Breaking Ground

Massey University, The Pit, Wallace St, Mount Cook
AND Toi Pōneke, 61-69 Abel Smith St, Te Aro

Ngā mihi mahana kia koutou katoa, Kia orana kotou katoatoa!

We welcome you to Breaking Ground - a vital development festival that workshops and tests new ideas and stories within a mana Māori, mana Pasifika kaupapa.

In 2017 this festival, previously known as the Matariki Development Festival, will commence a new evolution in it’s eighth year, marking the festival’s vision to better serve the Māori and Pasifika creative industry in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This year we are proud to present two public and free Rehearsed Readings and one Artist Panel showcasing the work of creative natives from Australia, Hawai’i, New Zealand and the Pacific – all are welcome to attend and enjoy these free public events.

Our first rehearsed reading THURSDAY 8 JUNE presents work “Cracked” from Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company in Australia, and “My Boy He Play Boy” by Tammy Haili’ōpua Baker from Hawai’i.

Our second rehearsed reading SATURDAY 10 JUNE presents fresh monologues “Maranga Mai New Writing” by Wāhine Māori, Va’ine Pasifica emerging writers, and “Uma Lava” by acclaimed NZ/Samoan playwright Victor Rodger.

Our Artist Panel is your chance to meet our amazing Breaking Ground feature artists – Tammy Haili’ōpua Baker (Hawai’i), Kyle Morrison and Barbara Hostelek (Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, Australia), and Victor Rodger (NZ/Samoa)

Breaking Ground is excited to create a strong focus for the development of new Māori and Pasifika writers, as well as a platform to introduce senior global indigenous playwrights to Wellington and Aotearoa New Zealand.

To further this development in 2018, we look forward to welcoming emerging and established choreographers as well as Playwrights.

Breaking Ground 2017

Rehearsed Readings #1 Thursday 8th June: 1PM – 3PM at Massey University, The Pit, Wallace St, Mount Cook, Wellington Open to the public, free of charge CRACKED by Barbara Hostelek with Kyle Morrison (Australia) MY BOY HE PLAY BOY by Tammy Haili'opua Baker (Hawai'i)

Meet the Artists Panel Thursday 8th June: 6.30PM - 8PM at Toi Pōneke, 61-69 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington Open to the public, free of charge / Hosted by Playmarket NZ NGĀ HAU O WHĀ: Meet Tammy Haili'opua Baker (Hawai'i), Kyle Morrison and Barbara Hostelek (Australia), facilitated by Victor Rodger (NZ/Samoa)

Rehearsed Readings #2 Saturday 10th June: 1PM – 3PM at Massey University, The Pit, Wallace St, Mount Cook, Wellington Open to the public, free of charge MARANGA MAI NEW WRITING by Wāhine Māori + Va'ine Pasifika emerging writers UMA LAVA by Victor Rodger (NZ/Samoa)


Yirra Yaakin (Yir-raarh Yaarh-kin), which means “Stand Tall” in Noongar language, is one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal performing arts organisations producing award-winning, world-class theatre that is exciting, entertaining, educational, authentic and culturally appropriate. Established in 1993, the Year of Indigenous People, as Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre, they started off with one successful funding application, three staff members and the desire to provide the Aboriginal community with an artistic outlet for positive self-determination.

Barbara Hostalek is an aspiring playwright whose plays Cracked (2015), Banned (2016) and Go Fish (2017) have been developed by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company as part of the Writers Group. Cracked was further developed in 2016 by Playwrighting Australia and Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Barbara graduated from Murdoch University with degrees in Bachelor of Science (Veterinary Biology) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in 2000.

Kyle J Morrison has been working in the theatre industry in Western Australia as an actor for 19 years, working for such theatre companies as Black Swan, Deckchair Theatre, Barking Gecko, and Yirra Yaakin. In 2008 Kyle was the assistant director on Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Romeo & Juliet, Female Of The Species, written by Joanna Murray for Black Swan Theatre Company and Yibbiyung by Dallas Winmar for Company B Belvoir.

Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker’s is associate Professor of Theatre, Hawaiian Theatre Program Director | Hawaiian Theatre and Language, Pacific and Indigenous Theatre, Playwriting. Tammy’s work centres on the development of an indigenous Hawaiian theatre aesthetic and form, Hawaiian language revitalization, and the empowerment of cultural identity through stage performance. Baker is also a playwright and the artistic director of Ka Ha lau Hanakeaka, a Hawaiian medium theatre troupe. In the Department of Theatre and Dance she oversees both the Hawaiian Theatre and the Playwriting MFA programs.

Dealing with race, identity and sexuality, Victor Rodger continues to transport Pacific lived experiences to the stage. Since Victor graduated from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School in 1997 he has seen much success. The following year Victor won four Chapman Tripp Awards including Most Outstanding New Writer and Most Outstanding New NZ Play for his play Sons. In 2001 he won the Sunday Star Times Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. Victor was awarded the Fullbright CNZ Pacific Writer-in-Residence, University of Hawaii 2006; Ursula Bethell Writer-in-Residence, Canterbury University 2009; and CNZ Pacific Artist-in-Residence, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific.