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Ahi Karunaharan is a multidisciplinary artist of Srilankan Tamil descent working across stage and screen in Aotearoa. His work interrogates memory, nostalgia, dislocation, loss and grief from a diaspora lens.

From intimate encounters to large scale epics, pioneering works for the South Asian community, International Arts Festivals, immersive participatory installations and musicals, Ahi has worked with acclaimed companies across the globe including Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney Festival and Adelaide Festival and with Native Earth and Planet IndigenoUS Festival.

Ahi is the founder of Agaram Productions, a multi-award winning South Asian production house championing alternative narratives and otherness and tutors at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Scxhool of Drama and The Actors Programme.

In 2018 Karunaharan was awarded The Bruce Mason Playwright Award, recognising his work as an outstanding New Zealand playwright and an Excellence in Arts Leadership award in 2019.  He is the recepient of multiple Auckland Theatre Awards and an Arts Foundation Laureate award celebrating his artistic contribution and achievements.


"One of New Zealand's most exciting and visionary directors."

- Pantograph Punch

"Karunaharan's direction: seamless, heartfelt and unerringly true. "

- The New Zealand Herald

"Doing vital and invigorating work to shake up and challenge mainstream art. A bold and rebellious step towards making theatre a more representative space in New Zealand."

- Theatrescenes

Past Productions


Auckland Arts Festival

Winner for Overall Excellence

The Next Big Thing

Auckland Theatre Company

My Heart Goes

Thadak Thadak

Commissioned by Silo Theatre

Past Productions

Presented at Kia Mau Festival in Association with SquareSums&Co

First World Problems

An Original Concept and idea conceived and presented in association with Agaram Productions with Prayas and Basement Theatre

Presented as part of the International Comedy Festival

Past Productions

Kollywood Extra

Commissioned by Satellites Auckland


Borrowed Earth

A Fine Balance

First Co-Production and presentation of an all South Asian Cast on a Mainbill programme in New Zealand for Auckland Theatre Company and Prayas

Past Productions


Presented in Association with Auckland Live.

Charandas Chor:

The Honest Thief

A Co Production with The Performing Arts Centre of Auckland

Presented in Association with Working Class Production

Past Productions


Ugly Shakespeare Company

Presented to High schools all over New Zealand

Romeo and Jules

Ugly Shakespeare Company

Commissioned by the He Waka Noa trust and Presented to High schools all over New Zealand


The Great Carnival

Commisioned by Auckland Arts Festival.

Artistic CV

Education and Training

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School | Wellington, Wellington

Bachelor of Performing Arts: Acting

Victoria University of Wellington | Wellington, Wellington

Bachelor of Arts: Theatre And Film


2020 Arts Laureate Award

2019 Auckland Theatre Awards - Overall Excellence in Leadership

2018 Bruce Mason Playmarket Award

2018 Auckland Theatre Awards

Work History

2022 Programme Manager Silo Theatre

2021 Associate Artistic Director - Silo Theatre

2015-2019 - Artistic Curator - Short and Sweet Festival

Producing Credits

2021 First World Problems 3.0

2020 New Works Festival - Agaram Productions

2020 Yatra - Producer Prayas Theatre

2019 First World Problems 2.0 - Executive Producer

2018 Dara - Producer Prayas Theatre

2018 America Rex - Producer JK Productions

2014-2018 South Asian Writers Festival - Agaram Productions

Artistic CV

Directing Credits

2021 Boom Shankar - International Comedy Festival

2021 The Mourning After - Kia Mau Festival

2021 Romeo and Jules - Ugly Shakespeare Company

2020 Go Solo - Toi Whakaari

2020 Othello - Ugly Shakespeare Company

2019 A Fine Balance - Auckland Theatre Company

2019 My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak - Silo Theatre

2019 Kollywood Extra - Satellites

2019 Light Vs Dark - Auckland Live

2018 Tea - Auckland Arts Festival

2018 First World Problems

2017 Swabhoomi : Borrowed Earth Writer and Director Prayas Theatre

2017 Samaroh: The Great Indian Director Auckland Arts Festival Carnival

2016 Shoulds Woulda Coulda Devisor and Director Auckland Theatre Company

Writing Credits

2021 Serenade

2021 The Mourning After Reimagined

2020 - A Mixtape for Maladies

2019 Auckland Writers Festival

2019 My Heart Goes Thadak Thadak

2018 Tea

2018 Playmarket Annual

2017 Light Vs Dark

2017 Pantograph Punch

2016 Swabhoomi

In Development


A coming of age TV series about romance, high school and 90s music. 

Pooja, What is this Behaviour

A riotous wrecking ball of a play.

A Mixtape for Maladies

A Mystery

A Musical

A Memory Play.

Get in touch

Mailing Address

1g/20Morning Star Place,

Mt Albert,

Auckland, 1021

Email Address

Phone Number

022 329 3662