Festival to Schools

Creating connections is the essence of building strong relationships. And the Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival has been connecting with schools, businesses and artists to benefit the broader community by providing engaging arts experiences.

Our Festival to Schools programme provides opportunities for students aged 3–18 to experience live performance not only in their school environment but to experience the magic of theatre in a theatre. This year we have evolved our programme to not only encourage schools to come to us but certain shows to go out to schools.  This connection has enabled more students to engage with the arts.

If you require more information for your school or community on any of the Festival to Schools offerings this year please contact our education coordinator, Daniel Betty daniel@hbaf.co.nz

The education programme is proudly sponsored by Furnware. The Festival Team would like to thank Furnware for coming on board to support and help grow the arts in Hawke's Bay. 

This year Harcourts agents from throughout the region have supported the 'Festival to Schools' programme by sponsoring a school within their community. This has created access for a wide variety of schools to benefit from seeing live theatre either in their own school or at in a theatre. The Festival Team would like to acknowledge their support and look forward to building this relationship into the future.

Collen Schofield (Westshore Primary School)
Mathew Sinclair (Taradale Primary School)
Paddy Barton-Ginger (Taradale Primary School)
Kathie Davies (Arthur Miller School)
Nicky Berry (Port Ahuriri School)
Brayden Coldicutt (Taradale High School)
Linda Watson (Iona College)
Carol Rowe (Iona College)
Kate Kellet (Lucknow Primary School)
Wade Fern (Hastings Girls High School)
Elliot Mackie (Mayfair School)
Nicky Cranswick (Mahora School)
Kelly Riches (Raureka Primary School)
Pete Scott (Raureka Primary School)
Steve Knights (Te Mata Primary School)
Wendy Blackberry (Ebbet Park Primary School)
Sam Hutchinson (Te Mata Primary School and Eskdale Primary School)

To make a booking for any show fill out the online booking form

 In Schools


Kokakos Song 350Kokako's Song

Produced by: Birdlife Productions
When: In school shows from the 23 - 26 October
Time: To be negotiated with schools
Duration: 45mins
Genre: Puppetry, Theatre
Audience: 3 - 8 year olds
Cost: $2 -$3 per student or $500 minimum per show (Please discuss costs with education cordinator)

With beautifully handcrafted life-sized puppetry and live music, Kokako’s Song is a little show with a big heart.

Searching for her dog, six-year-old Angel finds herself lost in the forest where she has a delightful encounter with a real live kokako (or is that really her granddad dressed up in disguise?). Perhaps this strange bird with the haunting song and black face-mask might actually be a superhero…

A magically transformative story about the importance of connecting with nature and following your heart, Kokako’s Song reminds us all that the creatures of the bush, many of them endangered, are special and should be cherished.

Nominated for ‘Best Theatre’ at the Dunedin Fringe, this is the latest offering from Nelson-based theatre company Birdlife Productions, and while aimed at 3-8 year olds, will delight all ages.

Make an enquiry

The Nukes

The Nukes 350Produced by: Simon Vare
When: In school shows from the 15 - 18 October
Time: To be negotiated with schools
Duration: 60mins
Genre: workshop and performance
Audience:  General admission
Cost: $2 - $3 per student or a minimum of $800 per show (please discuss costs with education coordinator)

Celebrating ten years together this October The Nukes from West Auckland are far more than a ukulele band. Part vaudeville, part ratpack, part musical car crash, this talented trio deliver an engaging mix of humour and originality that audiences of all ages will love.

The innocent little uke is the instrument of choice and audiences will be staggered by what they are able achieve with it, as Dave “Fingers of fire” Parker, David “Snapper” Thiele and Benjamin “Country boy” Collier coax, caress and beat out a fine blend of folk, bluegrass, reggae and post punk.

Unpretentious, Kiwi-as, The Nukes have toured extensively throughout New Zealand and parts of Australia sharing their quirky brand of ukulele brilliance, three-part vocal harmonies, blistering riffs, riotous rhythms and questionable dance moves.

Make an Enquiry

 In Theatres

Ann Droid 350Ann - Droid: The Wonderful Adventures of Robot Girl

Produced by: Bandart Productions
When: Thursday 18 October
Time: 1.00pm 
Where: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College
Duration: 50 minutes
Genre: Theatre
Audience: 4+
Cost: $10 per student

This quirky, spell-binding, interactive show combines theatre and timeless storytelling with the latest in digital technologies to conjure a magical worldBefore the very eyes of the audience, drawn animation comes to life as performers move together with projected visuals to create an enchanting 3D movie experience.  

Ann-droid tells the story of a playful inventor and his creation, Ann, a curious robot girl. Given one task – to collect and bring home the lost creatures – Ann undertakes a wonderful journey, on the ground, in the air and underwater, where she faces challenges which ultimately help her discover what is most important in life.  

Created and performed by Bandart Productions, a collaboration between award-winning dance-choreographer Katalin Lengyel and digital media artist Szabolcs Tóth-Zs, this 21st century Pinocchio story over-writes obsolete conventions to inspire adventure, creativity and courage in all, regardless of gender. 

Make a Booking

wild dogs 350Wild Dogs Under My Skirt

Produced by: A New Zealand Festival and FCC Production
When: Tuesday 23 OctoberTime: 11.00am
Where: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College
Duration: 65 minutes
Genre: Theatre
Audience: 15+ Contains strong language and adult themes
Cost: $10 per student

Samoan New Zealander Tusiata Avia’s poetry becomes a fearless and enchanting piece of theatre under the direction of Anapela Polata’ivao and a cast of six Pasifika actors 

Breathing provocative new life into Avia’s examination and celebration of what it is to be a Samoan woman, Polata’ivao’s direction adds “extra levels of nuance, power and dramatic sophistication” which earned her Best Director in the 2016 Auckland Theatre Awards. 

Through her vivid, compelling and at times hilarious characters, Avia paints a deeply personal view of Pacific Island life and its sometimes uneasy collisions with the Kiwi way.  

Smartsupple, sassy, with beautiful, bold performancesWild Dogs Under My Skirt is both powerful and empowering. 

Make a Booking

1918 3501918

Produced by: Le Moana
When: Thursday 25 October
Time: 11.00am
Where: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College
Duration: 50 minutes
Genre: Dance
Audience: GA. Recommended for 12+
Cost: $10 per student

The devastating impact of the global Spanish Influenza pandemic in Samoa in 1918, in which a quarter of the population died, is the focus of this profound, internationally lauded dance-theatre work by Le Moana – written by Tupe Lualuachoreographed by Andy Faiaoga.  

For the centennial anniversary of this tragic, pivotal event, which became catalyst for resistance against the NZ colonial government and ultimately led to Samoa’s independence, world-renowned theatre maker, Nina Nawalowalo (The Conch), has also come on board. 

A beautifully crafted, rich interweaving of siva Samoa and contemporary dance, combining song, live drumming, archival footage and dramatic installation, 1918 is that rare gift: an opportunity for genuine, cross-cultural education.  

It’s a luminous, deeply moving performance that’s been met from Wellington to San Diego, from Savai’i to Upolu, with rapturous applause. 

Make a Booking

Freedom is Behind My Breath 350Freedom is Behind My Breath

Produced by: River Seeds Performance Collective
When: Friday 26 October
Time:  1.00pm
Where: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College 
Duration: 60 minutes
Genre: Dance
Audience: 13+
Cost: $10 per student

Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival is delighted to be premiering the first of three new collaborative performance art works by Hawke’s Bay theatre-maker Puti Lancaster and Auckland-based performance designer Owen McCarthy (White Guitar) 

Freedom is Behind My Breath is the gift of one local whānau: their living story – both particular to Heretaunga and part of the fabric of New Zealand society.  

It forms the constellation of a family, their experiences told through their own words, voices and from multiple perspectives, weaving music, art and movement in its exploration of contemporary social themes. What is it to be a child, parent, adult within this whānau, and the question at its heart: what is a family? 

Puti and Owen’s exquisitely crafted, profoundly resonant form of social transformative theatre is extraordinary“Our kaupapa is to connect people and share stories; our ambition, to grow us as people.” 

Last year’s Contours of Heaven, went on to win multiple awards at the Auckland Fringe Festival 2018, including most outstanding production. 

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Duck Death and the Tulip 350Duck, Death and the Tulip

Produced by: Little Dog Barking
When: Friday 26 October
Time: 11.00am
Where: MTG Century Theatre, Napier
Duration: 45 minutes 
Genre: Theatre
Audience: 2+
Cost: $10 per student

From true heroes of children’s theatre, Little Dog Barking (Guji Guji and Paper Shaper), comes a whimsical, heart-warming story about an unlikely friendship between a duck, a character called Death and their journey through time.  

Together they drink tea, go swimming, climb a tree, and provide warmth to each other. Duck asks lots of questions, and learns that Death, as a constant companion, is part of life. 

Adapted from the acclaimed book by Wolf ErlbruchDuck, Death and the Tulip uses puppetry, mime and imagination in this beautiful, award-winning performance to explore the ‘big questions’, showcasing a story of life, mortality and friendship in an elegant, straightforward and thought-provoking way. A must-see for all ages. 

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Special Thanks To our sponsors