From kapa haka to theater - Rangatahi gain industry experience

By Te Ao Māori News

A group of students from Te Wharekura o Mauao have been given an opportunity to learn from some of the best in Māori theatre. Te Kohe Tuhaka is preparing the students to take part in Te Puhi, a play that pays homage to the first Māori beauty queens.

A blend of talented Wānanga and Wharekura students have been given an opportunity to take part in Cian Elyse Waitī's 'Te Puhi', a play based on the first Māori beauty queens, Maureen Kingi, Moana Whaanga and Keita White.

Director Te Kohe Tuhaka says, "The students have come to focus their energies on learning the skills of an actor, to see it and to feel what it takes to work in theatre."

Wiremu Mako is the guitarist for Te Mātārae i Ōrehu and says through kapa haka, his students have been able to immerse themselves in performing arts and through theatre, they are able to expand their horizons even further.

"For these students from Te Wharekura o Mauao, this is their desired career path. This is what they want to do once they finish school, to follow a career in theatre. It's a great experience for them to be able to observe experts in this field and to receive guidance from them."

Although some students can be shy, the theatre experience has provided them with a platform to express their thoughts and feelings.

Student Trey Matthews says, "For me, I'm quite a shy person so it's pretty hard standing up and acting in front of different people. But through theatre, I'm able to express my thoughts."

Te Puhi goes into production on the 8th of June.