Okareka Dance Company Trust

The International Conversation - K’rd Meets Edinburgh

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Okareka Dance Company has been selected by the Assembly Theatre to present K'rd Strip - A Place to Stand at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Finally, Tai and Taane have a work of their own to present at this Festival.

Ongoing support from Creative New Zealand is going well, as are our other fundraising ventures, but we are still short of our target. This Boosted campaign is to cover our upfront fees; for accommodation, the theatre venue, flights, wages and per diems. Join us by investing in this venture to present our work to one of the biggest international buyers market places in the world.


 "The physicality of the dance is inspirational. The power of the singing is remarkable. The stories and lives are vivid and compelling."(Theatreview)


Okareka's dream is to reach an international audience and open opportunities for this important work to have a life beyond New Zealand. This makes sense both artistically and financially.

As Fringe seminars warn all comers, this Festival experience can be costly, and making a loss is to be expected. Plus it's hard work 24 shows in 24 days!!

Okareka are looking for a naming right sponsor and a matching donor. Please contact us separately if you are interested in either of these or any other form of association, rachael@okareka.com.



  • Only 10 hours to go


    Thank you so much to everybody for your generous donations

    83 donors we are blown away

    You cannot imaginge how much this means to the boys

    Last night at Q Theatre, Auckland, then off to Rotorua and Hamilton

    Standing ovations every night so good

    Thank you 



    Last night's sold out opening of K'rd Strip - A Place to Stand was a big success.

    The beauty of K'Rd Strip is that it provides a window into a landscape that is familiar yet unfamiliar to many kiwis, and does so through an entertainingly heartfelt journey. Adam Naughton, Theatreview.

    Q Theatre Auckland 14 – 19 July
    Blue Baths Rotorua 22 – 23 July
    The Meteor Theatre Hamilton 24 – 25 July
    Edinburgh Festival Fringe Assembly Roxy 5 – 31 August

  • K'rd Strip - A Place to Stand


    The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.

    Every year thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children's shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

    In 2014 there were 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival in the world.

    In 2015 K'rd Strip - A Place to Stand will be there amongst it all - how exciting!

    K'rd Strip - A Place to Stand
  • What's the weather like in Edinburgh today - a heat wave?


    Edinburgh, UK
    Friday Showers  22 degrees Celsius, Humidity 70% Wind 14kmh

    Auckland, NZ
    Friday Sunny  11 degrees Celsius Humidity 62% Wind 19kmh

    Forecast for Okarekas season at the Fringe

    From 2nd August the temperatures are forecast to drop to 16 degrees Celsius with lows of 10 & 11

    Forecasts after the 18th of August aren't forecast to rise above 17 degrees so it hardly the summer we are used to! Great for being inside and watching great theatre!!

    What's the weather like in Edinburgh today - a heat wave?
  • Q & A with Rachael Penman, Producer and General Manager of Okareka Dance Company


    You've worked on London's West End. Who did you work for and what were you doing?

    I worked in theatre in New Zealand throughout the 80s and 90s before heading off to London where I was very fortunate to work with one of the top West End producers, Bill Kenwright. 

    He is renowned for producing the long-running show Blood Brothers, which was just one of the many shows that I worked on.

    I was fortunate to learn so much from him about commercial producing - things are done very differently over there especially with financing shows.  If you have seen the musical or film The Producers - it is a reality!   I remember one show I produced for Bill was meant to be a filler for the space for 8 weeks as he needed the theatre for another long running show.  Problem was my show was a sell out success and we had to extend it 6 months past the 8 weeks! So Bill had to find another venue for his other show -oops someone thought that this Kiwi girl would not get a hit show!

    One of the main things I brought back from the UK was what could be done to further a shows future.  So often our dance and theatre shows have one season and then we move onto the next thing.


    Is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe anything like the West End? 

    Taking a show to Edinburgh is a fantastic experience but a huge challenge. 

    Edinburgh Festival Fringe is essentially about offering artists an opportunity to do shows they wouldn't normally do on the West End.

    Often West End performers will take a month off a professional role to head to Edinburgh and do a non-paying or co-op show, the idea being they get a chance to showcase other skills, or stretch their creative legs a bit. For example, they might always be cast as the leading man on the West End but at the Festival Fringe they get the opportunity to play a villain, or perform in a show that's entirely different to what they normally do. TV and film stars do this quite a bit. 

    Most of the performers in Edinburgh are not actually being paid. They go there for the opportunity to upskill and to show the casting directors and producers the work that they can do.


    How is their artistic work measured in Edinburgh? By ticket sales, audience numbers, or reviews - how does it work?

    The way that a work's merit is valued is through the casting directors going, "Hey I really like that person or that show", or remembering them later. Producers will see a performance such as K' Rd Strip and ponder if - or how - it could be bigger. i.e. "How do we evolve it from a small stage to the spectacular stage?"


    People talk about it being boom or bust at the Fringe - what does this mean? 

    The reality is it's a huge expense to take a show to Edinburgh Fringe - but it's the biggest buyers' market in the world.

    We are not going to make money. No one goes to the Fringe to make money. Stand-up comedians maybe? One-person shows might break even.

    More than being a financial thing, Edinburgh is an experience and an opportunity to network and perhaps collaborate with others.

    It is the place that producers from all over the world meet at the same place at the same time. For a whole month we get an opportunity to take our great product to the world and it is a chance for all these people to see K' Rd Strip as a full performance instead of a 10-minute showcase, like in other arts markets.


    Okareka are doing loads of fundraising at the moment. What are you spending the money on?

    Cripes, what are we not going to spend it on!?

    The budget to rework, rehearse and take K' Rd Strip around New Zealand and to Edinburgh is costing us $300,000 dollars. That covers all the cast and creative team's wages, flights, living costs and accommodation in Edinburgh, which is hugely expensive.

    We are fortunate that we found a six-bedroom house that has kitchen facilities, and we will be one big family for a whole month! We booked this 12-months ago as accommodation is scarce.

    The venue itself is $14,000 dollars. Marketing costs - wow - where do I start? The listing in the Festival program is $3,000 alone. The posters, imagery…there's just so much cost involved in taking a show over there. That's why we say that no matter how many people we get, how many bums on seats, you just do not break even what-so-ever.


    Why are you going now?

    Okareka Dance Company is taking K' Rd Strip to Edinburgh to secure its future. It's the biggest buyers' market in the world. Yes, its is a huge risk for us but if we did not take this risk the world would not see the show and we would not have the opportunity to give it a future.

    Q & A with Rachael Penman, Producer and General Manager of Okareka Dance Company
  • What we do for Art




    It was freezing cold the night of the photo shoot with Stephen Langdon

    But the results were magic

    What we do for Art

    Bruce Hopkins, Okareka Dance Company Trustee, talks about K'rd Strip, global niche markets and the importance of selling works overseas to help sustain the company financially and artistically.



  • Will Barling, talks about his Karangahape Road.


    Will Barling, cast member, talks about his K Road experience.

    Play video here


    If you enjoy behind the scenes information, check out the Boosted updates, join us on Facebook, tweet us  or follow us on Instagram. 

  • The mythology around Karangahape Road, Auckland


    Taane Mete talks to us about Karangahape Road and how it got its name. This road in Auckland, New Zealand has a long history of being a place of acceptance. We are taking our place to Edinburgh for 24 days. Do not miss being a part of this international conversation! 

    Play video here

  • Raymond Hawthorne in support of Okareka Dance Company


    We sit down with Raymond Hawthorne who is a Board member of the Okareka Dance Company Trust. He talks to us about K'rd Strip, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the credibility of the Okareka Dance Company. If you enjoy behind the scenes information, check out the Boosted updates, join us on Facebook, tweet us  or follow us on Instagram

    Play video here


Other Projects by Okareka Dance Company Trust