My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
In 2018, I completed a conjoint degree from Waikato – a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education, allowing me to put my love for drama and education to good use. After graduating I wanted to address the lack of opportunities for Māori storytelling in the Waikato. In my theatrical experience, there have been very few opportunities to audition for Māori characters. So I decided to create the pieces myself and share stories from my community. With the support of the Waikato New Works Incubator Programme, I devised, performed and toured nationwide my show [name redacted]. In 2018 I also founded my own theatre company. The kaupapa of the company is to bring Māori storytelling to the mainstream stage. My debut show, which was co-written with a friend, was performed to a sell-out crowd at a local festival.
Following the successful tour of my show I have gone on to win a Creative New Zealand emerging artist award which recognises young successful Māori artists who are starting out in their career. In 2020 I was awarded a Fringe Most Promising Emerging Artist. With my mentor, we have been collaborating for future performances supported by Creative New Zealand. I have also been involved in online creative projects such as Koanga Festival. My most current venture is devising a show which will be previewed later this year with the support of Creative NZ.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
In 2018 I founded my own theatre company (name redacted). We performed a sell-out show at a local festival.
In 2019 I debuted a show and won an award at the Creative New Zealand Te Waka toi Awards. Recently I took my show on a national tour, with mostly sold out performances. The show was nominated for a number of awards, including Most Promising Emerging Artist. The show has been performed to support a campaign, working with two respected mentors to devise and create performances supported by Creative NZ.
In 2020 I organised, planned and implemented workshops for Year 10 to 11 students at a local high school. Currently I am working towards the debut of my next show, supported by Creative NZ.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I am a second year fully trained Secondary Drama Teacher. I taught for one year at a local college following my graduation. I left teaching at the end of 2019 to pursue my acting career as I found I wasn't able to sustain both and I wanted to follow my creative passion. As a professional secondary teacher I have an array of experience in teaching our akonga. Throughout this year I have worked with two schools on relief. I also ran workshops for students as a professional creative with an emphasis on devising and group ensemble.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I want to be involved in this programme so I can continue to reach out to the community and inspire our young people. As mentioned in the first part of my application, I want to address the lack of opportunities for Māori storytelling in the Waikato and I want to share stories from my community. The project we are proposing for Creatives in Schools will bring the whole community together in a positive away after the negative experience of the fire which decimated a huge area of the school. It would allow the rebuild and culmination of the whole process to be finalised in a really positive way for the school and wider community. This project would bring a gathering of the community to share a message of strength and resilience. I want to share the stories from my community and this project would do exactly that, a community I have taught in and I have heard countless times the pain of what it caused. With my expertise in theatre I would be able to aid in bringing this performance to reality, giving the community a voice and a celebration.