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July School Holiday Theatre for Children – The Whale Rider

Puppets feature in Tim Bray Productions’ upcoming season of Witi Ihimaera’s classic New Zealand story The Whale Rider.
Based on the children’s picture book The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, this enchanting and beautiful show will appeal to children aged 4 – 12 years of age. Kahu is destined to become leader of her tribe and no matter how hard she tries to show her worth, her grandfather won’t accept that a girl can take over his role as chief. However, things change when Kahu rescues the ancient whale beached in the Whangara Harbour.

Author Witi Ihimaera is delighted with this production of his acclaimed work and says, “Tim’s proposal is ingenious and accessible to children. I am confident that the outcome will be a production that will captivate its young audiences and, especially, inspire them to always keep looking forward with optimism to their own futures as adults in a challenging world.”

Puppets Make Show Ideal For Children
Tim Bray (Playwright / Director) says, “It is a huge privilege to bring this iconic story to life, and this time with children as the target audience. The idea of puppetry came from writing the first part of the show, the legend of Paikea and his whale. I remembered that the wharenui at Whangara has a model of Paikea riding the whale on top of the gable roof and thought that using these models would be a great way to tell the legend. Out of that came the decision to stage the play with puppets representing each of the many characters in the story. We’re sure you’ll enjoy what we’ve created for you and your children and grandchildren.”

The show is an official part of the 2014 Matariki Festival which gets bigger every year. Ensuring the show is culturally correct or tikanga Maori, we have been fortunate to have Tamati Patuwai from Mad Ave Studios as our Kaitawaenga (Maori Advisor) overseeing the production and Tuirina Rehi on the rehearsal floor with us as our Poutiaki Maori (Maori Dramaturg).

The Whale Rider is a story which has resonance with many New Zealanders and it’s our goal to be able to share it in a theatre production with the children who make up our own multi-cultural audience - 20,000 or more of whom attend our shows at The PumpHouse Theatre annually. Our big dream is take this iconic story internationally, with the first step in taking this show to new audiences is a tour of The Whale Rider to Northland in August.

Theatre Workshops
During the July school holidays Tim Bray Productions is offering full and half-day theatre workshops that encapsulate the whole theatre experience. Activities include drama games, a backstage tour of a working theatre, hands on art and craft workshops geared around the show, as well as a ticket to see The Whale Rider.

Full Day Workshop 9am – 3pm, $75
Half Day Workshop 9am  - 12.30pm, $55
Tues 8th, Wed 9th, Tues 15th and Wed 16th July
Email or call 486-2261 for more info or to book.

by Channel Magazine