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Delicate And Visually Stunning Biographical Show Combines Live Performance And Film In A Striking Work Of Empowerment

A Mulled Whine & OiOi Productions present


by Adam Rohe & Ben Sarten

Directed by Neenah Dekkers-Reihana

7pm, 2 – 11 September // BATS Theatre

What are the stories that shape us - and how do we shape them?

Adam Rohe is a prominent transgender actor, director and clown, seen in Aotearoa feature film Rūrangi, as well as dozens of progressive and powerful stage shows across the country. Over the last five years, a feature film has been in the making about his own life and gender transition. A bold, and beautiful film about building mental health and crafting your own narrative. Close friend and filmmaker Ben Sarten has followed Adam through doctor’s appointments, surgeries, psychosis, and the day-to-day. Over the years, hours of footage have been collated and not all of it will make the cut… But it makes excellent theatre.

Rohe takes us on a raucous yet vulnerable journey to the basement of his mind, and lets us watch the creation of his most earnest and intimate artistic performance: Himself.

You are invited behind-the-scenes for a live multimedia experience that celebrates finding empowerment in the making of one’s self.

Helping Adam craft this production with equal parts tenderness and wonder is theatre-maker Neenah Dekkers-Reihana and documentary filmmaker Ben Sarten. Neenah is an acclaimed performer (The Haka Party Incident, Pākaru, Anahera) and established director (ransom., This Long Winter). They have been many roles and worn many hats, but now their focus is on rewriting roles and stories. Renaming. Reclaiming. Reconstructing. Meanwhile, Ben has forged an impressive career making films that prioritise the documentation and visibility of environmental and human rights activism, and the NZ arts scene. His work here and abroad captures crucial moments in our history as a planet and social network during times of crisis. Dekkers-Reihana and Sarten are both exceptional creatives who make art and entertainment with a greater purpose, and built around wellbeing. True mavericks of mental health and advocacy.

“Human beings are constantly crafting themselves all the time, just not consciously. I was doing it on purpose, which is fucking terrifying.”– Adam Rohe to The Spinoff

Man Lessons will demystify the trans experience while elevating a trans story of success and celebration. Narratives of marginalisation and oppression – while true – will only begin to shift once trans people and those around them start to see their potential to flourish. Adam says that he hopes the show will “help everyone, regardless of gender, recognise that they can sit in the driver's seat of their own transformation – and that they can empower those around them to do the same.”

Man Lessons: The Live Show was funded by Nōku te Ao Like Minds with support from the Mental Health Foundation, and Wellington City Council.


Man Lessons: The Live Show at BATS Theatre

7pm / Thursday 2nd – Saturday 11th September

Tickets $25 Full / $20 Concession / $22 Group 6+

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