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Cellfish Rehearsal May2018 1111 DS8 1221

Q&A with Jason Te Kare - Rua

Q&A with Jason Te Kare - Rua

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

Following from Part Tahi, we had a chat to Jason Te Kare, Silo’s Associate Artist for 2018, about his latest work, Cellfish, and where the idea for Shakespeare and rehabilitation came from.

Silo Tell us a little bit about where the ideas for Cellfish started

Jason Te Kare Some are from personal experiences like Miriama [McDowell, co-creator] working in prisons with Te Rakua Hua o Te Wao Tapu. Some are from talking with friends and whanau. Some are from talking with people who have more extensive knowledge. The upside of such a long development process is that we could make decisions about directions we wanted to go in then go away and explore/research. Having three of us meant we also covered three times more ground than one person would.

Silo What was the process like working with Miriama and Rob [Mokaraka] on the creation of the work?

Jason Te Kare I think the play captures it really well. We laughed and had fun. We cried and felt mamae (pain). We were charmed and alarmed.

Silo How did the process change once the work was in production?

Jason Te Kare Moving into full production was hard without Rob. His loss was felt, we built this together. We were lucky to have an intelligent storyteller like Mark Ruka come into it and his input was really helpful. We continued to finesse the script as we went but we reached a point where we had enough to do just putting the play on.

Silo Cellfish deals with some pretty heavy subjects and themes - why comedy?

Jason Te Kare Heaviness weighs people down to a point where they eventually stop listening and some of what we’d discovered was truly heart breaking and we wanted people to hear it. All of it. Laughter just opens people up. The style reminds me of the laughter you find at tangihanga. There is only so much room for sadness before laughter breaks through. Also, Miriama and Rob are just really hilarious.

Silo What is your desire for Cellfish? What do you hope it will activate in the audience?

Jason Te Kare As a theatre maker I believe in presenting the issue to the audience and not telling them what to think. To reflect the problem back to the society it comes from. I want them to think about the issue, even better to interrogate and discuss it.

→ To read part tahi of this Q&A, in which Jason discusses his appointment as Silo's 2018 Associate Director, click here

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