The Aunties were originally set up by Arif Usmani in 1982, when he took up the position of organiser of a newly established Artwork project. His job was to set up creative P.E.P schemes. His favourite scheme was titled 'Theatre for very young children'. It took off immediately and within a week they named themselves the Aunties. This name was inspired by Kohanga Reo Maori language nests where the adults are known as auntie.
The Aunties are children's entertainers based in Auckland and have produced a staggering amount of material over the years, including over 30 major two-week seasons of theatre shows at venues such as: the Concert Chamber, Downstage Theatre (Wellington), the Pumphouse, the Bridgerway Cinema, Auckland Girls Grammar, the Maidment Theatre, Aotea Theatre and the NZ National Maritime Museum. They have toured extensively throughout the North and South islands with both stage and school shows.
Previous Works include:
A variety of Bi-lingual Maori legend shows for schools
Hundreds of large-scale shows using original material
'Aunties Alphabet' the popular TV series
'Watersafe' video for schools
'Ants in ya Pants' a school kit which includes a video, CD, and manual and is designed for the NZ Arts Curriculum.