Pangea World Theater and Intermedia Arts present Falemalama, an artistically powerful and inspiring performance by Dianna Fuemana, playwright and artist from New Zealand."We experience her struggle, adaptation, and survival in a new place as a non-English speaking migrant.Falemalama is a mother who has lost and found her children and husband over the years across the Pacific Ocean.It is an exploration of the migrant Pacific Island woman's journey of spirituality and how it was perceived as mental illness in a western society," explains Dianna Fuemana."Falemalama is a tender look at our women who are now our grandmothers, in their time and ours," says Dianna.She took her previous play, Her Mother Dreaming, based on a similar theme, to Athens, Hawaii, the U.S., Australia, and the Edinburgh Festival last year.
Dianna is of Niuean and American Samoan descent.
She is 28 years old and was raised in West Auckland, where she lives with her two children.
She has a diploma in Arts Management and a Diploma in Drama, both from The University of Auckland, a certificate in TV and Video Production from Carrington Polytechnic, and a Higher Teaching Diploma in Dance/Drama from the Auckland College of Education.Dianna is an experience performer whose stage work includes her solo show MAPAKI (which she also wrote), FRANGAPANI PERFUME (directed by HoriAhipene), and DECADENCE (directed by Shimpal Lelisi).Dianna has been a story reader for National Radio, and has received a number of Writing Commissions from Creative NZ (MAPAKI, TAGI I LIMA), Northland Polytechnic (HOKIANGA TANIWHA), Creative Communities (BROKEN), and TVNZ (SURPRISE), and was nominated for Most Promising Female Newcomer of the Year and Outstanding Writer of The Year AT THE 1999 Chapman Tripp Theater Awards.
A multi-talented Pacific Island writer and performer, Dianna is very involved in the Performing Arts Community.She is the Arts Assessor for Auckland City Council's Creative Communities Programme, and is currently working with the Ministry of Education to implement the new Arts Curriculum for Pacific Island Teachers.Dianna's most recent piece written for the stage was her highly successful 2000 solo show MAPAKI, was performed in Auckland, Wellington, at the Kaikoura Marae, and the International Women Playwrights Festival in Athens, Greece.
Falemalama: Sensitively and powerfully weaving together themes of immigration, indigenous identity, exile and womanhood, Falemalama is the brand new, must see one woman show by acclaimed international performer and playwright Dianna Fuemana!
Mapaki: Mapaki, which is the Niuean language means "broken", is a poignant and complex drama about Fisi, a woman surviving through the web of domestic violence.
Indigenous New Zealand writer/actor Dianna Fuemana skillfully calibrates humor, anger, and sadness in a one woman performance, exploring Fisi's emotional frailty as she retreats into a world of fantasy, illusion, and childhood memory avoiding the mundane realities of the present.
Told in a blend of Niuean and English, Fuemana renders an evocative story of changing cultural realities for the indigenous people of the South Pacific.
New Zealand-born Niuean playwright Dianna Fuemana lived through the terror of Cyclone Heta and now she's using her talent to help the people of Niue.
THE EDGE®, together with booBALAR Productions and supported by Niu FM, presents the Auckland premiere of The Packer, at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®, on February 28 and 29.All proceeds will go to the Cyclone Heta Niue Relief Fund to help rebuild Niue. Dianna was in Niue on a Creative New Zealand writer residency when the cyclone hit four days into her month-long stay. "We were about one kilometre away from the major devastation and in a relatively safe area.Seven of us all huddled together for the night during the cyclone.We couldn't sleep and all we could do was imagine what it was like for others on the island who weren't safe.It was very scary and very emotionally draining." The next day Dianna and her friends left the house to discover the devastation.A cliff-front house, which was being prepared for Dianna, had been completely swept away by the waves from 40 metres below.Dianna says the destruction was hard to comprehend. Dianna returned to New Zealand and approached THE EDGE® about staging a fundraising performance of The Packer, her critically-acclaimed play which premiered in Wellington and Melbourne last year. "Pacific performance has long been a major part of the Herald Theatre programme and we're very pleased to present The Packer and help the people of Niue," says THE EDGE® Director of Theatre Programming and Development Robbie Macrae. Written and directed by Dianna, The Packer will star New Zealand actor Jay Bunyan, who currently appears in Australian television soap Neighbours and is volunteering his time.
"Niue's people have spirit and they will go on," says Dianna.
"Fuemana has written and directed a slick, action-packed comedy that needs only a bare stage, save for five large cardboard boxes, some excellent sound and lighting effects and a clever actor to tell her story.
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