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Te Reo Mäori Theatre Season 10th Anniversary

Te Reo Mäori Theatre Season 10th Anniversary

Monday, 21 July 2005

Press Release, Taki Rua Productions

Taki Rua Productions celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its te reo Mäori season with the launch of its latest te reo play, Taku Raukura e (My Precious One) by Materoa Haenga.

Past participants and friends of Taki Rua Productions’ te reo Mäori season will gather in Wellington to mark the 10th Anniversary with the opening of Taku Raukura e, Monday 15th August 2005, Te Papa followed by celebrations at Circa Theatre.

Established in 1995 by former Tumuaki (Executive Directors) Mere Boynton and Tony Burns, to increase the use of te reo Mäori in theatre, Taki Rua Productions’ te reo Mäori season has played to audiences of over 15,000 and expanded from its humble beginnings in a back street Wellington theatre (Taki Rua Theatre), to a nationwide tour from Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) to Muri Hiku (Invercargill)

Those involved with Taki Rua Productions’ te reo Mäori season over its 10 years, reads as a who’s who of Mäori theatre including Jim Moriarty, Wii Kuki Kaa, Selwyn Muru, Briar Grace-Smith, Hori Ahipene, Nancy Brunning, Whetu Fala, Tamati Te Nohotu, Hinemoana Baker and more. As Boynton recalls “We recognised a growing audience amongst our tamariki from Kohanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa for plays i roto i te reo Maori. As a bicultural theatre we thought it our responsibility and moral obligation to produce plays specifically for this audience.”

Current Tumuaki Amanda Hereaka expands on the importance of the te reo Mäori season “The te reo Mäori tour is what makes Taki Rua unique and now the hope is to extend it beyond the 4-14 year old market and further into national festivals, as it has done this year for the first time by showing at the Taranaki Arts Festival.”

Actor Nancy Brunning views the season as a invaluable learning tool for all involved “The te reo Mäori season gives opportunities for everyone to either perform, direct, write or design a production in te reo Mäori and that’s why I keep coming back to make sure that lots of our people see it as a chance to excel.”

This years te reo Mäori play Taku Raukura e by Materoa Haenga, directed by Tina Cook and featuring veteran Mäori actor Apirana Taylor, Taku Raukura e is the story of a young girls efforts to overcome the bullying and torments of her peers. Born with a hideous facial scar, Raukura is taken under the wing of Hïraka, the sole surviving huia of the great forest of Täne. It is through Hïraka’s teachings that Raukura must learn to respect even those who taunt her and more importantly care for and nurture the taonga (treasures) of the past for her, and for future generations to enjoy.

Taku Raukura e opens at the Taranaki Festival 10 – 11th August; Wellington opening Monday 15th August; Nationwide tour ends November 2005.

Taki Rua Productions invites writers to submit play ideas for consideration for the 2006 season. No playwrighting experience is necessary. The selected writer will receive a $4000 commissioning grant to write a full-length play to be produced and performed at kura throughout the motu in July - November 2006.


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