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Auckland Fringe Announces New Festival Director

25 February – 7 March 2020

The feisty open-access arts festival Auckland Fringe are delighted to welcome Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho as the newly appointed Director ahead of the 2020 festival. Auckland Fringe runs 25 February – 7 March, bringing all corners of Tāmaki Makaurau to life with all forms of theatre, comedy, dance, music and everything in between.

“We are thrilled to announce Borni’s appointment to the role. Borni has a deep understanding and empathy with the arts community in Tāmaki Makaurau and brings with him a desire to help shape Auckland Fringe’s future into one that reflects and celebrates our unique place in the world.” – Auckland Fringe Trust Chair Helaina Keeley.

Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho (Te Arawa/Tuhoe/Tuwharetoa) brings his enormous wealth of experience and knowledge as a highly respected leader in the arts world to Auckland Fringe. “I am looking forward to embracing the disruption and chaos that is Fringe and the performances, artists and spaces involved in the festival that make it so special to Tāmaki Makaurau.” says Borni.

Auckland Fringe’s kaupapa is to be a totally accessible space for both audiences and artists that is inclusive, uplifting, and a celebration of otherness – an attitude that was led by former Director Lydia Zanetti over the 4 Festivals she worked on. Lydia stepped down as Director after the 2019 Auckland Fringe, which saw the festival celebrate its most successful year to date, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and ground-breaking creativity. Essential to establishing Auckland Fringe as it is today, this mantle is something that Borni is committed to uphold and push even further.

Borni has held many hats, including producer, director, lecturer, actor, singer and social change activist. Borni has a rich background in theatre, best known for directing Dominion Road The Musical, and is also a core whanau member of Te Pou Theatre. He is one of the heavyweights behind the amazing Hobson Street Theatre Company, including directing The Race as part of Auckland Fringe in 2018.

As a suicide prevention and wellbeing advocate, Borni has dedicated much of his time to helping create open conversation and tangible support networks in the arts community over the past five years – looking at what wellbeing in the performing arts industry is. He has a strong focus on community empowerment through storytelling and has created strong relationships with Auckland community organisations, and relationships with festivals such as Tempo Dance Festival and the NZ International Comedy Festival.

Under Taurima Vibes where he is Kaiwhakahaere Matua/Director, Borni also runs Atawhai, a two month-long mental health awareness festival. Atawhai is a platform that provides artists, organisations, and communities avenues to explore difficult conversations around hauora/mental health using the arts as a conduit for education and unity.

Bring it 2020, Let’s get some disruption going!

The first events for Auckland Fringe 2020 will be announced December 2019, with the full programme coming January 2020. Registrations are still open until 20th December.


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