wild dogs under my skirt

This is a great wee clip on Wild Dogs Under My Skirt from Fresh TV2.

We are really very excited about bringing this production to the Festival. It feels like such a coup. Psss... on the HBAF team, it's our (current)  favourite, the one we are all hanging out to see.

If you need some more background, read below the writer's and director's notes, as well as links to reviews.

Writer’s Note by Tusiata Avia

I wrote Wild Dogs Under My Skirt in 2002 and I performed it for eight years as a one woman show. It spoke a universal language that appealed to international audiences from Jerusalem to Moscow to Vienna.  

Now, in 2018, embodied by a cast of six exciting Pasifika actresses and under the directive genius of Anapela Polata’ivao (Best Director 2016 Auckland Theatre Awards), Wild Dogs Under My Skirt soars to new heights of power, subversion and dark humour.

I’m thrilled to have Wild Dogs Under My Skirt co-produced by the NZ Festival and FCC, and look forward to watching my ‘baby’ take wings and fly.

 Director’s Note by Anapela Polata’ivao

In my final year of drama school, I wrote and performed a solo piece based on the life of a young girl born into a culture governed only by tradition.  In short, she grew up, fell in love, then upon dishonouring her family, restored their honour by performing the hari kari. A tutor asked what my piece was about and I remember saying, “bound by tradition, die by culture”.

Growing up Samoan in New Zealand used to be a constant dance of “to be, or not to be” and “choose to be the good girl because you represent your parents, your family, your village and therefore the whole of Samoa!” Wild Dogs Under My Skirt presented me with the freedom of just “being” and “doing” without judgement in a directorial sense. It celebrated the opportunity to break from “tradition” and be in a state of complete abandonment, revealing the deeper layers of human condition. Fa’afetai tele lava, Tusiata.

 FCC (producer)

FCC is a new theatre movement driven by playwright Victor Rodger who is executive producer for Wild Dogs Under My Skirt. FCC stands for the FLOW of energy, CREATING a platform for Pasifika practitioners; and CONNECTING young practitioners with veterans. Alongside producing new works such as Club Paradiso and Puzzy, FCC holds regular play readings of diverse works that bring new and established performers together.


Listen to Lyn Freeman review Wild Dogs Under My Skirt on RNZ when it performed at the New Zealand Festival in March this year. She says: “It moved me to tears of laughter, tears of sadness, even fury at some of the scenarios… intimate …terrifying … electric.”

Maraea Rakuraku writes in Theatreview:

“Having six Polynesian women strutting, sassing, riding, laughing, breathing, dancing their stuff for over an hour where they are the good, the evil, the maligned, the survivor, the confessor, the confessed, the witness (especially the witness) and using the words of poet, Tusiata Avia to do so, makes Wild Dogs Under My Skirt a thoroughly enjoyable, educative experience.

By educative I mean schooled. This is a schooling of Samoan/Pasific politics, of wāhine Samoan experience and of a NZ-born Samoan woman returning home to Samoa, noting it all. More importantly, it is about what it is to stand proudly in your culture, have an opinion about it, voice it and still be standing after…. 

Tusiata Avia is a powerhouse. A contradiction, a surprise, a slap in the face and twinkle of the eye which is apparent in her work as channelled by these wahine. The power of all of that is what defines this performance and I have been altered by seeing that articulated, so unapologetically and dynamically.”

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