Dynamic husband and wife team, and co-creators of Filet685 Productions, Fiona Collins and Naea Asolelei To’alepai are proud to celebrate their company’s first birthday with the world premiere of their latest stage work, “aloFA”.
Story-telling through drama, music and movement, “aloFA” is a family story about three generations of men.
It is about a Samoan family, but it is a universal story, with universal themes and issues.
Although the cast is all male, the underlying issues, pertain to women and children and WHY gender violence, rape and incest are so prominent in our world. Within the play these themes are handled with sensitivity, gentle humour and truth.
One quote from the play is: “A good son? What makes a man a ‘good son’.
What defines us as men, that make us ‘good’?”
The play explores the many themes of familial and romantic violence; and the generational plights of what is passed down throughout the ages and WHY…how do we break the cycles that lead to abuse, self-destruction and negativity.
They are grandfathers, fathers, sons, grandsons…they are boxers, carvers, musicians…men. They celebrate the love of and for their mother, sister, wife, daughter.
The open community youth two-day workshop will explore theatre, drama and movement through the themes and ideas of the play, and the creativity of the participants and workshop providers.
It is said that the ARTS is a vehicle for social change, awareness and enlightenment… Filét685 Productions hopes that “aloFA” will speak to at least one person in the audience, or the workshop, and help his or her situation, whatever it might be.
“…how can we make the changes so desperately needed in order for our society to grow into one of harmony and equality?
…we nurture, we teach, we encourage, we gift LOVE” - Fiona Collins, writer
The season - nine performances of “aloFA”- will run in conjunction with a free community youth theatre workshop.
This will involve the participants of the workshop (16-24 year olds) watching one of the shows, including the preparation time of the actors etc, and on the following day, learning general theatre and acting skills. By the end of the workshop the participants will have created a 15 minute piece of work which will be performed on the final night of the season.
“We are particularly excited about this workshop – we love working with youth and most of my time here in Samoa has been in the education arena so to be able to do this and perform our play at the same time, is awesome,” says Collins.
The cast is incredibly talented with a mix of local and overseas artists namelyAsolelei To’alepai,
Uelese Petaia, Siaosi Seumanutafa, Ali Foa’i and Ernesto Papali’i.
“I’m so in awe of their talent, dedication and loyalty to the work and to our company.
With various levels of training and experience the cohesiveness of the five actors is something really special and in each individual way they all shine and have special moments in the play.
Rehearsals have been a long but amazing process with this play, and we have been lucky enough to find a wonderful space – Maliu Mai Bar and Grill – to transform and make the world of the play come to life.
It is a big piece, but I’m hoping all the nuances and grace of the actors will help the audience transition easily into the world of the characters and their lives.
Our crew are also incredibly talented and hard-working. They are Fa’aleaga To’alepai, Norman Fa’afetai, Tana Lafaitele, and Ammon Johnson from Tutuila.
We really hope that people enjoy this work.
I’m hoping that this piece has more of a life than our other works here in Samoa and that we can travel it!
There are so many people who have been supportive over the years, and it is not always an easy path to choose – performing arts – but for some of us, it is a calling rather than a choice, and all we can hope for is that our story telling remains true and pure and with integrity.
We come from a culture of oratory and storytelling and high drama” Collins says with a smile, “so we should embrace that and roll with it – why not? No one can tell our stories like we can! I write from the heart, with the blessings of my ancestors, the support and love and brilliance of my husband Asolelei, and the hope and love we both have for our children and our children’s children.”
“We are very grateful to the U.S. Embassy who have helped make this all happen with their support of a grant predominantly for the workshop; to Siva Afi for publicity sponsorship and to Heems Fitness Gym for the sponsored membership,” says Collins.
Tickets can be bought from Maliu Mai Bar and Grill in Fugalei, Legends Café in Moata’a,
and McKenzies Store in Pesega.
For more information about the show or the workshop please call Fiona on 768 3486 or Filoi on 720 0069.