Catherine Downes MNZM trained as an actor at NZ Drama School, Toi Whakaari, after completing a BA in English, Politics and Drama at Victoria University. After several years with theatre companies in NZ, Catherine went to Europe where she established NZ theatre companies in Amsterdam and in London, and created The Case of Katherine Mansfield which she toured through six countries and won awards in Britain, NZ and Australia.
Through most of her career, Catherine has freelanced as an actor, director, playwright and dramaturge on both sides of the Tasman, receiving several awards .
Catherine was also the Artistic Director of The Court Theatre from 2000 – 2005 and Director of Downstage Theatre in 2006 – 2008.
In 1998, Catherine was appointed a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to the Arts.