Wāhine Māori 'hold up half the sky' in exciting new play

By D'Angelo Martin

Half of the Sky, a play that looks at the different elements of love from a whānau perspective. Some of Māoridoms big names in the entertainment industry like actress Kura Forrester and Awhina Rose Henare star in the production

The different elements of love within a family environment is the main theme for this new play.

Actor Awhina Henare Ashby says, “The idea and the word love is what really stands out for me! The love expressed between a family, and the love for home.”

Producer Baylee Watene-Kay says, “The synopsis of the play looks at three sisters who return back to their homestead. They reminisce on moments from the past, and are looking ahead to what's installed for their future.”

Last night was the opening night for the play. Watene-Kay says that the synopsis isn't new. But those who watch are still captivated by what's being told.

“When someone comes to watch them play it's not like the concept is new. But what I hope people take away when they leave, is to have a strong sense of love for their own, for their home and for their mates.”

It was a three-week build-up for the cast to prepare themselves for the play and learning their characters during the process. Ruihi is played by Ashby and she is one of the sisters in the play.

“In my opinion, Ruihi is quite a unique character, she's strong-minded, stubborn loves to debate with her sisters and she believes that she's the one who needs to take care of everyone.”

Ashby is one of Māoridom's stars when it comes to the performing industry. Having lead roles in the comedy TV show ‘The Ring Inz’ and even Shortland Street.

“When working on something in front of the camera, you're restricted and things are so limited. Whereas if you’re in a space like this, you’re free to explore and be more vocal so that even your ancestors can hear you.”

Half of The Sky will come to an end next weekend.