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Over 50 BLENNZ Homai Campus will be invited to enjoy the performance. Last year Taki Rua offered an audio described performance of Te Kuia me te Pūngāwerewere, a play based on Patricia Grace’s classic picture book The Kuia and the Spider.

Tānemahuta Gray, Kahukura/Chief Executive, Taku Rua Productions, says the audio described performance of Kuia me te Pūngāwerewere was the first time a play had been audio described in te reo Maori.

“We are really pleased to provide another opportunity for blind students to experience te reo, both in the play and in the audio description,” he says.

Audio description is a commentary for low vision audience members that describes the visual elements of a performance. In a play, it describes what is happening between dialogue or songs, such as facial expressions or movement across the stage.

At the BLENNZ performance, students can opt to listen to the performance in either te reo Maori or English. Jamus Webster will describe the action in te reo Maori, and Nicola Owen of Audio Described Aotearoa will provide the English description using a stenomask and transmitted to wireless headsets worn by the audience.

Alex Lodge, Access Programme Manager, Auckland Arts Festival, says both Taki Rua and Kāpō Māori Aotearoa have gone above and beyond to make the audio description happen. “Our collective dream is to break down the silos of disability or language that isolate people. Not by simply creating access but by celebrating the things that make us all different. The te reo Māori audio description is one of the highlights in our access programme, and we hope it will become more widespread in festivals around the country.”

Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ) is a national network of educational services for children and young people who are kāpō (blind), deafblind or have low vision.

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