An Auckland theatre company which is travelling the nation to perform free concerts for kaumātua and elders is in Taranaki.

Following the success of Te Pou Theatre's first run of shows in Auckland, the team have decided to hit the road to bring live performances to the most vulnerable and isolated - elders, koroua and kuia.

The idea of Front Yard Festivals came about after previously planned shows couldn't go ahead because of Covid-19.

"They had another look at their budget and rearranged things and thought, 'How can we bring theatre to Aotearoa?'" producer Acushla-Tara Kupe said.


"They focused it right down to who needs it the most, and that's where they came up with the idea of performing in the front yards of kaumātua.

"There will be music and dancing, it's all very physical."

The performance group spends 10 minutes at individual homes, performing music and storytelling.

Kupe said giving back and performing for elders has been some of her most rewarding work and she is honoured to be able to bring joy to those who need it.

"The work itself was possibly the most fulfilling, heartwarming, pure thing I've ever done in my entire career because the only provocation was how do we bring joy to these people.

"When we start, you would see their eyes light up and they would join in and sing along, it was absolutely beautiful.

"Almost every rest home was saying we were the first entertainment they've had in four months. So that was really special to just see the smiles and the tears."

The team are performing at rest homes in Taranaki this week.


"No house is too far and no audience is too small. If it's one person an hour from the city, we will travel for that.

"I don't want anyone to think they aren't the right audience member. If you have been in isolation and you need a bit of a pick-me-up, that is what we are here for."

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"We want to be on the road 24/7 for the next three weeks," Kupe said.