The 2016 version of Festpac was such a beautiful testament to what makes live theatre so wonderful. The energy, commitment, and care for the "ensemble" that those involved put into it to make it happen was a thrill to experience. About two weeks before Festpac, we were told that it was too far from being ready, so it was to be cancelled. The actors, choreographers, and other backstage people (including myself) were very disappointed, to say the least. And with the advocacy of our musical director, Dr. Colleen Jennings, the agreement was that we could do a staged reading instead. In the background though, we told them to take it as far as they could in the time we had left. One of the actors, a very talented Joyce Torres, became the director. She was amazing as she pushed the actors forward. She only had a week as director. It was tough going, and even two rehearsals before our first performance, we weren't sure they would be ready. But when we had the dress rehearsal, it was clear that they were ready. We had three performances and they were very well-received. One of the best compliments was getting a wonderful hug from a delegate from the Tonga delegation, who saw the first performance. This was the first time Pulani was performed by adults in all the main roles. Most of the actors were experienced actors at the University of Guam, and they seemed to have lots of fun with the characters. Yes, there were a lot of shouldas (shoulda had costumes, shoulda had sets) but it was charming in its minimalist style. And the acting really took center stage. It had to. And it worked! So thank you all for your hard work and commitment. You came through with your talent, ntegrity, and pizzazz!
This past weekend, I saw as many of the films at the University of Guam Film Festival that I could manage. There's something about passion projects that is so contagious as far as creative urges go. In this creative phase of my life, I seem to be excavating those urges I had in the past. In this case, I had a stint exploring film in college. (Someday, I'll upload those films on youtube.)
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.