Nau mai to the Māori Theatre Wānanga

Local jokesters, artists and Māori theatre enthusiasts are encouraged to get along to the Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival’s latest offering.

The Māori Theatre Wānanga will be held tomorrow from 10am to 2pm at a pop-up gallery on 1201 Eruera Street.

The event is being hosted by innovative theatre practitioners, Juanita Hepi, Scotty Cotter, Erina Daniels and Tola Newbery.

The foursome are members of the Toi Āmai theatre production and each is looking forward to tomorrow’s one-off event.

“If you’re into being on stage or think you’re a funny fulla – we are funny fullas too. So come along and have a jam,” says Tola Newbery.

Juanita Hepi says the wānanga will enable people to come together and discuss the future of Māori theatre.

“We want to talk about the type of work we’ve been playing with. It’s about deconstructing theatre. Deconstructing those creative spaces to make it more accessible for our people.

“We’re also interested in seeing where other artists are at – their hopes, dreams and aspirations, and their whakaaro for theatre for our generations to come. Exploring where our kids are in 40-or 100-years’ time and how we’ll shape that artistic journey for them.”

Erina Daniels is eager to meet with other artists.

“I’m really keen to meet the theatre makers who are coming down to our safe space to hui (meet) together but also to forge new relationships. As well as make stronger existing relationships so that we can keep building spaces like what Aronui is doing,” she says.

The Māori Theatre Wānanga is being held at a pop-up gallery, 1201 Eruera Street, from 10am to 2pm on 19 September. The pop-up gallery is also the location for the theatre production, Toi Āmai, from 18 to 20 September at 8pm.

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