Denise was a stalwart of New Zealand High School Drama. Not only did she encourage many practitioners of theatre through her work as a secondary school drama teacher, but she also found the time to write, produce and direct a multitude of excellent scripts for youth.
Denise was one of the key teachers involved in the push for Drama to be accepted as a stand-alone subject in the New Zealand secondary school curriculum. She was an Executive member of the New Zealand Association for Drama in Education and also of Speech New Zealand, the umbrella organization for speech teaching and examining in this country. A number of the students she taught at Logan Park High School won scholarships to study Theatre at American universities and to attend the Shakespeare’s Globe programmes in London.
She was undeniably one of the most prolific writers of plays for and about adolescents that this country has produced. Her time as a guidance teacher is reflected time and again in her choice of themes related to the teenage experience.
Denise was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list for her services to youth theatre.
Denise passed away on 6 March 2014.