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Tickets are LIVE for Tide Waits For No Man - Auckland Fringe!

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Tide Waits For No Man comes to the Auckland Fringe Festival this Feb

After a stellar debut season at BATS in Wellington, Nikita Tu-Bryant’s transformative puppetry, physical theatre and shadow play theatre show comes to the Basement this summer in collaboration with SPOOKY ANTICS and Proudly Asian Theatre.

Telling the story of one woman’s quest to reconcile cultural patriarchy in her grandfathers passing, this show is non verbal and is suitable for hearing impaired and non English speakers.

Get your tickets here!

Tide Waits For No Man

Feb 19th - 23rd

Basement Theatre, 6.30pm

Starring and director by Nikita Tu-Bryant,

with Marianne Infante and Chye-Ling Huang


“Tide Waits for No Man: Episode Grace stands out for its inventive use of different forms of dance and movement, shadow puppets and three-dimensional puppets in’s a triumph of this production that the different modes are woven together so seamlessly and skilfully." - Theatreview

Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship announced - Chye-Ling Huang for two new drafts

“The next logical step, if you’re not seeing the work that you believe is valuable in the world, is to just make it yourself.”

Congratulation to PAT co-founder Chye-Ling Huang for receiving the 2019 Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship

This distinguished literary fellowship allows Chye-Ling and fellow recipient Chloe Honum to share an annual stipend of $20,000 and a four-month tenure each at the Sargeson Centre in Auckland.

Chye-Ling Huang directing Fresh off the Page. Photo: John Rata

Chye-Ling Huang directing Fresh off the Page. Photo: John Rata

"There are a number of Asian playwrights making incredible work, but there’s so few of us you can never be fully satisfied with the narratives you see. I’m hungry to see the kind of work that represents myself and people like me. The next logical step, if you’re not seeing the work that you believe is valuable in the world, is to just make it yourself,” says Chye-Ling.

“The work I do with my theatre company, Proudly Asian Theatre, is essentially to dismantle stereotypes by providing platforms which accurately represent Asian people in New Zealand. A natural part of that is creating works that show the nuances of the Asian experience, with the end goal of making our industry much more inclusive while also changing people’s mindsets.”

She aims to complete the final draft of her play Black Tree Bridge – which was shown at the 2016 Auckland Arts festival RAW season, and start the first draft of a new play titled The New Temple, which will be based on queer Asian experiences.

Read the NZBC’s write up here!

Beyond the D-word - The Future of Asian Representation discussed

Diversity is hot - but now what?

“A panel on diversity is like a panel on world peace. It should be seeking a time when we no longer need such panels. It should be a panel actively working towards its own irrelevance. The fact that we’re still having them not only means that we continue to fail, but the false sense of accomplishment in simply having one is deceiving us into thinking that something was tried.” - Marlon James

PAT and Basement attempted to answer the question at Basement Theatre at their regular event Unseen: Unsaid. A future focused discussion prompted by Basement’s 10 year anniversary kicked off talking about Asian representation across the industry - how far we've come and what we can do now to move forward. OG Asians and millennial practitioners just hitting their stride chatted with non-Asian people in positions of casting to find out where the blocks are and how we can remove them together. 



Hweiling Ow

Ahi Karunaharan

Amanda Rees

Ankita Singh

Roseanne Liang

and host, Julie Zhu

Check out some of Julie’s notes and quotes from the evening to kick off your own discussion!

Being confined to the diversity brand

“Why do our published works tend to rehash the same handful of themes and, in particular, the theme of inter-generational conflict set against the backdrop of culture clash? The answer is, in part, connected to the commodification of literature, whereby the writing of an ethnic group becomes a genre (like chick-lit, detective fiction, thriller), and its writers find themselves constrained within the bounds of a brand – a formulaic and ultimately oppressive expectation.” - Kavita Bhanot

- The current trope in many Asian diaspora storytelling is about our relationship to assimilation, to whiteness. Has that become a trope that we are over now? Or do we need to keep rehashing new and alternative interpretations of it?

- It also still centres white people, therefore making them more comfortable or feeling relevant?

Privileged assimilated voices, who gets to speak and be represented?

“To focus only on numbers, to talk only about the need for a greater ‘diversity’ of writers in terms of background, is a limited and misleading approach. The real problem is not simply a monoculture but a mono-ideology, a mono-perspective.” - Kavita Bhanot


- Westernised, educated, middle-class voices with believable NZ accents are promoted above others.

- Chinese and East Asian privilege within 'Asian' spaces.

- Assimilation and the model minority, we are always striving to not be like ‘them’, we’re Asian but not Asian Asian, distancing ourselves from our more overtly Other parents perhaps, so that we can more easily and confidently and stealthily fit into mainstream white spaces.

- CRA described as essentially a white story but happens to be played by Asian people and that that is great. Is that the highest goal we want to strive for?

Academia and the elitism of the diversity conversation

Who is left out of the diversity conversation? Who does not even have the language to talk about these issues? E.g. older generations not exposed to this type of discourse, those too busy trying to survive to be able to indulge in learning discourse.

Criticism and the precariousness of criticism

Where is the room for criticism of work in our own communities? If there is so little room for success, for representation, must we be grateful and celebrate every small morsel we are thrown?

Representation and that desire to see ourselves represented, where is the room for systemic change, not seeing the word for the trees

At the moment the conversation around diversity still centres white people as the sun which we all revolve around. Diversity upholds white supremacy, how do we dismantle that? Can we?

- Ghassan Hage talks about diversity being like a multicultural fair where all the stalls of migrant cultures are neatly on display to be consumed by white people, it is there to serve their enrichment. How do we ensure our interactions with other groups who are not our own are not tokenistic? How do we create authentic relationships?

- Why are we still fighting to be part of the mainstream, are we upholding white supremacy by constantly asking to be let into the system and structure that continues to oppress us, what does decolonisation mean to you?

- Systemic change versus individual change. (Individual change looks like one of us getting funding.)

PAT Chats: PINAY Playwright Marianne Infante

”I want people to feel love, to be hurt, uplifted and inspired.”

Marianne Infante is on the edge of the new - the first bilingual Filipino play to be written in New Zealand, and her first full length work. PAT’s challenge to write for Fresh off the Page is part of a new initiative to support Asian writers to create new works and step outside their creative fields.

Marianne, who began as PAT’s producer for Fresh off the Page, is a proud Filipino who moved to Christchurch at age 11, before moving to Auckland in 2014. Marianne gained a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts degree graduating from Unitec in 2016 and has since multiplied her skills in the creative industry. Her theatre experiences include the Auckland Summer Shakespeare 2017's As You Like It, Emotional Creature (The Others Club) and Rumination (Simple Truth Theatre). As a stage manager she worked on BOYS with Auckland Theatre Company and TEMPO Dance Festival in 2017/2018.


PAT sat down with Marianne to talk about her experience before unleashing PINAY on the world.

Catch PINAY October 17th at The Basement Studio, 8.30pm!

What inspired you to write this play?

I don’t think I can pin it to one inspiration. Many things inspired and motivated me to write this play. It’s been brewing for 2 years and then when all the WHY-DO-I-WANT-TO-WRITE-THIS reasons stacked up together, I got to a point this year when I knew I just HAD to get it out of my chest. Those reasons being: personal lessons and conflicts, appreciation for my culture, for my family, my parents hard-work and love, PAT fighting for representation, sheer lack of Filipino voice in all sector of NZ Arts community, and the fact that I knew I had a genuine story I was so passionate to share and communicate.


What were the challenges you faced during the process?

Expressing and forming feelings into words, specifically scenarios that are so close to home. Writing out the pains and mistakes and fully realising those on the pages of my script; I avoided writing the hardest scenes till I just knew I had to, to finish the script. Another challenge for me was trusting myself as a writer. Trusting myself that the truth and story I have to share mattered.

What do you think makes a good story?

A story of truths. A story that explores the ugly and the complex. A story that activates the space and the people within it and engages people to think, question, maybe challenge and wonder.

How do you want people to feel at the end of your play?

I want people to feel love, to be hurt, uplifted and inspired by it. I want people to feel and understand one’s *malasakit at pagmamahal sa kapwa’t pamilya*

*Loose translation- selflessness/sacrifice/devotion/concern and love for fellow people and family.

‘Who’ did you write your play for?

I wrote this for any young adult who is having to; re-identify with themselves, dissect their multi-layered culture and re-evaluate the real importance and value of ‘love’ and ‘family’. I wrote this for the person I was last year and the year before.

What character was the easiest to write?

Mama. I have so much gratitude for her complexities and immense capability to love that I really enjoyed exploring her energy and essence.

Can you explain the ‘theatrical’ ideas/concepts utilized in the play that you describe?

I wanted to explore and stretch my story past dialogue and I have delved into movement, sound and music. Featuring my awe for Kapa Haka, Tinikling and love for Filipinos karaoke culture. Movement gives me the freedom to express what words can’t hold and moulds together the 3 different languages the character Alex engages with; English, Tagalog and Te Reo. It’s hard to fully translate from one language to another and to actually keep the essence and actual definition of the word just like the word ‘malasakit’ in the question above.  Regarding the musicality of the piece, for me music and singing is used when the emotions being communicated surpasses the dialogue; speaking no longer suffices.

"Orientation is a hugely significant work: sexy, smart, and not putting up with your shit." - New reviews!

"This play could not have cared less about perfectly crafted impeccable representations. On the contrary, the use of cultural symbols is trivial and bleak, seeking to blow mono-dimensional representations into pieces.” - Hainamana


Thanks to Theatrescenes, Hainamana and Appetite for the Arts for their sizzling reviews of Orientation. Check em out below!



Appetite for the Arts

Orientation is on for two more nights at Q Theatre. Don’t miss it!