Com­mu­nity col­lab­o­ra­tion on play

Napier Courier - - News -

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.

Amanda agrees.

“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:/ / 2018/pa­nia/napier or phone 0800 289849 or visit the Hast­ings or Have­lock North I-site.

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