Remember laughing in 2003 to Flight of the Conchords performing at Baycourt? Relatively unknown, the Tauranga Arts Festival shows were a sellout. It was this kind of early support that enabled Academy award winning Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement to build the international careers they have today.

The Tauranga Arts Festival recognises the importance of working with young talented Kiwis. It has announced that the 2013 Tauranga Arts Festival patron’s fund will directly support New Zealand’s hottest up and coming playwrights, performers and musicians.

“We’ve always delivered international acts but it’s also essential that we foster emerging national talent”. Says Festival director, Jo Bond. “This fund will enable our 2013 programme to show a number of works by young performers and theatre companies including Massive’s production of The Brave. Performed by eight young men it explores pressures faced by young New Zealand blokes, including, identity, culture, sexuality, and the kiwi expectation to “harden up”. Actor Sam Neil has called their show ‘Powerful, beautifully acted & directed.”

Bethlehem College graduate Rochelle Bright, now general manager of Massive Company says “We are thrilled to be bringing our BRAVE cast to share their innermost truths with the Bay of Plenty. Together with the festival, we want audiences to leave the theatre reflecting on the work and their own personal stories”

Festival chair, Glenn Dougal says. “Emerging performers like these are the reason the patron’s fund is important and why we’re inviting individuals, families and local businesses to join Tauranga Arts Festival in building the next generation of Kiwi talent.”

“Ours is a young, growing city and events like the Tauranga Arts Festival really mark our coming of age.”

To join our patrons fund visit our "Support Us" page.

[Image: The Brave / Photo by Matt Klitscher]