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International Indigenous Theatre Festival

“FBI Raids Close To Home”
For Immediate Release: 1 April 2008

International Indigenous Theatre Festival

A play about FBI raids into a North American Indian reservation draws similarities with the recent police “terror” raids into Tuhoe. The play Annie Mae’s Movement is one of three being presented by the Honouring Theatre Festival of indigenous plays. The festival also is presenting an aboriginal play from Australia and a Maori play from Aotearoa.

The Festival was first presented in Canada to critical acclaim and sold out houses in 2006. At the conclusion of the New Zealand season, it will be presented in Perth, Australia.

New Zealand producer, Amanda Hereaka, said “When indigenous cultures come together to share stories there are often striking similarities. The two visiting works featured in the festival, whilst extreme, will have meaning for New Zealand audiences and provide another way of looking at ourselves.”

Annie Mae’s Movement, in part, tells the story of a reservation in North America raided by the FBI to quash a political upraising. The play was selected for the Festival well in advance of the police raids into the Ruatoki community, demonstrating that some of the issues faced by Tuhoe have an international context.

The aboriginal play, I Don’t Wanna Play House is an autobiographical account of the early childhood of performer Tammy Anderson. Tammy suffered extraordinary hardship; tragedy and sadness is at the heart of this piece. However, it is carried by humour and song. Human ability to transcend tragedy through spirit is a universal theme but in this context it will be particular moving for Maori audiences.

Honouring Theatre provides a unique opportunity for New Zealand audiences to engage in indigenous issues through story-telling. It is also an opportunity to present high-quality New Zealand work alongside some of the best theatre in the world.

New Zealand’s offering is a new work by Tawata Productions. He Reo Aroha is a story of love and music, ignited by the conversations and songs of two passionate musicians, Kaia and Pascoe share only one night. The two are parted. A story of survival, of desperation and manipulation, He Reo Aroha offers hope in a time of darkness.

This project has received significant support from Creative New Zealand’s Indigenous Links programme and wide support from a number of community trusts in the regions hosting the festival. “The support from the community for this festival has been overwhelming. This will enable over 10,000 school students and a number of community groups to attend the plays. “

Honouring Theatre is presented in Rotorua at the Soundshell from 17 – 19 June; and Manukau at the Telstra Pacific Centre from 22-27 June. Limited public sales available from Ticketek, Rotorua (07) 350 2244 and Ticket Direct, Auckland (0800) 224 224.


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