Whanganui children and adults who love being transported by exciting live shows are in for a treat when Te Moana comes to the Royal Wanganui Opera House stage next week.
Te Moana Glow Show is a giant-scale puppet show with magical glow-in-the-dark characters from Māori myth and legend.
The puppets were all made by Glow Show creative director Sarah Burren and the music was written and composed by Whanganui export Midge Perez who is now a lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology's creative arts degree programme in Auckland.
As a teenager, Perez won a scholarship to study at Brigham Young University in Hawaii and has since distinguished himself as a singer, composer, stage, film and TV actor and filmmaker.
He returned to Whanganui in 2000 and joined the crew at Awa FM for a time hosting the rangatahi programme Ka Mau Te Wehi with Hoani Maniapoto.
His collaboration with Burren on Glow Show productions began a few years ago.
"She is an incredible talent and it has been such a pleasure to be involved with the show," he said.
"Not only does it provide a wondrous experience for children but for adults as well and I've learned so much from it as well."
The 2020 Glow Show production is set around the takutai moana (coastal sea) and Te moana-nui a-Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean), with the show being a delightful story about kai moana and the whakataukī "He waka eke noa. We are all in this together".
After taking audiences up to the skies with her Matariki show last year, Burren has now created an underwater world with her glowing sea creatures.
"It will be the most uplifting and magical glow-in-the-dark experience for tamariki, educators and whanau as we go under the sea meeting a courageous kina and beautiful kai moana," she said.
"We want to inspire our tamariki with creativity, larger than life characters bringing great messaging and originality to them."
Te Moana Glow Show: Royal Wanganui Opera House, 10am, Wednesday, November 18. Tickets $11.50.