Samoan Theatre in Melbourne

Okay you guys, now I know that in my last post  I was  in a tad-bit-bat-shit-crazy mode  with LIFE and everything I had decided to take on..but I just wanted to let you know how that nite (June 21st 2016) went:

First of all, it was an amazing experience.  For real. I mean, a few weeks into rehearsals I was reassuring everyone with “Don’t worry guys! We got dis! It’s just a step up from Lotu Tamaiti…” but then, on performance day, once the lights were dimmed, we were all dressed up and ready for the opening number to a sold-out audience, I was all “Oh my gosh guys..this shit is legit! 100 steps up! 100 steps up!”  Yep, that was me….

But hey – our play was received amazingly well by the audience, a mixture of Samoan and non-Samoan peeps who happily stayed back for an hour with us to eat faapapa (coconut bread) and sua fa’i (banana soup). We had the TV Samoa Melbourne crew there, taking video footage and interviewing audience members for the beginning episodes of their new TV programme. Also, Multicultural Arts Victoria officials attended and were eager to continue discussions about taking our play to country Victoria where there is a large Pacific community.  The smooth vocalists from DFX Barbershop opened our night with their beautiful arrangements of Samoan gospel.

So, where is this show at right now? Well – thank you for asking! Firstly, we have developed the show, it’s bigger, it’s better and we are preparing to showcase it on two consecutive nights in two different parts of Melbourne in order to cater for everyone who wants to watch it. Secondly, this show is really the beginning of a Pacific theatre movement happening in Australia. We are not a professional theatre production company putting together professional actors, dancers, musicians, production teams. INSTEAD, we are members of the Melbourne Pacific community coming together to stamp our own creative artistic talents path  for all the world to see – our stories, and our peoples. So we’ve sourced our own playwright – Delsa Tuitea, an aspiring Samoan film director and playwright, a BA (TV & English Lit.) graduate from LaTrobe University. Our Director, Steve Tafea who hails from the Pacific Underground legacy in Christchurch; one of our actors is Asalemo Tofete, a BPA and BA graduate from the prestigous National Drama School of NZ, and then you have me as music director – flash title but I’m really just making sure that everyone has their important caffeine intake during rehearsals (totes important).  This is just a small number of the huge amount of talent we make altogether and we make a tiny part of the Melbourne Samoan community here. Our crew is a gentle reminder to the rest of Australia, that there is room for Pacific theatre here, and if you look deeply into the Pacific communities of Australia, you will find gems of untapped talent that can’t be taught in the conservatorium or prestigious dance school – but instead, taught in the Pacific upbringing – in the home, church and at every frikken faalavelave or fundraising event we’ve ever had the ‘pleasure’of performing at lol.

So! If you are reading this and you think – Wowsers! We need to be part of this movement! Let’s get this party started! Crikey! Take that damn shrimp off the barbie and throw on some pua’a! Then I invite you to share this moment with us – here in Melbourne, on Friday 23rd or Saturday 24th September at precisely 8pm. And this is the part where I slot in our poster:




Manuia xx