Renee Maurice

Seacliff: Demise of Ward 5

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Hi everyone, I'm Renee Maurice, writer/director of Seacliff: Demise of Ward 5.

In 2006, when I was just 15 years old, I discovered the story of the 1942 Seacliff fire, which took the lives of 37 of the 39 institutionalized women inside the ward, making it the worst fire disaster in New Zealand at the time. For 9 years, I researched and wrote a musical based on the tragic events of that night.

In 2015, it was with great pride that I was finally able to bring Seacliff: Demise of Ward 5 to the stage, in Dunedin. I, along with my very talented cast and crew, received great reviews and audience response for our show. One of the best things to come from our Dunedin Production was the connection that I was able to make to some of the Seacliff ladies' descendants, this has been very inspirational and moving.

Now, I am bringing Seacliff to Wellington, in association with Te Papa, the National museum of New Zealand. This is an extremely exciting opportunity to share this story with a wider New Zealand audience, as well as visitors from abroad.

I am so honoured to have the opportunity to speak on these ladies' behalf, and I invite you to be a part of bringing their tale to the stage, on this, the 75th anniversary, by donating to this boosted campaign.

With your generous support, we will pay tribute to these brave women, whose voices have gone unheard for too long.

Thank you.

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