Floating Islanders: Pasifika Theatre in Aotearoa
‘We float – we’re not based in one place – we’re floating Islanders. I always come back to theatre, theatre is my first home.’ – Makerita Urale
Floating Islanders: Pasifika Theatre in Aotearoa celebrates 30 rich years of Pasifika theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Authors Lisa Warrington and David O’Donnell have interviewed over 30 theatre practitioners – playwrights, directors and performers whose heritage lies in Samoa, Niue, Fiji, Tonga, Tokelau and the Cook Islands.
This book features the achievements of many individuals and theatre companies, including Pacific Underground, Pacific Theatre Inc, The Laughing Samoans, The Conch, The Naked Samoans, Black Friars, We Should Practice and Kila Kokonut Krew amongst others, and provides a vivid and insightful guide to the diversity of styles and themes of Pasifika theatre.
The immigrant experience of living in two worlds is often seen as troubled, but co-author Lisa Warrington says this ‘in-between-ness’ has been turned to advantage in Pasifika theatre to create unique and often subversive performances.
“Pasifika theatre has become a major platform of expression for stories of the Pacific diaspora, with themes such as migration, family, cultural identity and the questioning of stereotypes,” says Warrington.
Not only is Pasifika theatre a success story within the performing arts in New Zealand, it is also an intriguing case study of migrant theatre that has international resonance, says co-author David O’Donnell.
“These artists are part of a larger movement of Pasifika creativity in visual arts, music, film, television and literature. They demonstrate creative energy, humour and enterprise, and embrace collective creation and cross-cultural input.”
Floating Islanders features a comprehensive performance listing as well as 32 pages of stunning colour and black and white photographs of practitioners and performances.