Dianna Fuemana emerged on the New Zealand theatre scene in 1999 with her one woman show Mapaki. She is credited with being the first New Zealand Pacific playwright to merge the Niue and New Zealand born way of life through professional theatre. In the same year, she was nominated at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for Outstanding New Writer and best up coming actress of the Year. Also in 1999, her acclaimed play Mapaki was performed in New Zealand then toured internationally across the United States and Athens, Greece. This was followed by her next play, a comedy, Jingle Bells produced in Auckland, 2001.
Fuemana completed a Master of Creative and Performing Arts with honours in 2005 at the University of Auckland, writing her third play The Packer during her study. The Packer was performed to sold out audiences in New Zealand, Australia as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her fourth play My Mother Dreaming premiered in Auckland in 2005.
Her most recent play Falemalama was produced during a residency in 2006 at the Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis, USA. Falemalama is semi-biographical and is based on the life of her mother. It has toured to the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in Pago Pago 2008, Niue Arts Festival 2009 and the Planet Indigenous Festival in Toronto 2009. Dianna has held writer residencies in Niue and with New World Theater in Amherst, USA. She has been a selected guest writer at the Tahiti writers festival 2005 and the Auckland Readers and Writers festival panels. Her plays Mapaki, The Packer and Falemalama have been published.
In 2008 she won the Pacific Innovation and Excellence Award at the Creative New Zealands, Pasifika Arts Award. These achievements have sealed her reputation as a leading light in New Zealand Pacific theatre.
Falemalama is a brave, beautiful dramatisation of the personal journey to get to New Zealand across the Pacific. Semi-autobiographical it begins in Pago Pago in the early 1960's, sweeps over to...