‘aloFA’ is set-in present-day Samoa. It is about the Su’eloto family, Su’eloto meaning to search; to find heart.
Niko, eldest son of Faleniko (Papa) returns home after 30 odd years away and is immediately confronted with consequences of his long absence. The story that unfolds is universal in familial themes and social issues within family life.
These familiar, universal characters go through individual journeys but what constantly pulls them together is the deceased matriarch of the family, Alofa.
Everything within the play comes back to the word, the woman, the emotion in some form or other as this family – including young Alofa and Lome – struggle with the secrets and lies that destroyed them many years beforehand.
They strive to find forgiveness and in turn find themselves and each other.
Alofa in Samoan means love.
Written and directed by Fiona Collins, ‘aloFA’ was first performed in 2014 in Upolu, Samoa, aloFA then travelled to PagoPago, American Samoa in 2015. It also had several other one-two night performances as part of conferences and academic symposiums.
Eighty minutes long, aloFA the play features minimal set and props, with simple lighting and sound design – as performed in Samoa. We are also fortunate to have two of the original cast members on the tour.
Very well-received in both Samoa and American Samoa (Tutuila) by both Samoan and non-Samoan speakers, aloFA is 80% in English but strongly Samoan Pasifika in its heart beat and presence. Within a fusion of stylized and traditional fagogo or storytelling, there are a few key elements of the fa’asamoa or traditional ways that are explored within the performance of aloFA, such as the lauga; known in New Zealand as whaikorero or mihi; as in traditional speeches, as well as the role of various family members, and the protocols of a Matai high chief acceptance ceremony.
Dialogue-driven with both contemporary and traditional movement, aloFA also features a soundscape that encompasses both Pasifika and classical music.
Producer/Writer/Director: Fiona Collins (VULA, Frangipani Perfume, Sunday Funday, VAI)
Co-Producer: Asolelei To’alepai
Supported by: Creative New Zealand
Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival
Cast: Uelese Petaia (Sons For The Return Home, One Thousand Ropes)
Ali Foa’i (Thirsty, Word Porn, Birds)
Iaheto Ah HI (Sione’s Wedding, Black Faggot, Club Paradiso)
Atutahi Potaka-Dewes (Dreamgirls, Matariki Concert