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The Dust Palace & Te Rehia Theatre Bring Front Yard Festivals Back To Auckland

The Dust Palace in collaboration with Māori theatre company, Te Rēhia Theatre, is bringing Front Yard Festivals back to Auckland and Waiheke by popular demand – and for the last time. 

Originally developed as a COVID-response from the arts, Front Yard Festivals delivers two shows made to specifically bring joy to kaumātua and kuia.

Two roopu of mostly Māori artists and acrobats will perform 15-minute music, circus and storytelling shows wherever they are booked to go – such as rest homes, schools and people’s own whare. They turn front yards into theatre venues, and present joyful, vibrant, non-contact waiata and performances highlighting the beauty of Māori and Samoan culture.

"Both shows are designed to bring joy and connection to kaumātua and kuia, and both explore the ideas of whānau, whānaungatanga, and kaitiakitanga. We want to help people who don’t have the same freedom to travel as others, and to put a smile on their face while we reconnect them with their history,” says Tainui Tukiwaho, one of Te Rēhia Theatre’s founders and directors.

Eve Gordon, The Dust Palace’s artistic director, says that Front Yard Festivals was thoughtfully created with vulnerable communities in mind.

“The initiative first started in 2020 and was very well-received. It was wonderful to see the audience thoroughly enjoy the shows, how the performances lifted people’s spirits during tough times. We’re tremendously excited to bring the Front Yard Festivals back this year, and looking forward to sharing our cast’s talents and hearts with whānau around homes across Tāmaki Makaurau,” says Eve.

Front Yard Festivals is supported by the New Zealand government’s Local Activation Programme and administered by Auckland Unlimited.

The tour runs from now until 16 June 2022 and is completely free. Bookings are now open.

To arrange a performance, contact or call 021 773 802.

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