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Maori Theatre Company Premieres Rena Owen Play

14 June 2004

Maori Theatre Company Premieres Rena Owen Play

Auckland's Koanga Maori Theatre Company presents the New Zealand premiere of Rena Owen's powerful play, 'Te Awa I Tahuti', next month (July).

Written in the late eighties, Owen shares a personal story through the life of a young Maori woman called Toni. Toni finds herself on the other side of the world in a London prison for a drug offence and - through a counsellor, Mrs Bottomly - is forced to confront her past in order to heal and move forward into the future.

'Te Awa I Tahuti' premiered at the Albany Empire in London in 1987. Rena performed as Toni and toured the play extensively, at major theatres as well as prisons and drug rehabilitation centres.

New director Kim Cullen (Nga Puhi) is joined by Natasha Keating (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngai Tuhoe, Te Ati Hau Nui a Paparangi) in her debut as Toni and recent British import, Sian Jaquet, who returns to the stage as Mrs Bottomley.

This is the second production by Auckland's only active Maori theatre company. Te Koanga Maori Theatre Trust was formed early last year to provide theatrical experience and opportunities to kaumatua (elders), pakeke (adults), rangatahi (youth) and tamariki (children).

'Te Awa I Tahuti' will be staged at TAPAC Theatre in Motions Rd, Western Springs, from July 6 to 11 at 7.30pm with a matinee performance on July 10 at 1pm. Bookings can be made through Response Ticketing on 09 300 3700 or .


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