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Matariki Playwrights: Where Is Maori Theatre Now?

20 JUNE 2008

Where Is Maori Theatre Now?

Matariki Playwrights
12noon - 5.30pm, Saturday 28 June
Limelight Room, Level 3, Aotea Centre. The Edge.

Contemporary Maori playwriting has played a vital role in the examination and celebration of our culture in recent years, and in the development path for some of New Zealand’s most celebrated work in film and television. Maori Television is now well established, yet we are arguably seeing less Maori voices reaching our theatres than we were 15 years ago, and few new voices. Where is Maori theatre now?

This will be one of the questions considered as part of the inaugural Matariki Playwrights, a forum for new voices and the future of Maori theatre in Auckland. All are invited to an afternoon of discussion, play-readings and information-sharing, organised by Playmarket, New Zealand’s playwrights’ organisation, in partnership with Auckland City Council, and with the support of ASB Community Trust and THE EDGE.

Matariki is about remembrance, harvest and preparing the ground for the new season ahead. Playmarket is about representing and developing playwrights. This is Playmarket’s first forum for Maori playwrights and the theatre that will help give their work life. Present will not only be new Maori voices but the voices of those who have trailblazed the way and continue to shine the light for Maori Theatre.

The afternoon begins with a reading of a brand new Maori playwright’s work, Ariki Spooner, directed by leading actor and playwright Rawiri Paratene (Whale Rider), and closes with a reading of another new playwright’s work Renae Maihi called Nga Manurere, directed by well-known actor and director Waimihi Hotere.

Rawiri Paratene will also host a discussion looking to the many different ways that a Maori writer’s voice may be heard in our theatre, the rich legacy that others have given, and the opportunities for new beginnings Auckland currently offers. Speakers will include Rore Hapipi (Death of the Land, a play first produced by Hapipi in the early 1970s), Willie Davis (Manawa Taua, Savage Hearts), Kirk Torrance (Strata), James Ashcroft (Taki Rua), Albert Belz (Te Karakia), Miria George and Jamie McCaskill (He Reo Aroha).

In “Show me the Money” Creative New Zealand, Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council and THE EDGE, talk about how they seek to enable theatre getting from page to stage through funding and developing resources and relationships, and we also have presentations from visiting playwrights
Yvette Nolan (Canada) and Tammy Anderson (Yirra Yaakin, Australia) talking about writing from an indigenous perspective. Anderson and Nolan are in New Zealand as part of the Honouring Theatre indigenous theatre exchange,

For further programme information visit:


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