A play that pushes the boundaries and "flirts" with the audience is one of more than 50 performances scheduled for this year's Tauranga Arts Festival.

The 10th annual festival, to be staged between October 19-29, features Don Juan - a play which tells the classic fictional folktale of a Casanova-type character.

"Don does whatever he wants to do at every moment of his life," Susie Berry, who plays Lilly in the theatre act, said. "Don is a figure we sometimes wish we could be a little bit more of, more risky and bold.

"We are questioning why we do not respond to that, why we do not ask someone out or tell someone they are beautiful."


Ms Berry said the characters exploded into a narrative that was "super transformative, sexy, silly and fun".

"It is interactive but not in the way that we perceive it to be," she said. "Our job is to involve people in the telling of the story but in a way that makes everyone look good. It is engaging, funny and has music."

She said the play, to be staged at the Carrus Crystal Palace on October 27, was recommended for people older than 16.

It was not an R18 show but did include sexual innuendo and "a bit of bad language". It was not crude, but more sexy and classy, Ms Berry said.

She hoped the Tauranga audience would respond well to the 'sexy vibe" of the play.

"It is unique; we make sure the experience is catered for everyone in the room. Whatever the audience brings is how we will respond."

But while it was interactive, the audience could still sit back and enjoy the show.

"The opportunity is there for you to play but you do not have to if you do not want to."

Ms Berry studied at Toi Whakaari drama school and in the theatre departments at Victoria University and Otago University.

Ms Berry said her character Lilly was confident, playful and also quite explosive. "She is the person who would yell, 'fire' at a party."

The Tauranga Arts Festival 2017 will open with a community choir performance of the festival waiata (song) at 7am on October 18, opposite Masonic Park on the waterfront.

The Strand will be closed for the ANZ Community Day on October 21 which will include fun, free family entertainment from 10am-2pm.

WHEN: Takes place over 10 days and nights, October 19-29
- The festival opens with a community choir performance of the Festival waiata at 7am on October 18, opposite Masonic Park on the waterfront
- Has 56 performances in seven venues
- Involves 200 performers and crew
- Includes a free Community Day and Night Owl Cinema (both October 21), schools programme and visual art shows.

See the full programme at taurangafestival.co.nz