The time of their lives; the Pasifika boys perform
Brotherhood and friendship take centre stage as a group of rugby players make their way to the final in the all-male Pasifika play Fifth and Last at the Aurora Centre on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th October 2015 at 7pm.
Fifth and Last is the latest offering from No Limits, a school holiday performing arts programme at CPIT for young Pasifika students. The programme was started by Sela Faletolu to help secondary school Pasifika students find their voices and overcome barriers to their success through acting, singing and helping to devise scripts.
From school principals to family members, the results have astounded audiences of previous productions. Although the young men in Fifth and Last may not choose to go into the arts, participating in the latest No Limits show could give them the confidence they need to follow their goals.
Sela Faletolu has seen it happen time and again.
One young man who did follow his passion for performing arts is Asovale Luma. Now in his third and final year at CPITs National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA), Luma has returned to No Limits and has gone from being a student to co-directing Fifth and Last with Albany Peseta.
Luma Steps Up
"I always tell the story; I've known Sela since I was five years old," Luma says. "The last year of high school I jumped into her school holiday programme and during the process I came to love it. We did the final performance of Speak Your Truth (by No Limits!) and the next morning I got a letter from NASDA telling me I had been accepted.
"I think No limits put me in the right gear. Now I have six weeks to finish my degree and then next year Honours. As I got older Sela gave me the space to be myself and get to where I am today."
The two newbie directors are determined to reach the high standards set by Faletolu.
"Writing and directing is a different ballgame, we found out what it was like to be in charge. Most of the boys had been involved in the past, so they knew our expectations; they know we are strict.
"The difficulty is putting on a show with things going on outside of the show – exams, sports - but actually it doesn't get in the way. They are very focused.
"The show is an all-male cast, a lot of creating the script happens on the floor. Albany and I write the script, but there's a lot of ad-libbing and we love that. We always encourage that at No Limits."
Fifth and Last follows the all-female Virtue 31 earlier this year and a number of mixed cast performances such as Speak Your Truth.
Faletolu: Don't take creativity for granted
While Faletolu has stepped back from writing and directing for now, she is as committed as ever to nurturing Pasifika creativity. "We are encouraged away from arts because that is just what we do," she says. "Every time we get together we are singing! So the community thinks it is not something you can make a career from.
"In either case, No Limits is an opportunity for young Pasifika to display the talent they have and explore the issues that affect them. They may never go into the arts but they had that moment onstage; they were part of something special, something powerful, and it earned them respect. That can be transformational."
See https://www.facebook.com/events/1254315994594069/ for more information. Tickets are $5, available through door sales only from 6pm each night.