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Loose Canons: Jason Te Kare

Loose Canons: Jason Te Kare

Silo 2018 Associate Director Jason Te Kare directs a rehearsal of Cellfish
Jarod Rawiri & Carrie Green rehearse Cellfish
Silo 2018 Associate Director Jason Te Kare smiles during a rehearsal of Cellfish.

Jason Te Kare is a director, playwright and performer who has worked on stages in England, Canada, Hawai’i and all over Aotearoa. He made his professional debut as an original cast member in the landmark New Zealand play Waiora by Hone Kouka. In 2011 Jason directed I, George Nepia – the first Māori play to win Production of the Year at the Wellington Theatre Awards. His other Wellington Theatre Awards include: Most Promising Male Newcomer, Best New Director, and Director of the Year. He spent ten years producing drama for Radio New Zealand and is currently Associate Artist at Silo Theatre. Jason directs Silo Theatre's Cellfish, written by Miriama McDowell, Rob Mokoraka and himself, which opens this week at Q Theatre.

Waiora - This was my first professional acting gig and the people are like family. Years have passed, but whenever I see any of them, I cherish being in their presence. Three relationships from this time really stand out. I could not believe Hone Kouka was the playwright when I met him. I was only 18 so I had a limited idea of what a writer was, or could be. Hone has cast me more times than anyone. He went in to bat for me when Toi Whakaari wanted me kicked out, he gave me my first directing opportunity and I love beating him in anything. Nancy Brunning played my older sister in Waiora and has been like one ever since. She growls at me, she bosses me around and she kicks my backside when I need it. I’ve seen her do it to others and I wonder if they realise how lucky they are? Rachel House also played my older sister and really is like my older sister in real life. Rachel was like this towards me before we did Waiora, she was like this even before I knew her name. Over the years I’ve seen her nurture many projects and artists in the industry. Theatre in Auckland has a lot to thank her for and she deserves recognition beyond her official directing and acting credits. I’m glad she’s happy doing film but I miss working with her in theatre. These three people have different approaches to developing young artists and have played large roles in the healthy state of Māori Theatre today. I was so lucky to meet all three artists on my first gig. They are my older siblings and like a younger brother, I want to be just like them when I grow up.

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