This book is the 4th Pasifika play that I wrote for my former high school to perform for their annual school production in the 1990s. The brief at the time was to write a play that Maori and Pasifika families could relate to.
I wrote the play with the story of ‘Vaea and Apa’ula’ in mind as the ancient Samoan story that I wanted the audience to engage with. It is based on the story of how a mountain in Samoa was formed and the water way that flows near the mountain.
Since the writing and performing of the play, I travelled with my family to Samoa in 2012 and saw that the water way no longer exists as it did when I first wrote the play, what does remain of the waterfall is now only a wading pool. I assume that the area was filled in and buried with soil for some reason that I cannot find records of.
The play tells a story of two families with two sons: one who is doing well in school and then other who isn’t. However, it is the successful son who feels confined and wants to break out of the high expectations of his family. It is the unsuccessful son who is blamed for his rebellion and it is the grandfather who tells the ancient story with lessons to learn for both young men.