PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

T H E   B A T T A L I O N 

TV SPECIAL IN DEVELOPMENT

The Battalion is a powerful work about friendship, loyalty, and the lost innocence of youth

- where the adventure of war is played out to the bitter end.

There has been, in recent years, a renewed public interest in the Māori Battalion and in national ANZAC day commemorations. There has been a huge increase in adults enrolling in courses to learn Te Reo and petitions to resource and teach more Reo and NZ History in our schools.

Many members of the Māori Battalion were just kids, as young as 15, when they left for WWII, and seeing these soldiers portrayed by actual rangatahi, of that age, is a powerful and sobering experience. These rangatahi completely inhabit the world of the production. With their passion and aroha, they give back to us new understanding, new perspectives and the opportunity to heal the wrongs of the past.

The power of the work is in seeing young people completely inhabit the world of the production, playing roles we usually associate with adults with passion, sincerity and aroha. Many members of the Māori Battalion were just kids when they left, and seeing them portrayed by actual rangatahi is a powerful and sobering experience.

Our vision for The Battalion is a theatrical length television-event for screening ANZAC Day 2020.

A TV version of the stage production of The Battalion will be a stirring, emotional and rewarding experience for audiences.

“There is something poignantly moving about watching kids of diverse cultures acting out roles

that their grandparents, great-grandparents or in this case, given how young they are,

great great grandparents lived for real. 

At one stage my hair is prickling at the back of my neck and I feel tears welling… ” 

Maraea Rakuraku for Theatreview

T H E   B A T T A L I O N

TO RĒKOHU 

Te Rākau is thrilled to have received fudging to tour a product of THE BATTALION with rangatahi from the Greater Wellington Region to Rēkohu - Chatham Islands. It is an rote that has its challenges for a touring company, but we are determined to work with the community and make it work.

The population over the two largest Islands is approximately 600, with nearly 60% identifying as Māori and 14% as fluent in Te Reo Māori.

MORE COMING SOON...

T H E A T R E   M A R A E TOURISM 

Te Rākau is developing a product that would provide an immersive experience for Tourists and New Zealanders alike, that encompasses tikanga, manaakitanga, matauranga Māori and Māori stories.

 

Our vision is for evening events in Wellington over the Summer tourism period that include a performance of Helen Pearse-Otene’s critically acclaimed play The Battalion by a mix of professional and rangatahi performers, a traditional Māori hangi dinner, and an open korero where audiences can share their stories, and waiata and traditions; ask questions of the cast and creators; and share their reflections.

The project wILL employ up to 50 local Māori as performers, Production staff, caterers, and manaakitanga/front-of-house. It would be a draw-card for Wellington as a unique Tourism experience, and would give rangatahi the opportunity to work with a professional Theatre Company that promotes aroha, fosters whanaungatanga, enhances the mana of everyone involved, and wraps them in a kaupapa Māori environment that is nurturing and holistic.

MORE COMING SOON...