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  • TE RĀKAU

Decolonising theatre and ensemble training in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Te Rākau Hua o Te Wao Tapu Theat

Helen Pearse-Otene | 4 December 2020


This article discusses the work of Māori theatre company Te Rākau Hua o Te Wao Tapu, and its approach to decolonising theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand through its Theatre Marae programme.

 

Abstract

This article discusses the work of Māori theatre company Te Rākau Hua o Te Wao Tapu, and its approach to decolonising theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand through its Theatre Marae programme.


First, I locate the establishment of Te Rākau and Theatre Marae as a response to Māori being excluded from mainstream theatre, then present a summary of Te Rākau’s contribution to the development of contemporary Māori theatre, theatre-in-education and applied community theatre over the past thirty years.


Finally, I describe the core processes of Te Rākau’s Theatre Marae programme as an example of embedding Indigenous customs and philosophy in the ensemble as a decolonising strategy in actor training.


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