Performed at Capital E Festival in Wellington in 2017 and at the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) World Congress in 2016

Book Tickets
View dates
  • Wed, 26 Oct at 10:30AM
  • Wed, 26 Oct at 1PM
  • Thu, 27 Oct at 10:30AM
  • Thu, 27 Oct at 1PM
  • Fri, 28 Oct at 10:30AM
  • Fri, 28 Oct at 1PM
  • Sat, 29 Oct at 10:30AM
  • Sat, 29 Oct at 1PM

Tickets available at -

Created for ages 3-10
Show run time: approx. 50-60 minutes, no interval

A modern classic for Aotearoa.

We are thrilled to bring Witi Ihimaera’s classic story The Whale Rider back to the stage in a children’s theatre show unmatched. This beautifully rich story of whānau and tikanga is masterfully translated into a live performance that will absorb the viewer, from start to end. A poignant tale of forging paths and self-belief, this is the show all children need to see.

Destined to become leader of her tribe, no matter how hard she tries to show her worth, Kahu’s koro (grandfather) won’t accept that a kōtiro (girl) can take over his role of chief. But a rescue of the ancient whale beached in the Whāngārā Harbour, changes things.

Hailed the ‘most intelligent Tim Bray production’ in 2014 by KickArts

“Poignant, thought provoking and important” - Jo Hodgson, Theatreview

“...what I’ve asserted in many a previous Tim Bray Production review, that the level of engagement their plays generate with the target audience is testament to the intelligence and the soul of our kids. The Whale Rider is a modern classic.” - Nik Smythe, Theatreview

“Tim’s proposal is ingenious and accessible to children. I am confident that the outcome will be a production that will captivate its young audiences and, especially, inspire them to always keep looking forward with optimism to their own futures as adults in a challenging world.” author, Witi Ihimaera

NZSL Interpreted performance: Saturday 29 October at 10:30am

Costume Parade: Dress up in character! We love to see imaginations running wild and encourage our young audience to dress up as their favourite Whale Rider characters. We will show off the costumes onstage with a parade at the start of the performance (Note: Saturday holiday shows only).

When you make your booking you may like to donate to Gift a Seat™. Gift a Seat™ allows Tim Bray Theatre Company to offer free seats to a child from a low decile school, Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education, BLENNZ (Blind and Low Vision Education Network of NZ) or Make-A-Wish (NZ).

Gift a Seat™ - where you can make a difference to children by letting them experience the joys of live theatre.

Photo Credit: Noa Campbell in 'The Whale Rider' (2014)
Photo by David Rowland /

Auckland’s leading theatre for children.

Awarded the Arts Access Creative New Zealand Arts For All Award 2020

Tickets available at -

Tim Bray Theatre Company

To understand the power, the importance, of children’s theatre. Watch children watching a Tim Bray Theatre Company show. This is not a passive amusement. On the edge of their seats, these children are immersed: transported, joyful, fearful, anticipating, calling out, cheering. Precisely as intended, they are playing their part in the performance. Engaging their imaginations.

Established in 1991, Tim Bray Theatre Company is Aotearoa’s longest running professional children’s theatre company. Dedicated to inspiring audiences through the power of imagination, by making theatre for children aged 3 to 10 years and their families

For 30 years, Tim Bray Theatre Company has created original stage shows based on acclaimed local and international children’s books. With a history of innovation and excellence, in 2020 they have been acknowledged by Arts Access Aotearoa for their contribution to creating accessible theatre for all, an indispensable asset to Auckland.

Tim Bray Theatre Company has delivered 100 original productions, toured New Zealand and to Edinburgh, performed to the The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall To celebrate The Queen’s Jubilee in 2012 and reached hundreds of thousands of children. We now have adults who attended our shows when they were children, bringing their own children to our shows.

Alongside Tim Bray Theatre Company’s theatre productions is the company’s deep commitment to creative learning and social outreach through their Youth Theatre programme, delivering drama classes for children and young people aged 5 – 19 across Auckland.

As a registered charitable trust, we rely on donations from individuals and funding from organisations to ensure we can continue to deliver our programmes. By making a donation you will help support the vision of our theatre company.

Tim Bray Theatre Company

Tim Bray Theatre Company

Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board