Raw plays tryout for Kōanga Festival

Moeawa Fransen

Rawinia Parata | Dramatic author of the Koanga festival of the Te Pou theater

Funding of roles:

Two new Maori plays will have their first public readings at Auckland’s Basement Theater from tomorrow as part of Te Pou Theatre’s annual Kōanga Festival.

Two new Maori plays will have their first public readings at Auckland’s Basement Theater from tomorrow as part of Te Pou Theatre’s annual Kōanga Festival.

Maraea Rakuraku’s Te Kooti Ariki Rangi Te Tūruki is a series of monologues recounting selected aspects of Te Kooti’s life story, while Rawinia Parata’s Pōraru addresses a woman’s descent into madness and how she and his whanau face the new reality.

Parata says the Kōanga Festival Playwrights Program gave her the chance to study the play with mentor Gary Henderson and refine it for live performance.

She says it’s a challenging piece that draws on experiences within her own whanau.

“It’s about very difficult, challenging, and confronting kaupapa, but the feedback so far is that it’s nice to bring those stories to the forefront so we can process them and see them head-on,” Parata says.

When she’s not thinking about the play, Rawinia Parata is campaigning for a Tairawhiti Maori ward seat on Gisborne District Council.

Pōraru will be at the Basement Theater from September 30 to October 7.


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