Northland youth theatre brings first te reo Māori season to Tai Tokerau

Northland Youth Theatre’s te reo Māori season of Pukeko Tuawha will be performed at OneOneSix in Whangarei in March. Photo / File

The creators of Northland Youth Theatre’s first te reo Māori theatre season are looking for Tai Tokerau talent.

The charitable trust’s te reo Māori production, Pukeko Tuawha, is a te reo Māori play written by Hinemoana Baker and directed by playwright Noa Campbell.

Northland Youth Theatre is currently looking for four emerging and experienced actors aged 17 and up for six weeks of paid work, with auditions held on November 19.

Campbell said they are looking for “people who are energetic, playful, fit and love te reo Māori”.

“It’s about us building the capacity of Māori storytelling and supporting Māori artists living in Tai Tokerau,” Campbell said.

“It’s an opportunity for te reo speakers to be on stage in front of our young Māori kids and they can see themselves being represented on stage.

“It’s exciting, it’s the first te reo production produced up here.”

The play Pukeko Tuawha is set in the Year 2999, tāngata Māori are rangatira o te ao mārama.

Tikanga Māori is the governing political and economic order, te reo Māori is mainstream and English is almost extinct.

“We’ve discovered that our tūpuna originated from outer space so are organising a quest to rediscover ancient tūrangawaewae amongst the stars.”

Rehearsals start on January 30 and the play will be performed at OneOneSix in Whangārei from March 6 to 11.

Kawiti Waetford, an opera singer, first-language speaker of te reo Māori and public speaker, will also be on board to translate so the play is beautiful for Ngāpuhi speakers.

“We encourage schools and families to come and support the production,” Campbell said.

“We’ve got a wonderful, creative team of local artists doing costume and set design and music.”

Northland Youth Theatre is a not-for-profit charitable trust set up to provide training for the young people of Northland in theatre craft.

Email to register.

Group auditions, times and location will be given on registration.

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