‘The Intricate Art of Actually Caring’ and Other New Zealand Plays
‘[A] collection of six plays allied through their thematic exploration of twenty-first-century Aotearoa New Zealand identity against the backdrop of colonialism, post-colonialism, multiculturalism and globalisation. This diverse set of plays invites a broad readership and, as such, the anthology represents an important step towards the wider dissemination of New Zealand drama to an international readership. Furthermore, half of the plays in the collection have never before been published, offering readers the opportunity to experience the scripts for the first time in published form.’—Lori Leigh, Australasian Drama Review
Theatre in New Zealand began as a tool of the British Empire, imported along with Christianity, seeds, muskets and blankets as a way of acculturating the indigenous Māori and cultivating the English settlers. In the decades since, it has been turned to different ends, and is now a crucial outlet for the voices of the ever more diverse population of New Zealanders.
The plays in this anthology represent the preoccupations of present-day New Zealanders with the people and politics of the past, with the not-quite-post-ness of post-colonialism, and with the prospects for (and against) biculturalism in an increasingly multicultural, globalized society. Some characters reach back to previous generations for understanding, purpose and solace; others push away from, or attempt to suppress, the effects of their personal and social histories on their current circumstances. Taken together, they present a vivid picture of what it means to be living in New Zealand in the early twenty-first century.
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