HONE KOUKA | CO-DIRECTOR | CREATIVE VISION
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu MNZM
Hone is an acclaimed Māori writer, producer and director, the youngest winner of the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award and multi award winner. He has had plays produced in South Africa, Britain, Hawaii, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Caledonia, as well as throughout New Zealand, with three plays being translated into French, Japanese and Russian. Hone’s plays include Ngā Tangata Toa, Waiora: Te Ūkaipō, The Prophet and Bless The Child.
In 2004, Hone co-founded the production company, Tawata Productions, focusing on the development and presentation of new theatre by Māori and Pasifika artists. Hone became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Contemporary Māori Theatre in June 2009.
Created in 2015, Hone is the Artistic Director and founder of Kia Mau Festival, a Māori, Pasifika and global Indigenous contemporary performance platform based in Te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui. In June 2021, Kia Mau Festival will present it’s sixth season.
Hone’s work also extends to the film industry, most recently with two films screening at the Berlin Film Festival, Born to Dance (Screenwriter) and Mahana (Executive Producer).
A multi-award winning playwright, Hone’s new play On Springfield Road will make it’s World Premiere in 2021 at The Court Theatre, Christchurch.
MĪRIA GEORGE | CO-DIRECTOR | CREATIVE VISION
Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa | Tumutevarovaro, Enua Manu, Ngāti Kuki ‘Ārani
Mīria is a poet, and writer, director, producer of theatre and film. An award-winning playwright, Mīria’s work has toured New Zealand, Australia, Hawai’i, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Her first stage play, the award winning Oho Ake premiered in Wellington in 2004, produced by Tawata Productions. In 2007, Mīria made her international debut as a playwright. Her work includes and what remains, Urban Hymns, Sunset Road, The Vultures, The Night Mechanics and Fire In The Water, Fire In the Sky.
In 2017, Mīria was the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence at University of Hawai’i, Mānoa and won the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award.
The portmanteau feature film VAI premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2019, marking Mīria’s debut as a writer and director of film. Mīria is one of eight female directors of Pacific heritage who created VAI (Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions), the first feature film to be written, directed and produced by Pacific women.
In 2020, as part of Tawata Productions’ current programme, Mīria has created and directed Big Hair, Don’t Care, a digital kōrero that celebrates and innovates conversations with Māori, Pasifika and women of Colour artists of theatre and film. Big Hair, Don’t Care will be published online throughout Tawata’s social media platforms.
Mīria holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. Also a published poet, The Wet Season is Mīria’s debut collection of poetry, published by the Wai-te-ata Press. Mīria is a writer of radio and television.
Alongside Hone Kouka, Mīria is the co-founder and co-director of Māori, Pacific and international Indigenous theatre and dance platform, Kia Mau Festival.