The Way of the Raukura

 

Mt Albert Baptist is returning to its musical roots with an original new stage show The Way of the Raukura—a Parihaka Musical.

The incredible true story of the invasion of the pacifist village Parihaka has gained international significance—yet surprisingly few New Zealanders know it. 

This new stage musical is written by our lead pastor Steve Worsley, a former concert pianist who was inspired to put the story of Parihaka to music and drama in a way that reflects the cross-cultural challenges of today.

We’re carrying on a proud tradition—MAB has a long history of producing and performing musicals and was the launching pad for Source Theatre, a Christian production company which produced more than 20 musicals over three decades and toured overseas.

To bring the compelling story of Parihaka to the stage in mid 2020, we have just held auditions to recruit a main cast of about 40 actors for the non-profit production (on a pro-bono basis).

The Way of the Raukura—a Parihaka Musical is coming to the stage mid-2020 with permission from Parihaka’s Papakainga Trust.


Production team

Meet the team behind the musical! Catherine, Steve, Jo and Mike have decades of experience in productions and music.

Read more about the team and their roles here.

Contact the team at musical@mabc.org.nz.


Contributing song writer—Sarah Tahere

Sarah’s original song Under the Mountain was the inspiration that sparked this musical. She wrote the song for an evening MAB held two years’ ago to learn more about Parihaka, and performed it with her family. The song tells of how war meets peace, guns meet grace and love meets greed and features twice in the musical. 

“When we first heard Under the Mountain we all felt the emotional impact of the song and the story suddenly became more than a series of facts. It was at that moment that the vision for telling the whole story through music was born.” — Steve Worsley


The story

The Way of the Raukura tells the story of a wanted murderer who flees to Parihaka, and his journey in the pacifist village until it is invaded by an army. The raukura, feather, is a symbol of peace for Parihaka and an emblem of the people and all they stand for. 

Based on the true story of how the village extended arms of peace to soldiers set on plundering land in 1881, it’s told through the eyes of two main historical characters—Wiremu Hiroki, the murderer on the run, and Samuel Crombie Brown, a reporter and eye witness of the events. 

A tale of resilience and heartbreak, courage and loss, the musical focuses on the inspiring response of the Parihaka village and the relationships between the lead characters as they bravely face an uncertain future.

Journey with Wiremu as he considers the way of the raukura—which path will he choose? 


Permission from Parihaka's kaumatua

The Way of the Raukura—a Parihaka Musical is coming to the stage mid-2020 with permission from Parihaka’s Papakainga Trust.

Steve travelled to Parihaka a number of times in the last two years to talk with the community’s kaumātua and share his vision for the musical. He recently shared the script with the Trust and they gave written consent for the musical to go ahead! 

We feel incredibly honoured to have been given this opportunity.


Mt Albert Baptist has a long history of producing musicals

We’re returning to our musical roots—our church has a long history of producing and performing musicals and was the launching pad for Source Theatre, a Christian production company which produced more than 20 musicals over three decades and toured overseas.

The late renown Christian playwright Wayne Wright wrote more than a dozen musicals during his time as the church’s youth pastor in the 1970s, and continued writing for Source Theatre. 

During his time with the church, the productions were performed by the 100-strong youth group.

Source Ministries was founded in 1982, later becoming Source Theatre, and the productions were performed around New Zealand and overseas until 2005. 

Source Theatre had many musical hits including Edge of Tomorrow—the story of the famous missionary Hudson Taylor, and Pilgrim’s Progress. These were performed in New Zealand, Australia, with Edge of Tomorrow also touring in Singapore and Canada. 






When do rehearsals start? 
Regular rehearsals will start in February 2020.
If you’re planning to audition, we ask you to please set aside these times from February onwards next year—Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. That’s when we plan to hold regular rehearsals, and although you may not be required at every rehearsal we need to know you are available if needed.
 
What’s the musical style?
The Way of the Raukura is a stage show combining drama and music. It has 18 songs that are a key (pun intended) part of the story telling. The songs vary from jazz influenced to a march and English folk songs. There’s also a children’s song. There are plenty of vocal harmonies and echoes.
The music is scored for drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitars, trumpets, piano and keyboard. The music will be live.

How big is the cast?  
We are looking to recruit a cast of about 40 actors. There are a variety of characters we need including those cast to play Māori and Pākehā characters—we welcome auditions from all ethnicities.

When will the musical hit the stage?
We expect to stage the show in the middle of 2020, at MAB’s newly built auditorium. More information about our building project and what the new auditorium will look like is here.

LINKS:

FAQs

Production team


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