July 7, 2009


Ma te atua koe e tiaki e te rangatira i roto i te whare wairua o ta matau matua. He mihi tenei ki a Murray ki koutou hoki nga kai whakahaere o tana whakaro aroha,mo to koutou tiakinga ia matou te ropu o SmackBang.
Māori Proverb
"Nâ tô rourou, nâ taku rourou
ka ora ai te iwi"

"With your food basket and my food basket
the people will thrive"
We open this letter with a prayer of thanks to Murray and express gratitude to the people entrusted with Murray’s legacy for their support of SmackBang over the past year and for the coming year. With this support SmackBang is able to continue working and move forward with its plans to continue supporting the arts community.

Before we get down to business we (Tainui and Charlie) would like to farewell Gabrielle Rhodes and Jared Turner from SmackBang. We would like to acknowledge all the work and love they have both put in to the company. A special thank you to Jared for taking the initiative to give SmackBang its first breath of life as a theatre company focused on creating opportunities. We are committed to keep a company with such an honourable mission alive. Good luck to the both of you and please come back and share your talents when ever you get the chance.

Now let’s get down to business.

Following our success from 2008 we have been offered a unique opportunity by Margaret-Mary Hollins at TAPAC. SmackBang has been invited to become the Theatre Company In Residence for their venue.

What this opportunity will mean to SmackBang is that with a theatre venue behind us we can continue creating opportunities, but on a grander scale.

SmackBang’s plan from here on in:

SmackBang will be presenting a programme of five professional plays at TAPAC Theatre in 2010.

From March to July we will be running SmackBang as per any other theatre company producing 2 plays with 7 – 10 day seasons. In the second half of the year we will be introducing our new initiative. SmackBang will create a company of 6-8 actors to work two back to back plays. Same actors. Different plays. Different directors.

Along with this initiative mentorship opportunities will be provided for people interested in directing, set design, lighting design and stage-managing.

The reason we will be utilising the same cast for two back-to-back plays is because each performer will get more out of the opportunity. For people with an existing profile they can keep flexing their acting muscles. And for the newcomers this is a chance to show themselves off in a professional arena, and work with experienced theatre practitioners. If it proves successful we plan to continue this ‘Company’ initiative every year.

With this new focus our PlayRight playwriting competition will be no more. The way we plan on creating opportunities for writers is by commissioning them to write new works that we will help develop and produce onto the stage. The first of which is already underway and is being penned by award-winning playwright Albert Belz, and will premier with its first season in June 2010 at TAPAC.

Another aspect of our new focus is a development branch of SmackBang organised by Amber Curreen. SmackBang will hold workshops or play readings at TAPAC on the last weekend of every month beginning July 2009. The objective of the development branch is to create as many different opportunities for professionals to up-skill. We will do our best to make these classes accessible by making the workshops open to all professionals and as affordable as possible. Workshops will range from $20-$60 to cover costs. We will endeavour to have something for all artists. Your opinions on what kind of workshops we should be doing are most welcome. Please email Amber Curreen at smackbangdevelopment@gmail.com with any suggestions.

This is also a good opportunity to introduce Ngati productions. This new Māori production company will operate as a subsidiary company of SmackBang with a particular focus on developing, creating and producing Māori based works both new and proven. The first show that Ngati will be producing is Ngamanurere the very well received debut piece written by Renae Maihi.

The business manager of Ngati Productions will be Ben Wood and the producer/artistic director will be Nicola Kawana, while Tainui Tukiwaho will be the executive Director for Ngati.

So in conclusion, we have been made Company in Residence at TAPAC theatre and will be producing a programme of five professional plays at TAPAC Theatre in 2010. (2 of which will be performed by our company).We will commission, develop and produce a new professional writer every year to create a brand new piece of kiwi theatre to premier at TAPAC (this replaces our one season of PlayRight). We will also be holding regular development workshops and new play readings on the last weekend of every month (this will replace the weekly K’Rd performances) as well as introducing a new Māori Theatre company to Auckland named Ngati Productions.

Well there you have it!

There is a lot there to digest, so if you have any questions, anything at all Charlie and Tai will be at TAPAC (Theatre across the road from the Zoo, Motions rd) from 6pm 15th July, having a drink and something to eat at TAPAC’s new bar. Please come down and spend a little time with us, give us some feed back and some company. It’s been along time and we want to kick this new SmackBang off with…well a "BANG!"

Kia ora for your time everyone

Tainui Tukiwaho
Charlie Unwin

SmackBang Theatre Co.
PO Box 68312
p: +64 (0)21 179 0111
    +64 (0)21 303 106
e: smackbang@gmail.com

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