Rawiri Paratene Champions Māori Storytelling on the Shore

To celebrate the end of a year-long endeavour to provide a showcase of Māori theatre on the North Shore, The PumpHouse is delighted to confirm that they will once again be joining forces with the inimitable Rawiri Paratene for Kōrero Pūrākau from September 6-8.

A beloved hero of the screen and stage in Aotearoa, Paratene (Ngāpuhi) has devoted his career to amplifying the voices of Māori performers. The 2018 season marks the second time that he will work with The PumpHouse on Kōrero Pūrākau, acting as mentor, director and storyteller for a group of students to devise a staged retelling of local Māori legends.

Four drama students from Birkenhead College and Takapuna Grammar will collaborate with the legendary performer to develop their skills to create a bi-lingual work involving te reo, waiata, storytelling, and audience participation. The result will be a brand-new piece of theatre that will be performed in a strictly limited six-show season.

Passing through the ancient cultural tradition of oral storytelling to a new generation of Māori talent, the students joining Paratene on this journey of exploring their local kaupapa are Ivy Pondman-Carmont, Skye Murphy, Zebion Te Kauru, and Giorgia Doughty.

Timed to coincide with the inaugural New Zealand Theatre Month, Kōrero Pūrākau marks the final production of The Pumphouse Toi Takapuna season – a year-long programme of Māori works performed at The PumpHouse, aimed at championing and amplifying Māori work in a suburban setting. Working with a variety of Māori theatre makers, the season has also included performances of Shot Bro, Rob Mokaraka’s personal story about depression and redemption; Heaven and Earth – Rangi and Papa, a magical glow-in-the-dark Matariki puppet show; and Te Rerenga – The Flight, the world’s first Maori rock-art puppet show. Toi Takapuna has also played host to four workshops sharing fundamental aspects of Māori culture and craft including Harakeke weaving, Poi and Waiata.

With an ongoing commitment to increasing the number of events with a Māori kaupapa, The PumpHouse hopes that both audiences and artists will consider the venue as having tikanga Māori values at the core.

Kōrero Pūrākau is the final production for ‘Toi Takapuna 2018’.

6th – 8th September.
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