The 12th season of our new writing festival, Breaking Ground returns to Wellington City in 2021. After our first online season in 2020, in response in Covid-19, Te Whanganui-a-tara will be home to Māori & Pasifika writers of theatre. 

Breaking Ground is a festival of ideas, crafted into life by playwrights from across Aotearoa. This year, our festival will be imagining new stories for the stage.

In April, our 2021 writers will be announced. Breaking Ground will host five playwrights who will be developing five new stageplays. Our resident writers’ collective Maranga Mai will also return to launch their first radioplay series written in Lockdown 2020 and recorded for radio in 2021.

Tawata Productions is very proud to annually present the writing festival, Breaking Ground. Helmed by writer, director and producer Mīria GeorgeBreaking Ground celebrates the powerful role of writers in our creative industry.

Breaking Ground is presented in partnership with Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council.

Breaking Ground is born from Native Earth Performing Arts’ development platform Weesageechak Begins To Dance Festival, which Tawata co-directors Mīria George and Hone Kouka attended in 2009 & 2010.

In 2010, Breaking Ground was presented for the first time in Te Whanganui-a-tara, at Circa Theatre, through a partnership between Mīria, Hone and playwrights Branwen Millar and Simon Vincent.

Breaking Ground is responsive and creates focus on the development of Māori + Pasifika playwrights, as well as introducing global Indigenous playwrights to Wellington and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The whakapapa of our festival includes playwrights including Riwia Brown, Mitch Tawhi Thomas, Hone Kouka, Yvette Nolan (Turtle Island), Tammy Haili’ōpua Baker (Hawai’i Nei), Kiki Rivera (Hawai’i Nei), Nancy Brunning, Victor Rodger, Jamie McCaskill, Maraea Rakuraku, Maia Diamond, Aroha White, Hinekaa Mako, Neenah Dekkers-Reihana. 

All images by Julie Zhu.