Topics: Arts, Kawe Kōrero

The 'yellow brick road' becomes the 'yellow tar-seal road'

By Kawekōrero Reporters
  • Auckland

Dorothy's adventure performed in South Auckland style. That's what you can expect to see in a new theatrical play that's a Polynesian take on the Wizard of Oz starting this month in Auckland. Co-writer and co-director Alison Quigan who works at the Mangere Arts Centre in South Auckland says they like to put their own spin on fairy tales, and so the Wizard of Oz became The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu.

"It's about putting colour on stage, lots of people, and that's our point of difference, we can actually put as many people as we want to on stage and they have a vibrancy and a talent, an excitement which is like nowhere else," says Quigan.

Mangere Arts Centre began doing fairy-tale plays 5 years ago putting out an open audition notice to the community. Last year they staged a successful version of Snow White, and this year chose the Wizard of Oz theme to allow as many of their actors and actresses on stage as possible.

"They see themselves, they put themselves on the stage and they are locals, they are from the Mangere/Ōtāhuhu area."

Quigan says the area attracts people from a diverse range of Polynesian ethnicities, and she's encouraged them to bring their own backgrounds to the stage through language and performance.

"I'll say do you speak another language...oh you speak Tongan, great, say that in Tongan!"

The play will roll out two times a day starting on April 20 through to April 28 at the Mangere Arts Centre.