STORY STUDIO LIVE 2022: Aotearoa

Live + Livestreamed to schools, New Zealand wide

01/08/2022 - 28/09/2022

Production Details

Devised by Carrie Green, Tadhg Mackay, Natasha McAllister, Mycah Keall and Jthan Morgan
Directed by Carrie Green

Presented by Capital E National Theatre for Children

Capital E’s National Theatre for Children proudly presents Story Studio Live Aotearoa 2022, a high-energy, multi-genre, TV broadcast, performed in a Te Whanganui-a-Tara studio, live-streamed exclusively to your school hall!  

Don’t miss the final tour of Story Studio Live. This year, we’re introducing a new way to bring theatre to schools and interact with ākonga through the power of digital technology. This year’s theme is all about Aotearoa and discovering where ākonga come from through our history and embracing te reo Māori via a huge live interactive screen.

Surf the TV channels and travel back in time. Explore the history of your town / region’s name and other places across Aotearoa, learning the meanings behind their names. We invite you to use this unique production as a platform to help you explore these topics with your ākonga.

Ākonga will be able to interact exclusively through the live screen with our studio performers from your school hall during the performance. All the equipment for the live-stream performance will be supplied, along with our friendly technician, who will set it up before the performance starts and be there to assist with interaction between ākonga and the studio performers.

This experience has strong links to the New Zealand Curriculum through The Arts, English and Social Sciences e.g., New Zealand Aotearoa Histories curriculum.

This theatre project features professional actors and technicians and highlights the history of our home and what it means to ākonga. Story Studio Live will show your ākonga how the creative ideas of the past helped shaped their current world, encouraging them to offer their ideas and stories, inspiring our upcoming generation of creative thinkers.

Story Studio LIVE Aotearoa 2022 | Capital E

PRICE: $1 per ākonga ($100 minimum) 

Show times are at 9.30am and 1.30pm on the dates below.

North Island 
Wellington / Hutt Valley / Porirua: 1-5 August 2022 – Limited Capacity
Palmerston North: 8-9 August 2022 
New Plymouth: Cancelled
Wairarapa: 11-12 August 2022
Hamilton: 15-16 August 2022    
Whangarei: 18-19 August 2022 
Auckland: 22-26 August 2022 
Tauranga: 29-30 August 2022 
Whakatane: 1-2 September 2022 
Gisborne: 5-6 September 2022  – Limited Capacity
Napier: 8-9 September 2022 – Limited Capacity 

South Island
Christchurch: 13-16 September 2022
Invercargill: 19-20 September 2022
Dunedin: 22-23 September 2022
Blenheim: 27-28 September 2022 

Director: Carrie Green

Wellington Cast: Mycah Keall, Natasha McAllister and Jthan Morgan 

Touring Technician/Host: Tadhg Mackay

Creative Director, National Theatre for Children: Lynne Cardy
Creative Consultant: Regan Taylor
Managing Producer: Kathiy Watson
Associate Producer: Nina Hogg
Technical Production Coordinator: Mattias Olofsson
Technical Advisor/live stream design/video editor/swing for Touring Technician/Host: Flynn Mehlhopt
Studio Technician: Isaac Kirkwood
Studio Technician Intern: Nicholas Batey (Toi Whakaari)
Studio Stage Manager: Michael Clark
Bookings Coordinator: Abby Rainbow
Marketing Coordinators: Rochelle Clark and Elena Torres  

Major Funder Creative New Zealand  

Live stream , Theatre ,

Proves how invaluable the performing arts can be in teaching right across the curriculum

Review by John Smythe 06th Aug 2022

This year, Capital E National Theatre for Children’s Story Studio Live has taken the judicious step of minimising the touring component, containing three performers in Avalon Studios (Lower Hutt) and offering an interactive experience for schools (years 3 to 8) that dips into the history of Aotearoa.

Previous Story Studio Live shows toured the whole shebang around the motu. It kicked off in 2018 with a script developed by four mentored students aged 12 to 18, producing an inventive and lively blend of storytelling and performance abetted by fun-to-watch live sound-effects (aka SFX or Foley) creation. In 2019, storytelling workshops in schools with children aged 11 to 13 explored themes of cultural identity to create a show that blended fun with deep, important and heartfelt messages (to quote reviewer Jo Hodgson).

2020 was cancelled due to Covid and in 2021 Story Studio Live bravely resumed nationwide touring with another workshops in schools-developed show about climate change which interacted with its young audiences to (as Jo puts it) used the “aspects of learning through theatrical play are essential for growing our kids in a positive way so they have the capacity and facility to make a difference in their lifetime.” Tautoko to that!

Story Studio Live 2022: Aotearoa, devised by the company,reaches back to the imminent Te Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories that will be part of all kura and schools’ marau ā-kura and local curriculum in 2023 (released in March 2022 to give kura and schools time to plan for implementation).

The school hall – I’m at Thorndon School for a show attended by a younger cohort of ākonga (students) – features a large screen and a tech desk with all the gear needed for the internet and/or satellite connections that will facilitate live interaction between the ākonga and studio-based performers. On the floor at the school, working the desk and hosting the show is Tadhg Mackay.

Ākonga sit on the floor flanked by two Kaiako (teachers). Casually gracing the screen in their greenscreen studio are the performers: Natasha McAllister, Mycah Keall and Jthan Morgan who will prove to be wonderfully versatile in this livestream performance and the sketches – some pre-recorded – that make up the show, directed by their co-devisor Carrie Green.

By way of a warm-up, Tadhg gets the ākonga interacting with the performers via a microphone embedded in a sponge rubber cube that’s happily tossed about as required. Jthan, Mycah and Natasha readily respond to requests to act out puppets, the FBI, explorers lost in the jungle, a tree … before the focus turns to local history. The show proper has begun.

Being in Wellington/ Pōneke/ Te Whanaganui-a-Tara, its many names are canvassed before ‘Breaking News’ brings us a report of the battle between two taniwha, Whātaitai and Ngake, that created the harbour and topography we know today. Doubtless each region will be treated with its own ‘Breaking News’ legend.

We get a sketch about the ‘discovery’ and re-naming of Aotearoa by Abel Tasman and Captain Cook, interacting with whale-riding Tane who disappears below the waves in a clever bit of greenscreen magic. Another sketch depicts an earnest discussion between three self-important Victorian gentlemen about what to call its islands – and we all know how creative their decision was.

Three ‘Famous Places’ segments, dotted throughout the show, see Captain Cook, Queen Victoria and Hone Heke interviewed about all the places names after them, the point being made that Heke just gets a few streets.

Meanwhile interactive segments include Cool Thing About [insert the relevant suburb/ town/ city/ region], a Where Am I? quiz show, discovering the meaning of te reo Māori words, including place names, plus a bit of NZ Sign language.

There is a police chase where one of the kaiako is suddenly on screen in close-up, and a story of Kupe that, in the process of reaching how Aotearoa was named, casts both kaiako in key roles on the journey – to the huge delight of ākonga.

Hone Heke offers an uncharacteristically gentle wero about maybe changing the town called Russell back to Kororāreka before the well-stimulated audience is left to make their own histories.

Studio Technicians Isaac Kirkwood and Nicholas Batey, and Studio Stage Manager Michael Clark, complete the highly skilled team who ensure the show is highly engaging from start to finish. With Story Studio Live 2022: Aotearoa, Capital E proves once more how invaluable the performing arts can be in teaching right across the curriculum.

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