Samoa Observer (press release) (blog)
Image from article, with caption: Introducing Filet685 Production: Drama Workshop activities with participants.
The United States Embassy in Samoa is throwing its support behind ‘Filét685 Productions’ first official Community Youth Drama Workshop.
The company is a new production house and one of the eight organizations that received funding through the U.S. Embassy Apia’s 2016 Public Diplomacy Small Grant Scheme.
Through this funding and partnership, Filét685 is running its first official Community Youth Drama Workshop. It was opened on Thursday night.
“I am adamant that this will be beneficial for youth and young adults of Samoan Communities.
We are extremely happy to sponsor this project,” said the Chargé d’Affaires, Angelina Wilkinson at the opening.
“The U.S. Embassy’s partnership with Filét685 enables these professionally trained drama educators to conduct interactive drama workshops sharing their knowledge, experience and training with local youth.”
“With financial support from the Embassy, Filét685 Production hopes to not only provide an avenue of expression for local youth, children and aspiring actors; but also encourage youth to explore the telling of stories of Samoan people, whether it be through theatre, film, television or radio.”
“For all of the aspiring actors in the room today, I’d like to offer you a quote from the acclaimed and experienced Hollywood actress Meryl Streep, ‘Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different… then finding myself in there’.”
“I take this to suggest that acting doesn’t mean you simply pretend to be someone else.”
Although, the age group targeted is 16-25 years of age, exceptions for younger children with a penchant for the performing arts are being made.
Creative husband and wife team Naea Asolelei To’alepai and Fiona Collins-To’alepai are excited about the three day workshop and sharing their knowledge, experience and training with the local youth.
Their prior work in Samoa have included various stage plays (aloFA, Where We Once Belonged, Pele’s Stars, Frangipani Perfume), a seven-episode radio drama (Fa’atino Lou Valaauina”) and several pantomime children’s pieces (Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, Magic Moments).
A vital part of this new production house is that their productions and vision pertains to the education and development of local youth and children with classes and workshops that allow growth, learning and progression of skills.