Community collaboration on play
When the Hawke’s Bay Drama Workshop’s rendition of Pania opens at East Pier on December 2, it is much more than a recounting of a local story that will play out.
“When writer Amanda Jackson began the journey of writing this play, she quickly came to the realisation that she was, in fact, about to bring to life the history of Nga¯ ti Paarau, a hapu¯ based at Waiohiki, and also tell a story that has been largely misunderstood by many locals and visitors alike,” says Workshop director Juliet Cottrell.
“The story of Pania has been seen by so many as a tragic love story, of loss and grief, when in fact it is one of enduring commitment, of hope, guardianship and the balance between the sea and land of this coastline.”
The two women believe the story is about creation — of Ranginui and Papatu¯ a¯ nuku — and the integrity with which it is told, has become a key focus for them both. This has meant close consultation with the Tareha family, some of the story’s owners.
This close collaboration has led to a clearer understanding of the story and intrigued local community, drawing participation from more than 100 children, and support from local artist, David Trubridge, who has
created a central piece for the set.
The hopes of director, writer and story owners is that those involved will come to a better understanding of the richness of this region and the ongoing part this story plays in the lives of those who live here.
■ For more information visit https:/ /www.eventfinda.co.nz/ 2018/pania/napier or phone 0800 289849 or visit the Hastings or Havelock North I-site.