Press Release – Maori Playwrights Festival
Saturday night sees the start of the novel event – 24-Hour Deadline Theatre Challenge – at Hawkins Theatre-Papakura. MEDIA RELEASE June 30
Deadline Looming for Theatre Challenge
Saturday night sees the start of the novel event – 24-Hour Deadline Theatre Challenge – at Hawkins Theatre-Papakura.
Staged as part of the inaugural Taonga Whakaari: Maori Playwrights Festival, the challenge sees five playwrights spend 12 hours writing a 15-minute play each, starting at 8pm on Saturday night, armed only with a prop and a genre. At 8am Sunday, the five plays are handed over to five directors and five groups of actors to spend the next 12 hours rehearsing and preparing the plays for the stage. Then, at 8pm on Sunday July 4, the five plays will be presented before an audience in the Hawkins Theatre.
The playwrights are: Kath Akuhata-Brown, a dramatist and writer for theatre, film and television (Kai Korero, Taonga), perhaps best known for her role in Maori Television’s Ask Your Auntie; Michael Rewiri-Thorsen, whose play Strong Hands recently played at the Metro Theatre in Mangere; Chris Malloy, whose short film Long Time No See was produced last year; Challen Wilson, who recently spent time in Alaska co-writing a play Winter; and Ariki Spooner, who works for Maori Television.
Directors are Jason Te Mete, who is currently starring in the ATC production of Stepping Out; Tainui Tukiwaho, producer of the box office hit Raising The Titanics; Regan Taylor, Waimihi Hotere and Noa Campbell.
The actors are Amber Curreen (Shortland Street, Korero Mai); Lana Garland (Nga Manurere), who is also the Food in a Minute presenter; Roimata Fox, who recently starred in Purapurawhetu; Veronica Brady, Solitaire Mahmoud, Danny Aumua, Jessica Smith, Julia Hyde, Madeline Lynch, Francois Bayamana, Gerald Urquhart, Riki Nofo’akifolou, Boni Tukiwaho, Rob Williams and Donna Brookbanks, recently returned from studying acting in New York.
Taonga Whakaari: The Maori Playwrights Festival arose from discussions at the 2007 Maori Playwrights Hui, which identified a need for Maori theatre practitioners to have a place to hone their craft. Hawkins Theatre -Papakura general manager Graeme Bennett, tasked with expanding the theatre into the community, saw a festival as a way to meet both objectives: “It’s an incredible opportunity for Maori to write, perform and produce their stories in a purpose-built venue, and the Maori Playwrights Festival gives the theatre the opportunity to interact with our local community.”
Taonga Whakaari: The Maori Playwrights Festival is part of Matariki Festival 10 in Auckland and Papakura.
24-Hour Deadline Theatre Challenge. Hawkins Theatre-Papakura.
Sunday July 4, 8pm. Admission is by koha.