Leoni Willis

Production & Costume Designer

Leoni’s first costume design role was as an 8 year old, in Mrs. Edwards' class at Pukekawa Primary School.
In a class production of the Three Little Pigs, Leoni enthusiastically volunteered to costume the entire play. She remembers her mother's frustration as she raided the wardrobes at home and carted off bags of “costumes” for her school play. She remembers her sister's horror when she saw the largest boy in the class squeezed into her pink dressing gown.

Leoni has always had an interest in (and an opinion on) what looks good, although it seems she faltered somewhat in her early styling of a pig. Not the case at Encore, Leoni is guaranteed to bring artistry and flair to the vision of each production.
Leoni is a Visual Effects Artist with an international career working with leading film and TVC directors here, in Australia, and the U.S., crafting visual effects solutions for high-end brands in the film, television, and advertising industries. She designs, creates, and composes images that are not able to be captured in camera, working on many award-winning projects.
When she's not combining live-action with animation or digital art to create effects that are seamless and cinematic, she's creating seams of a different kind at her sewing machine, narrowly escaping third-degree burns from her 80W glue gun, or seeing how far she can stretch the last of the black paint.

Having worked in the role of Costume Designer for National Youth Theatre Company for several years, Leoni has designed and constructed costumes for over 300 cast in eight full scale shows at The Aotea and Civic Theatres, as well as creating set pieces and animated backgrounds for LED projection.
Leoni has headed the production design for all Encore productions to date, creating spectacular designs in both costumes and effects, setting herself the personal challenge to outdo herself with each and every show. Leoni recognises how design can enhance a performance for the audience and believes that if the cast feel good about how they are presented on stage, it will give them the confidence to perform at their best.
A founding partner of Encore, Leoni is thrilled to be working alongside Hamish, Nicola, Claudie and Phoebe, whose contemporary approach provides an inspirational pathway for young people into the exciting world of musical theatre.