Wellington-based dramatic arts group 2Face Drama are on tour performing their latest production, The Rebel in Me. The message behind the production is youth suicide prevention.
There are 35 rangatahi in the production, with the youngest aged 10.
Director Charlizza Harris says, “It's got drama, dance, kapa haka, hip hop and it follows the story of a troubled young person who is...going through some things but she covers it up with anger and by acting out at school and getting in trouble with the police.”
2Face Drama first began in 2012 when Harris was only 18. Six years later the group continues to raise awareness around youth issues including alcohol abuse, violence and youth suicide.
Sarah Pihema, who plays one of the lead roles in the production, says, “[It's] the rangatahi that need to be let in the conversation because all the older people are saying 'you need to do this, you need to do this to fix your problem' but it's a proven point that young people connect with other young people.”
All members in the production have been touched by suicide which is the reason a lot of them joined.
2Face Drama member Hineiturama Hohipa shared with us that “a few years ago my auntie had commited suicide, last year my grandmother had died and so suicide had also crossed my mind because I wanted to be with her.”
Jazz Kemp, who lives in Napier but is on tour with the group, hopes "to showcase this issue with the aim of helping others.”
From Rotorua the production will make its way to Mahia for a final performance before returning to Wellington.