September 29, 2022
Raw plays on trial for Kōanga Festival
Two new Māori plays will have their first public readings at Auckland’s Basement Theatre 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 telling selected aspects of Te Kooti’s life story, while Pōraru by Rawinia Parata tackles a woman’s descent into madness and how she and her whanau cope with the new reality.
Parata says the Kōanga Festival Playwrights’ Programme gave her the chance to workshop the play with mentor Gary Henderson and refine it for live performance.
She says it’s a tough play which draws on experiences within her own whanau.
“It deals with the very difficult and challenging and confronting kaupapa but the feedback so far is it is nice to bring these stories to the forefront so we can and deal with them and see them head on,” Parata says.
When she’s not thinking about the play, Rawinia Parata has been campaigning for a Tairawhiti Maori ward seat on Gisborne District Council.
Pōraru will be at the Basement Theatre from from September 30 to October 7.