Later this month, wāhine Māori and the va’ine Pasifika writing collective, Maranga Mai, will launch their new audio drama series. On Saturday, November 26, the five-part series will be released on Kia Mau’s Moana Nui digital platform, with fantastic new writing from Tina McNicholas,
Sandra Tisam, Sherilee Kahui, Teherenui Koteka and
Stevie Greeks. Each writer shares a story that navigates the journey through life’s complexities and challenges, from the perspective of friends, whānau, and even furniture.
The audio series was originally written as part of the playwright festival, Breaking Ground, during Lockdown 2020. They were then recorded in April 2021 at Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, with a cast of over 20 established and emerging actors, including, Tanea Heke, Tina Cook, Erina Daniels,
Ani Piki Tuari, Taylor Rose Terekia, Tane Rolfe, Emma Katene, Roy Iroand Poe Tiare Ruhe-Tararo. Each work is a complete audio production that involves narration, music and soundscape to create an image for listeners and draw them into the world of each story as they listen.
With the series being helmed by the skillful direction of the acclaimed senior Maori artist and director and 2022 Arts Foundation NZ Arts Laureate Hone Kouka. Assist Kouka along the way in the east deputy direction
Tane Rolfe and Stevie Greeks. Maranga Mai audio drama series was crafted by composer and sound producer Karnan Saba.
Created by Tawata Productions, as part of the Breaking Ground International Indigenous Playwriting Festival, the Maranga Mai Collective was created to support the continued development of Maori and Pacific women writers. Based in the Wellington area, the writers involved focus on refining and perfecting their craft – they are writers of poetry, short stories, fiction and plays. Maranga Mai Collective was established in 2017, the collective was created to support mothers, community leaders, college students and full-time workers, who on nights and weekends are also committed writers.
Maranga Mai presents five works by the collective, Whakaarara by Sherilee Kahui, Te Maunga, Te Toa and Manakia by
Teherenui Koteka, Cultivated by
Stevie Greeks, Mira by
Sandra Tisam and Unblocked by
The Maranga Mai Collective has partnered with a small handful of top Aotearoa creators as playwrights since 2017, including Arts Foundation NZ Arts Laureate Ahi Karunaharanartistic director of the Ilbijerri theater company Rachel MazaOckham Prize winner Whiti Hereakaartistic director of the Yirra Yaakin Theater Company Eva Mullaley
and co-founder of Tawata Productions and Kia Mau Festival
The Maranga Mai audio series will launch and be available to stream starting Saturday, November 26 as part of the Moana Nui Digital Theater.
Maranga Mai Collective audio series stories include:
Mira and her friends are forgotten in a tin shed, reliving past tragedies while pissing each other off. The return of a familiar face brings them together again to continue their journey.
Playing time: 19.53
Having a baby changes everything for a woman. Your body no longer belongs to you, your time no longer belongs to you, and your priorities change almost instantly. These changes inevitably affect your relationships.
Whakaarara shows how slight ripples can be the first warning signs of an impending tsunami, as a new mom struggles to stay afloat.
Playing time: 17:02
Ruby returns to her childhood home after the death of her estranged mother. His hikoi takes him between memory, dream and the stories his heart longs to tell.
Playing time: 19:02
Teherenui Koteka, Te Maunga, Te Toa and Manakia
In a world far removed from native values, an offer arises that forces two cousins to decide the fate of their ancestral home.
Playing time: 17:48
Tina McNicholas, Unblocked
Lilieta, aka Lilly, is nearing the end of her busy and extraordinary life. His once strong and infallible memory has now succumbed to bouts of dementia, periodically causing him to lose his bearings. One day, a sudden encounter with an object from her past unexpectedly brings her back to happier times when she was transforming the lives of others she cared for.
Playing time: 26:40
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