about magic, responsibility, and choice. Based on William Shakespeare’s Tempest. The Court Theatre

One-act plays for adults

Countdown 2013
Olive doesn’t know if there’s such a thing as love at first sight, but she’s pretty sure that if there is, you can't get it at Countdown. Dramasoc 3some
Fetch 2013
A look at the implications of thermodynamics and relativity inside the world of a fantasy MMORPG. Contains cultists, stabbings, and Nourishing Bread. Dramasoc Day To Play
Nice Chinese Boy 2012
Boy meets girl, on a date boy’s mother has arranged with girl’s mother, because neither boy nor girl is getting any younger. Dramasoc Day To Play
God Of Grace 2011
The Rapture is coming, but there might be time to save the boy you love if you tie him to a chair in your basement. Dramasoc Day To Play
The Art Of Letting Go 2010
What happens when someone you loved and lost comes back. Court Theatre Young Playwrights’ Initiative
Wait 2010
Tom’s always thought himself too clever for a serious relationship. Until now. Dramasoc Day To Play


Stuck In The Middle @ NZIF
Theatreview, 22 September 2013
Choral Grief @ NZIF
Theatreview, 22 September 2013
The Vance Fontaine Big Band Happy Hour @ NZIF
Theatreview, 21 September 2013
The 121 Connection @ NZIF
Theatreview, 21 September 2013
Pundemonium @ NZIF
Theatreview, 20 September 2013
Time Lord @ NZIF
Theatreview, 20 September 2013
Loose Cannons @ NZIF
Theatreview, 19 September 2013
Opening Crumpet @ NZIF
Theatreview, 18 September 2013

Oh man, check out this guy’s pencil case!

Robbie Magasiva

Design and illustration

Matt sent me a whole lot of squiggly lines and strange words and I pasted it into my site and everything looked better.

Emma Brittenden