- About the Book
Talanoa: Four Paciﬁc Plays is a timely collection from ﬁve playwrights who interweave Paciﬁc languages with English. Masters in the art of comedy and real-life theatre, these contemporary voices shine a light on the lives of Paciﬁc peoples, their culture and identity in New Zealand.
My Name Is Pilitome by Vela Manusaute. Filimoana’s parents left Niue for New Zealand in 1976 and never returned. Thirty-eight years later, a reluctant Fili G travels to Niue for a hilarious journey of discovery. In Vela Manusaute’s My Name is Pilitome the secret is … don’t fake it, just cut it!
Sai ē Reunion by Lolo Fonua. Mele, an innocent Tongan teen, has just arrived in New Zealand and is taken under the wing of her two worldy-wise cousins. Sai ē Reunion by Lolo Fonua tells a story of the struggle to both hold onto the traditional way of life and gain acceptance in the Big Smoke.
Gaga: The Unmentionable by Louise Tu`u. An original work that plays with language and the conventions of live theatre. Tu`u explores the ways people connect through communication and cultural barriers, and the frustrations and comedy that arise along the way.
Inky Pinky Ponky by Leki Jackson-Bourke & `Amanaki Prescott-Faletau. Everyone’s talking about Lisa, the hot new Tongan fakaleiti who has just started at St Valentine’s High School, even Mose, captain of the First XV. But jealousy and prejudice lurk everywhere.
- About the Author(s)
Leki Jackson-Bourke, Author
Leki Jackson-Bourke is a graduate of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts, and an emerging Pasifika artist who has toured both nationally and internationally with New Zealand theatre companies, including: Massive Theatre Company, Kila Kokonut Krew and Armstrong Creative.
His international tours include: Massive Company’s The Brave (Hawaii Tour, 2015), The Factory by Kila Kokonut Kru (Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 2014; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2014), My Name is Pilitome by Vela Manusaute (Niue Arts Festival, 2015).
Leki received the 2015 Auckland Is My Playground Award for Youth Leadership in Performing Arts awarded by Auckland Council. Aside from acting, Leki is also an aspiring writer, producer and choreographer, and recently co-produced Victor Rodger’s Club Paradiso.
Siulolo (Lolo) Fonua, Author
Siulolo (Lolo) Fonua is a New Zealand-born Tongan raised on the west side of Auckland. She graduated from the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts in 2011.
Lolo wrote her first Tongan play Sai ē Reunion in 2013 and directed and staged it that same year. She took the show to Sydney in 2014, where it was performed at Riverside Theatre. Lolo also co-wrote (with Lauren Jackson) the theatre play Lollywitch of Mumuland, commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company in 2015.
Lolo is the founder of LFP (Lolo Fonua Productions) and is the creator of Free Katas, a Tongan comedy web series. She wrote, produced, directed and edited the first two seasons, which have gone viral in the Tongan community. Lolo continues to create new Tongan shows both through theatre and in film.
Louise Tu‘u, Author
Louise Tu‘u is a producer and performer. With an interdisciplinary practice of over fifteen years in theatre, film, dance and the visual arts both in Niu Sila (New Zealand) and abroad, Tu`u’s work has been described by critics as a ‘contemporary Pacific performance extravaganza at it’s best’.
Leading We Should Practice (www.weshouldpractice.com) since 2009, Tu`u continues to live and make work in Aukilani, Niu Sila.
Vela Manusaute, Author
Vela Manusaute is a writer and director born on Niue Island who moved to New Zealand in 1979. His passion for drama began at high school and he joined Pacific Theatre in 1987, which toured the country performing to schools. He graduated from Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in 1996.
His first play was The Taro King (2002), which led to the formation of the Kila Kokonut Krew entertainment company. Kila Kokonut Krew has produced a number of successful works, including, Players’ Night, Once Were Samoans and the first Pacific stage musical, The Factory, which toured Australia and Edinburgh in 2014. Vela was also the executive producer for a web series of The Factory.
He was a joint recipient of a New Generation Award for Kila Kokonut Krew, alongside his partner Anapela Polataivao, at the Westpac New Zealand Arts Awards, 2014. My Name is Pilitome is his first Niuean work. In 2017, Vela directed his first short film The Messiah, commissioned by New Zealand Film Commission, inspired by his own experience growing up.
‘Amanaki Prescott-Faletau, Author
‘Amanaki Prescott-Faletau has been dancing since the day she could walk – from contemporary to voguing, she’s done it all. She is actively involved in the hip-hop dance scene, and has been a judge at the New Zealand Hip Hop Nationals. Choreography credits include: work for Lima Dance Productions and the Street Dance New Zealand National Championships (2011 Vogue Dance Crew).
She has also choreographed for Auckland Theatre Company’s Checkout Chicks, The Musical and Kila Kokonut Krew. `Amanaki is a key member of Fine Fatale, a transgender and gay dance company, and she was crowned Fresh Factor pageant winner in 2012.
Theatre credits include Teen Faggots Come To Life (2014 Pride Festival) and Victor Rodger’s award-winning Girl on a Corner (Auckland Fringe Festival). She was awarded the Best Newcomer Award at the 2014 Auckland Theatre Awards and she is a proud graduate of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts.