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The Contours of Heaven

From 17 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Confusing, Clever, Quirky, Thought-provoking

About the show

Based on interviews, this solo work melds theater, dance, song, looping, and honest discussions about the reality of New Zealand. More…

From the show:

The Contours of Heaven is a verbatim work based on interviews with 6 rangatahi in the Hawke's Bay across a period of months. This work was created between Puti Lancaster, Ana Chaya Scotney and Marama Beamish. It melds theatre, dance, song, looping and honest discussions about the reality of New Zealand. It's a work that looks out to the world and brings the world into the theatre.

Structurally the show works as a solo work of 50 minutes long, with an open facilitated conversation for at least 10 minutes at the end between the audience, director, performer and operator. This space opens up the floor for responses and respects the audience as active members in the work and is often followed by at least 30 minutes of hanging out in the space and discussing. This slow decompression is important and a beautiful element of how the work functions as a community event.

Technically it's a very simple show with Ana making all the sound live onstage with a loop pedal and mic, and the lighting design as a scalable element. 

Member Reviews (17)


Great acting, Confusing, Clever, Quirky, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Disappointing, Ambitious, Quirky, Great acting, Confusing

See it if you would like exposure to New Zealand performance art-here a solo show by a young artist singing, story-telling, dancing and making sounds

Don't see it if you want a truly comprehensible story-this is 6 vignettes that pass quickly and may not be all understandable. Introduction hard to hear.

Original, Confusing, Quirky, Ambitious, Clever

See it if Kiwi mult-role solo w/ interp movement. "All the passages roll by." Heartbeats, gulls, and waves are vocalised and then repeated in playback

Don't see it if Age and gender roles are indistinct and only 45 min. "What determines becoming you?" Better in vocal manipulation than actual recitation.

Also "I know myself deep down/Working to keep up with life/I don't know my ... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Riveting

See it if You want a series of young Maori character sketches incorporating movement & sound looping performed by a crazy talented actress.

Don't see it if You want a play w/a story: this is more sketch/performance art.You dislike movement-based work.You're not interested in modern Maori culture

Great acting, Confusing, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if Six Character shorts with dance movement and making sounds.

Don't see it if Clear story or play.

Also I like very more the sound of the air, birds and water.

Intense, Great singing, Great acting, Clever, Ambitious

See it if One woman performing stunning dance, vocals and(forgive me) beatbox which create an ocean with gulls diving into the waves on an empty stage

Don't see it if I found this, and the Encounter, to be a bit too redundant. These are seriously talented people with stories to tell but my attention waned

Also There is a fascinating introduction. ... Read more Read less

Great dancing, Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting

See it if you want to explore culture, emotions, lifestyles, thoughts of h.s. seniors in Hawks Bay, New Zealand in their words through performance art

Don't see it if you are not interested in New Zealanders, native or otherwise, one woman performing artist portraying male and female roles, several stories

Also This show provides a unique opportunity in America to glimpse the effe... Read more Read less

Clever, Edgy, Refreshing, Great acting

See it if A New Zealand actor of Māori descent plays multiple characters of young people coming of age in a small town in South New Zealand.

Don't see it if Experimental and symbolic theater is not you kind of theater.

Also I totally enjoyed the actor’s use of dance and sound to allow the audi... Read more Read less

Confusing, Quirky, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if Disappointing one woman solo performance depicting 6 young people coming of age in New Zealand. Heavy accent made it confusing at times.

Don't see it if Although the performer gave it her best and it had a few moments it was one of the few Fringe Productions I was disappointed with

Entertaining, High energy, Visually ambitious, Good staging, Clever

See it if A lot of news and music nostalgia for Baby Boomers, from the perspective of US and Canada. Even fun for the later generations.

Don't see it if You're looking for any deeper meaning. Rather a series of snippets and blackouts -- fragmented but fun.

Clever, Edgy, Great acting, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if A Maori perform artist tells us abt her culture&adjustments as she grows up.Thou there r some elements u may fail2understand,there r also *

Don't see it if you are not open to other cultures,nor wish to recognize that the lady's experience may be a mirror of your own.

Also *others you can relate to.... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Excruciating, Banal, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you somehow love any one-woman shows regardless, I fell asleep

Don't see it if you were expecting something great from all the hype

Cliched, Confusing

See it if Game acting and personal stories do not add up to a real play.

Don't see it if Don’t like ponderous monologues

Unique sound effects, Good dancing, Quirky

See it if A one woman show that is nice to watch but difficult to understand

Don't see it if Dancing, sounds

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in seeing an absorbing, striking story of six young people in New Zealand - one woman show w/vocal harmonies and movement

Don't see it if You're not interested in learning about another culture or seeing a somewhat primordial performance. It felt like the prequel to a haka.

Great singing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Low-tech, Short

See it if You like interview based independent stories on marginalized youth population in New Zealand.

Don't see it if You don't like one person show, and expect story built up with climax and clear conclusion.

Thoughtful, mesmerizing, beautiful

See it if You love theater mixed with movement and dance and are curious about disenfranchised youth.

Don't see it if Dance does not interest you and you don't like solo performance.

Thought-provoking, Edgy, Clever

See it if You're interested in social commentary, the state of the world's youth, new Zealand, first peoples, or expressive dance.

Don't see it if You want a plot, a linear narrative, a neat resolution, or a big cast

“The Contours of Heaven” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

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