Māori theatre company in partnership with Auckland theatre

By Regan Paranihi

Māori theatre company, Te Rehia Theatre, has teamed up with the Auckland Theatre Company to showcase their new and unique play Astroman, written by Albert Bells.

Producer Amber Curreen says it is a first for both companies and she is excited to see Māori theatre in shared partnership with one of the biggest theatre companies in New Zealand.

"Even though one might be big and one might be smaller, looking at what tino rangatiratanga looks like within these partnerships, within the arts, is really important...This is the first time these companies have done this kind of partnership and it's allowed us to have a show at this scale."

Astroman is a play that takes a look back at the pop culture of the 80s, including the era's fascination with arcade games.

“Hemi Te Rehua is the character in the play, he is a genius.  These games are like medicine for him because he can't seem to stay on the right track.  However, when he plays these games he always comes out on top every time.”

Curreen says there is more to the production world than what you merely see on stage.

“It’s not just the art that goes up on stage and the way that we treat each other while we make, while we create, what is that rehearsal room like, what is it like when we create in a tikanga based way, he mea rereke. It's really important to have that Māori leadership at the front.”

The play is currently on showcase at Q Theatre in Auckland City until April 6.