Music Director and Team Leader
Steve is the playwright behind this original new musical. A former concert pianist turned church minister, he has combined his passion for music and interest in justice and stories of grace to write The Way of the Raukura…
Steve studied and performed music until his mid-20s, then trained as a church minister starting out in Tauranga before moving to Lower Hutt then Auckland in 2015. During his career as a concert pianist, Steve won New Zealand’s most demanding piano competition before heading to the UK. In London he made the semi-final round of an international piano competition, performed at the Barbican Centre, and studied with Ruth Nye from the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School.
He has a Master’s Degree in Music which included a double major in performance and composition. Steve has recorded various programmes for radio and plays and writes music across a variety of styles.
He enjoys the challenge of bringing out the best in musicians and as Music Director, he can draw on his experience working with professional singers and musicians.
“My upbringing in Taranaki, my training as a musician and my interest in justice and stories of grace as a church minister, all coincide with this Parihaka Musical project. It feels like the project of a lifetime!” – Steve Worsley
Sarah describes her upbringing as the straddling of two worlds: Maori and Pakeha. Deriving from that, Sarah has nurtured a passion to help Pakeha better understand Maori, and Maori to better understand Pakeha.
Ko Raukawa te moana
Ko Otaki te awa
Ko Hoturoa te tangata
Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Ngati Raukawa te iwi
Ko Ngati Kapumanawawhiti te Hapū
Ko Te Pou o Tainui te Marae
Ko Sarah toku ingoa
Sarah describes her upbringing as the straddling of two worlds: Maori and Pakeha. Deriving from that, Sarah has nurtured a passion to help Pakeha better understand Maori, and Maori to better understand Pakeha. Sarah’s advice on a variety of Maori cultural aspects of the show has been invaluable, both to the Production Team and the cast.
Her cross cultural understanding also has ongoing significance in her daytime role – providing pastoral care in schools. Sarah has had creative involvement with events at various schools, including teaching Auckland Grammar school their haka, and coaching them in kapa haka. She has had Production Team involvement for Greenlane Christian Centre events, and together with husband Mark has directed a community dance crew.
Sarah and family are regular stage performers, and it was Sarah’s heartfelt original song, ‘Under the Mountain’, that provided the inspiration for the writing of this show.
Steve Worsley writes, “Sarah’s creative input, cultural advice and unwavering support throughout this project has made a vital difference. I cannot think how this project could have come to life without her.”
Mike brings over 40 years’ experience in music and productions to the team. He worked closely on a series of musicals with the late renown playwright Wayne Wright.
Their final production The Reason Why told the story of Farmers’ founder Robert Laidlaw and toured the country in 2002 and 2003. Sadly, it was the last time they worked together before Wayne’s sudden death that year.
Mike’s last production project was Pearls – a collaborative concert working with Wayne’s daughter Rebecca that looked back at Source Theatre’s 25-year history, which involved many people who had been part of the company.
He has always had a love of music and drama and its power to move people – he believes that combining music with drama and can set a powerful moving experience.
“The opportunity to use music and drama to tell this compelling story of grace, hope and unconditional love demonstrated by the people of Parihaka is unmissable. I had to be part of it.” – Mike Hookey
Catherine brings 30 years’ experience as a qualified dance teacher to the team and can draw on her experience running dance schools to bring out the best in this musical’s choreography.
Catherine has a Diploma in Dance Performance in Ballet and Contemporary dance and a Certificate in Dance Teaching in Classical Ballet from the Royal Academy of Dance and International Society of Teachers of Dancing Association.
She taught professionally for over 20 years from 1991 for dancing schools in the Bay of Plenty, including establishing her own. During that time she choreographed and produced original shows and dance films for students setting up In Situ Dance Theatre Company, choreographing work from her company of contemporary dancers.
Catherine has many career highlights, including choreographing for her own NZ Music month shows, choreographer for Operatic Societies, theatre groups, gymnasts and skaters, and school productions.
New to MAB, over the years she has been involved in church services in worship teams and creative ministries and worked as a tutor for Parachute Music Festival, and Aglow International.
“One of my greatest passions is to tell original stories with a creative, fresh and inspiring message through the art of live performance. This musical ticks all those boxes.” – Catherine Blakeley
Jo brings a depth of experience and knowledge in grassroots drama and production to the team including being part of Source Theatre’s creative team on 11 musicals which toured New Zealand.
Since then she’s been involved in a number of children’s musicals and including three Christmas shows for MABC – Christmas Star by Wayne Wright and The Christmas Tree and The Christmas Play by Gareth Walters.
Jo has been part of the MABC community for over 30 years including working in the office for half that time!
She has been a valued part of the Mainly Music team for a decade and as one of the presenters enjoys encouraging little people and their adults to be creative with music and movement.
The performing and creative arts have been her life’s passion, and Jo says enjoys off-stage roles including directing where she can put her creative talents to use outside of the limelight.
“A musical is a team effort where both the on-stage and off-stage areas are vital for a successful production. I’m honoured to help tell one of our own country’s stories of courage, grace, faith and forgiveness in a time of unrest.” – Jo Rasmussen