She's worked with marginalised young people around the world - including asylum-seekers, children in care and prisoners for 20 years. But German theatre director Uta Plate wasn't prepared for the hopelessness many young people in New Zealand told her they were feeling.
Uta's been working with drama students at Toi Whakaari in Wellington and taken workshops around the country as the Goethe-Institut New Zealand 2015 Artist in Residence.
She says that in Germany this country looks like paradise. But the stories young people shared with her revealed New Zealand's darker side, including our disturbing statistics of high youth suicide rates, and violence against children. Many of the young people she's helped to express themselves on stage, talk about feeling powerless.