Cook Islands producer, director, writer and actor Teherenui Koteka. Scoop/23062338
Kūki ‘Āirani producer, director, writer and actor Teherenui Koteka will spend three months working at Bats Theatre in Wellington, as the inaugural recipient of the Pacific Producer Residency.
by Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Strategy, this residency was co-designed
with Bats Theatre to support a Pasifika producer to develop new work and expand
who was born and raised on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, says
she is grateful for this opportunity.
super stoked! Producing is an area I specifically wanted to upskill in, and
there’s no better place to do that than at BATS,” she says.
is a shortage of Pasifika producers in New Zealand – I self-produce a lot of
work and have also noticed a real lack of Cook Island producers.”
has experience across a wide range of creative disciplines – she’s worked with
Tawata Productions and Auckland Theatre Company, has a Masters of Creative
Writing and has directed, produced and acted in several of her own shows, both
in Aotearoa and Rarotonga.
part of this residency, Teherenui will work from the BATS Theatre office in
Pōneke and engage with incoming artists. She’ll be encouraged to develop new
contracts and to further build her connections in the industry. The finer
details will be tailored to what she wishes to achieve.
says she likes to think of creating as an avenue to generate conversation.
of late, my work has been focused on issues around sexuality and gender and
exploration of sex as a young person,” she says.
trying to build better conversations for our young people, especially in some
Pasifika communities where these topics are still seen as taboo.”
Foa’i, Creative New Zealand’s Principal Adviser, Pacific Arts, is thrilled to
offer this opportunity to Teherenui.
Theatre holds mana for our Pacific arts community and we’re proud to partner
with the BATS whānau to offer this opportunity, which seeks to fill a clear gap
in the creative industry. As Teherenui says, we need more Pacific producers.
excited to see Teherenui extend her vā by exploring new collaborations and
building her capacity to develop national and international-scale work.”
Hendry, Chief Executive of BATS Theatre, says BATS is stoked to be working with
Teherenui in such an exciting initiative.
work to date has been highly impressive and speaks to the incredible strength
of artistry emerging from Moana Oceania. We look forward to doing all we can to
amplify the positive impact she will undoubtedly make.”
is ready to take on this new challenge.
was told very early on that you need to be able to wear more than one hat to
make a full career. As I started learning to direct and was being mentored by
more established artists, I see now that it’s now my turn to give back – that’s
where Producing comes in,” she says.
honoured to be the inaugural recipient of this residency. I’m really looking
forward to it and hopefully I can feed it forward, as I gain this knowledge.”