Northland Youth Theatre takes to the road

20 January 2017

Northland Youth Theatre takes to the road

The story of a brother and sister growing up in Te Tai Tokerau is the subject of a summer regional tour about to get under way by Northland Youth Theatre.

Te Waiora – From the Mountains to the Sea is a new work which will start touring next week as the youth theatre’s annual summer show, with performances at Dargaville, Opononi, Kaikohe and Whangarei.

It tells the tale of a brother and sister who live among the maunga (mountains) of Northland, and explores their life and feelings through dance, song and heart.

The talented young people from the theatre, who come from all over the region, have spent the last two weeks living and workshopping the production at NorthTec’s Te Puna o Te Mātauranga marae in Raumanga. NorthTec is one of the sponsors for the event.

The production is directed by experienced theatre personality Chris Graham, working with Waimihi Hotere, Kelly Nash and musical director Joby Hope.

Tour dates for Te Waiora are as follows:

  • Dargaville – 24 January, 7pm at Dargaville War Memorial Hall

  • Opononi – 25 January, 5.30pm at Opononi Area School

  • Kaikohe – 26 January, 7pm at Kaikohe Memorial Hall

  • Whangarei – 27 January, 7pm at 116 Bank Street

  • Whangarei – 28 January, 7pm at Capitaine Bougainville Theatre

Entry to the Whangarei performances cost $12 or $17, while tickets for the Dargaville, Opononi and Kaikohe events are available at a special touring price of $5. For bookings, email

Director Chris Graham has an extensive background in performing arts and education. Waimihi Hotere also has a background in performing arts, and notably produced and performed in The Maori Troilus and Cressida that opened the Globe to Globe festival in London in 2012.

Kelly Nash is a choreographer and dancer who has performed with many New Zealand companies. She is currently choreographer for Atamira and her work Indigenarchy was chosen to be performed at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts in the USA. Joby Hopa is well known for his role as composer and tutor for Hatea Kapa Haka and his community work in Northland.

Jessica Collins, Northland Youth Theatre Manager, said it was exciting to be launching the roadshow of a production “by Northland, for Northland.” She said: “The performers are a committed bunch who have been working and playing hard under the guidance of four talented directors.”