Fresh Off The Boat

Cast - 3w 2m
ISBN 1 877319 04 X
Teachers' discount $17
RRP $22.50

Fresh Off the Boat
Oscar Kightley and Simon Small

"Would Samoans be Naked or the Bros be in Town if it weren't for Pacific Underground?" asks Felolini Maria Ifopo in the latest Spasifik Magazine. "They made it cool to be fresh. They made it cool to remember where we came from. And they made it cool for brownies to be centre stage. Ten years ago Pacific Underground challenged New Zealand audiences to open their minds to a new wave in theatre. Suddenly, new characters with a different history, accent and worldview stepped onto mainstream stages."

Pacific Underground's groundbreaking play Fresh Off the Boat examines the tragi-comic trials and tribulations of an immigrant family and their attempts to make sense of their new home, and the often painful transition from island 'paradise' to urban New Zealand - Samoan life in the Big Smoke.

Fresh Off the Boat was a huge hit, performed all over the country as well as Australia and Samoa, and broadcast as a radio play in New Zealand and Australia. Reviewers raved, with remarks such as -


"Fresh off the Boat has reached the status of Pacific Islands classic, and should be required viewing ... this admirably understated play is almost a docudrama."Samoa Times

"Balanced on a knife edge between the cultures ... a milestone in New Zealand theatre ... "The Christchurch Press

"This play should be studied and performed in every New Zealand Secondary School."City Life


Oscar Kightley was born in Apia, Samoa in 1969, and emigrated to New Zealand at the age of four. He worked as a journalist for four years before joining Pacific Underground, co-writing Fresh Off the Boat, and later the acclaimed Romeo and Tusi, The Frigate Bird Sings, and Dawn Raids.

In 1998 he was awarded the Sunday Times Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. Subsequently he has been a writer/member of the phenomenally successful The Naked Samoans, and most recently writer/performer for the cult TV hit bro' Town, and the very successful movie Sione's Wedding.

Simon Small was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1970. After training at the Polynesian Performing Arts Trust as an actor, he went on become Writer in Residence for Whakarite Theatre Company in 1990 during which time he wrote several plays that were toured nationwide in primary and secondary schools. He now works as a television director and producer.