The Rotorua community is set to be treated to a soulful stage experience with an upcoming theatre show.

The Rotorua Musical Theatre's Dreamgirls will run from July 6 to July 21 at Casa Blanca Theatre.

There are 21 performers in the cast and rehearsals have been running since late April.

Director Bobby Mihi Howard said the rehearsals had been a learning curve for her as a first time director for Rotorua Musical Theatre.


She said it had been great to see talent who were new to theatre growing and developing.

She said she was looking forward to seeing everybody in costume, being ready to perform and ready to showcase their talent at show time.

"Everything we've been practicing - all the work, concepts, talents and visions - will be out there and come to fruition."

Howard said it had been a long time since a theatre show had been done with the soul music genre in Rotorua.

"Soul music is the music that hits the heart. Rotorua is known for that because of the calibre of talent that comes out of the area."

She believed people would enjoy the show because the talent was amazing - "They are performers in their own right".

Howard said the cast included kapa haka performers and singer/songwriter musicians who had never done theatre before, so people would see them in a different light - and be totally amazed.

People would also enjoy the music, and it was that 60s/70s Motown soul music scene, she said.


She said the show had a theme of things being 'new', such as the genre, the number of Maori performers in the cast and new director and creative team.

"With newness comes a game-changer."

Atutahi Potaka-Dewes, who is playing Dreamgirl Effie in the show, said rehearsals had been intense, but she was enjoying it.

"I'm loving the experience and everyone that's involved."

She is looking forward to everyone's reaction to the show and how people will see their friends in a different light on stage.

She said this was her first time doing theatre.

"I like to do things that challenge me and decided to give it a go. It's something different."

She said she liked Dreamgirls because of its story of friendship.

"I love the music and the era. I think it's something that can relate to lots of people today as well."

Potaka-Dewes said Effie's character was quite opposite to how she was normally, which had been a challenge.

"Come and watch the show. I think people will love the music and dancing, and that it's a predominantly Māori cast is really cool. It could draw a whole new crowd to the world of theatre."

Tickets for Dreamgirls are available at