Kip Chapman grew up in Christchurch and fell in love with theatre at the age of seven. He has performed in over twenty theatre productions and has had a special affection for theatre-sports. He has been mentored by David Chambers and Brita McVeigh and trained at The School of Performing and Screen Arts in Auckland.
As an actor his theatre work has included: Play 2.03, The Talented Mr Ripley, Equus, Romeo and Juliet, The Twits, Black Confetti (ATC). A Clockwork Orange, The Goat or Who is Sylvia, Lobby Hero, The Pride (SILO). Flagons and Foxtrots, The Glass Menagerie, The American Pilot.
He has won Chapman Tripp theatre awards for Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Little Dog Laughed (Downstage).
His film and television work includes the major role of Luke Mitchim in Jane Campion's mini-series Top of the Lake. Kip has worked extensively with SILO (The Pride, Lobby Hero, The Goat) and Auckland Theatre Company (Equus, The Twits, Black Confetti) and is founder of the Auckland Theatre Awards. He has also appeared in Hope and Wire, The Cult, After the Waterfall, The Hothouse, Aftershock, Shortland Street, Interrogation, Serial Killers, Nothing Special, The Road out of Town, Hillary, 6 Days, Tof of the Lake 2, Northland, The Brokenwood Mysteries and The Graffiti of Mr Tuapai.
Kip created and co-wrote the theatre show Arohaotearoa with James Milne (Musician - Lawrence Arabia.) The show premiered in 2004 at SILO and subsequently played seasons in Wellington and Christchurch as well as being performed at the Hastings and Nelson Arts Festivals in 2006. Their next play Advance in Order - the Auckland City Council from centenary to reorganization 1971-1989 was developed with the Auckland Theatre company.
In 2009 he created, organized and presented the Auckland Theatre Awards. Now in its fifth year, the event celebrates the Auckland Theatre community and is designed to encourage greater collaboration between companies.
A major achievement has been with his company HACKMAN which he co-founded with his friend, industrial designer Brad Knewstubb. Together they have created events, products and productions focusing on ‘adult play.'
Their major work is the internationally successful APOLLO 13: Mission Control which has been performed over 200 times to world-wide acclaim.
APOLLO 13 premiered at BATS Theatre in 2008 as part of the stab season and then toured to Hamilton and Auckland in 2009. In 2010 they performed at the Wellington International Arts Festival, The Sydney Opera House and completed a two month season at Downstage in Wellington. In 2011 they performed at the Brisbane and Perth festivals before signing with Producers Bruce and Robyn Mactaggart. This partnership toured the show to Hastings before a two month test season of the United States. The show is now being redeveloped for long term touring in the United States. Kip's has colloborated with Brad Knewstubb, Brita McVeigh, Craig Cooper and SILO.
Kip was the recipient of an Arts Foundation New Generation Award in 2013.
In 2015 he directed the Punk Rock Musical about Kate Sheppard 'That Bloody Woman.' The show premiered at the Christchurch Arts Festival. In 2016 it had return seasons with Auckland Theatre Company and The Court Theatre Christchurch. In 2017 it completed a six week national tour.
Also in 2015, Hudson & Halls Live! premiered. Based on the lives of New Zealand Television personalities Peter Hudson and David Halls the show has been performed throughout the country. At the Wellington Theatre Awards in 2016 the show won Production of the Year, Actor of the Year, Supporting Actor of the Year and Kip won Director of the Year.
Kip was the Creative Director of WOW (World of Wearable Arts) in 2017, New Zealand's biggest stage show and a world famous design competion. The show was the most attended in WOW history.