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 Manager, 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 (Te Mata Primary School)
Brayden Coldicutt (Taradale High School)
Kate Kellet (Havelock North Primary School)
Pete Scott (Mayfair Primary School)
Marie Scott (Mayfair Primary School)
Steve Knights (Te Mata Primary School)
Heather Murphy (Ebbet Park Primary School)
Shane Pugh (Ebbet Park Primary School)
Sam Hutchinson (Eskdale Primary School)
Jan Arbmen (Tamatea intermediate)
Cathy Scott (Maraekakaho School)
Paul Evans (Maraekakaho School)
Jan Mackie (Hastings Christian School)
Elliot Mackie (Hastings Christian School)
Bryan Fulton (Taradale Intermediate)
Brenda Fulton (Taradale Intermediate)
Narelle McCormick (Haumoana School)
Justine Sutton (The Nest and Clive School)

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

 In Schools

 Rob Thorne

Rob Thorne

Produced by: Yellow Eye Productions (Simon Vare)
When: In school shows from the 19 - 23 August
Time: 11.00am workshop and 1.00pm performance
Duration: 90mins workshop and 45mins performance
Genre: Traditional Maori Instruments
Audience: 3 - 13 year olds
Cost: $2 -$3 per student but please discuss with Education Manager

Rob Thorne has been in the alt-Palmy scene for over two decades, since back when there was a strong industrial experimental noise thing happening. He has since continued to explore that free ethic, playing guitar and singing in numerous noise and hard rock bands, alongside a developing academic path that has including the making of his own traditional Māori flutes and horns – Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) becoming a new and original voice in the evolution of taonga pūoro. Last June he travelled to the Amazon to experience an ancient form of sound healing practice. As he tells Martyn Pepperell, the discovery of, and journey with, taonga pūoro, as an anthropologist, a musician and a Māori/Pākehā, has been a journey of rewarding self-discovery.
Palmerston North-based musician Rob Thorne’s first album on art music record label Rattle, is a record of place, time and experience. ‘Whāia Te Māramatanga’ is an immersive 78-minute listen, best suited to headphones and darkness, one where the ancient taonga pūoro music traditions of Aotearoa collide with a free noise-informed search for a future. A way forward for a once dead musical tradition which, thanks to the likes of Dr Richard NunnsBrian Flintoff and the sadly departed Hirini Melbourne, has been given a second life over the last 30 years.

Make an Enquiry


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High Rise

Produced by: Cameron Jones
When: In school shows from the 16 - 20 September
Time: To be negotiated with schools
Duration: 60mins
Genre: workshop (to be arranged) and performance
Audience:  General admission
Cost: $500 per show for 50 students next 50, $250

Winning awards at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, this work is a fitting tribute to a true story close to home. Meet Henry Lewis. Everything he touches turns to sold. Set in 1980s New Zealand when excess defined the decade, Lewis starts out as a nobody wanting to become a somebody. He finds his way into property and eventually makes his fortune in Auckland as a property developer, building the iconic Shangri-La tower in Auckland's Herne Bay. As the end of the decade nears, an unexpected event will burst Henry’s bubble. With greed, ambition, and the snowball effects of success, power, morality and indeed excess, High Rise is a New Zealand version of a modern-day Icarus. Hawke’s Bay local Cameron Jones, who recently returned from Los Angeles where he studied at the Stella Adler Academy and the Michael Laskin Studio, takes us on a high-octane journey using elements of clown, mask and physical theatre. High Rise catapults to its climax with dangerous speed and an ending with a twist that holds the key to this piece.

Make an Enquiry

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Royal Jelly

Produced by: Co Theatre Physical
When: Between 21 - 24 October
Time: To be arranged
Where: in school
Duration: 50mins performance
Genre: Theatre, spoken word poetry
Audience: All Ages
Cost: $4 per student

Phoebe loves her bees and takes great pride in the hives she keeps in her backyard. She knows how important bees are for food production for humans: “Without bees there would be no chocolate because they pollinate the cocoa plant”. But she never expects to be shrunk and brought into the hive to solve an environmental problem. The Queen Bee summons her and begs her to help save her bees. The bees are troubled by a mysterious spray called Cleanerupicide which is making them sick and causing them to lose their way. Phoebe experiences the life of the hive first hand: the diverse jobs bees perform in the hive, the hierarchy, the breeding of new Queens, the processes of making honey, wax, propolis and of running the bee colony. She is thrust back out into the human world to stop the greedy Mayor who is embarking on a big clean-up of the town, using the poisonous spray, Cleanerupicide. He hopes to sell the spray globally to become rich and famous. Phoebe journeys between the hive and the human world, meeting scientists, bee royalty, comic Cleanerupiciders working for the Mayor, and the deceitful, greedy Mayor himself. She must work out how to make change to stop the Mayor and to save the bees. She learns about ‘kid activists’ who are making changes in their countries. Inspired, she makes a plan to stop the Mayor and looks for ways to help the bees so that humans will survive.

Comic characters, vivid story-telling, bee facts, physical theatre and puppetry combine to tell this story of Phoebe and her quest to save the bees- a funny, informative and visually beautiful show.

Make an Enquiry



Motif Poetry

Produced by: Motif Poetry
When: Workshops on request
Time: To be arranged
Where: in school
Duration: 60mins workshop followed by a full-school performance for 30mins
Genre: Theatre, spoken word poetry
Audience: All Ages
Cost: To be discussed

Sara Hirsch is a London grown, internationally acclaimed writer, performer and spoken word educator. She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing & Education from Goldsmiths University and is one of a handful of trained poetry educators working in schools & communities across the world.

As a spoken word educator Sara aims to bridge the gap between teacher and visiting artist. Her wealth of experience within a vast range of educational institutions as well as extensive research into her own creative pedagogy during her Masters studies, has afforded her a unique perspective. 

​She explores this perspective in her recent 
TEDx talk on the power of poetry in the modern classroom.

Make an Enquiry

In Theatre's

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Produced by: Rodney Bell
When: 16 October at 1.00pm 
Where: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College
Duration: 55 minutes
Genre: Theatre and Dance
Audience: 8+
Cost: $10 per student

Meremere is a powerful, inspirational and engaging autobiographical work, that integrates documentary footage, interviews, movement and imagery into an extraordinary performance by exceptional artist and dancer, Rodney Bell (Ngāti Maniapoto), internationally renowned for his physically integrated performance 

In 2007 Rodney joined AXIS Dance Company (USA) as principal dancer, touring to 32 states until 2012. After finishing with AXIS and before his return to New Zealand, Rodney experienced a period of homelessness on the streets of San Francisco: a life changing experience that inspired the creation of Meremere. 

With live music from the equally exceptional artist Eden Mulholland, this multimedia work was developed in collaboration with director Malia Johnston and Movement of the Human (MOTH).  Meremere is multi-faceted survival storya courageous response to an incredible series of life events; an inspirational performance with a focus on Rodney’s time living rough on the streets of San Francisco. It is funny, humble and compelling An impressionistic and surreal experience of an extraordinary artist’s life.  

The work is insightful, surprising, very personal and incredibly engaging.

Make an Enquiry

the bookbinder

The Bookbinder

Produced by: Trick of the Light Theatre Company
When: 18 October at 1.00pm
Where: Paisley Stage, Napier
Duration: 55 minutes
Genre: Puppetry, Live music and Theatre
Audience: GA. Recommended for 8+
Cost: $10 per student

From award-winning NZ company Trick of the Light Theatre (The Road That Wasn’t There) comes a story of mystery, magic and mayhem. An old man sits down to read the tale of an erstwhile bookbinding apprentice. As he speaks the story spills from the pages and into the bindery - from pop-up book to puppetry, story-telling to live action - weaving an original dark fairytale in the vein of Neil Gaiman 

From writer/performer Ralph McCubbin Howell, and director/designer Hannah Smith, The Bookbinder is an inventive one-man performance for adults and children 8+. 

Make an Enquiry

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Produced by: Tom Flanagan
When: 21 October at 10.30am
Where: The Victoria, Spiegeltent
Duration: 50 minutes
Genre: Physical Theatre, Slapstick Comedy
Audience: All Ages
Cost: $10 per student

Kaput, the multi award-winning family show has melted hearts of all ages around the 
world with its glorious brand of slapstick, acrobatics and total silliness. Be swept up in 
the mayhem that is the larger-than-life ‘elegant buffoon’ Tom Flanagan, as one man’s 
life is flipped upside-down by the lonely, dust-covered world that surrounds him. This 
clumsy ‘Mr. Fixit’ takes one step forward and two-steps back in a highly skilled, hilariously 
funny and beautifully poignant bit of madness reminiscent to the old silent movie stars of Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton. 
Kaput had a sold out premier season at the Adelaide Fringe and received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was listed by the Scotsman as one of the top 5 comedy shows at the 
Fringe. Since then Tom Flanagan’s silent slapstick acrobatic comedy show has 
toured four continents, won countless awards and collected fans from 5 to 95 years 
old. Make sure you bring your whole family to this unforgettable gem at the Victoria Spiegeltent. 

Tom Flanagan’s silent-movie clowning in Kaput is pure delight.” – The Australian

Make an Enquiry

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Produced by: Takirua and Theatre of Auckland
When: 24 October at 1.00pm
Where: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre, Iona College
Duration: 55 minutes 
Genre: Theatre
Audience: Year 12 and 13 students
Cost: $10 per student

Eight counts of unlawful entry using imagination, five counts of reckless use of Māori mythology, four counts possession and cultivation of Shakespeare, and one count dangerous operation of a voice class. In Cellfish, hardened inmates come face to face with a whole new nightmare: Shakespeare classes with Miss Lucy! Based on the real-life Shakespeare Behind Bars programme, she tries to teach a group of inmates about the bard and his plays. Some are looking to improve their parole chances; others want to kill some time and one just wants to kill. Funny and insightful, this gripping new work takes us behind the walls of a New Zealand Correctional Facility and into the minds of its residents. Starring highly-acclaimed actors Jason Te Kare and Carrie Green, Cellfish gives agency to the voiceless. After standout seasons at Auckland Arts Festival and Silo Theatre, Cellfish is touring Aotearoa for the first time in 2019.

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