Rotorua's Sally Sakalia has been cast in New Zealand's first Pacific musical.
The musical The Factory will be part of the Auckland Arts Festival and is being tipped as one of the festival's must-see shows. It explores the Samoan migrant experience and is a tribute to the courage of the Pacific migrants who came to New Zealand during the 1970s searching for ways to support the families they had left behind while striving to make new lives for themselves.
The Factory tells the story of a young Samoan woman who arrives in Aukilani with her father. She has big dreams and hopes for a brighter future but is immediately set to work in a south Auckland textile factory.
With comedy and romance, The Factory features soulful songs, slick choreography and a live seven-piece band including a string ensemble.
Sakalia, who lives in Rotorua, auditioned for the show in Auckland last December and was told shortly before Christmas she had secured a role as one of the chorus members. This was the biggest show she had been cast for to date.
"It's my first professional show. Hopefully this will lead me to wider roles," she said. Rehearsals started last week and the 22-year-old has moved to Auckland to stay with family until the end of the show.
The former Rotorua Girls' High School student said from day one the crew had worked well together and she was looking forward to showing the public what it was all about. "It's an amazing show ... it's so exciting," Sakalia said.
The Factory runs between March 6 and 11 at Auckland's Q Theatre.