Popular PNG play “Meisoga” end this week
Popular PNG-written and directed play, Meisoga, will finish its good run at the Moresby Arts Theatre this coming weekend. The play, set mostly on Misima Island in Milne Bay, tells the thousand-year-old legend of Sine Kepu, matriarch warrior and leader. It features witchcraft, intra-familial marriage, spear fighting, and traditional song and dance.
Andrew Kuliniasi, the play’s 16-yer old writer and director, says he hopes Meisoga not only makes people from Milne Bay feel proud of their culture, but also Papua New Guineans.
“I feel that just being from Milne Bay make me proud. It’s a collection of traditions and stories as well as customs . . . that’s so rich and vibrant and I feel the same way towards being Papua New Guinean,” Andrew says.
Audiences certainly relate to the play, with clapping, laughter and even cheering making the theatre tremble with pleasure. Opening night attracted around 70 people, as part of a gala night package put together by Rotary to raise funds to fight cervical cancer. “Wonderful”, “exciting” and “entertaining” were just some of the positive adjectives attendees used to describe the show.
Despite its themes, Meisoga is a family play suitable for youngsters. Children enjoy seeing the traditional grass costumes and enjoy rocking to the rhythms of tribal drumming. According to Andrew, the play also teaches children about Papua New Guinea culture.
“Custom is very important to me. I grew up with my grandparents who instilled in me what they were taught growing up in the village so we had a lot of practice learning traditions and values.
“PNG is rich in culture. PNG is fascinating and mysterious and unique that you never know what you’re getting. They don’t call us the land of the unexpected for nothing. There is so much material out there to write songs and book and plays but if we don’t do that our culture dies. Who we are dies. That’s scary. There won’t be anything unique about us. That’s why I’m putting on the show, to inspire people to write about our amazing country.” Andrew says.
Meisoga consists of two 35-minute halves. It is being staged at the Moresby Arts Theatre in Magaini Crescent at 7.30 pm on March 23, 24 and 25, and on March 26 at 1 pm. Tickets are available at the Waterfront supermarket, Boroko Foodworld and at the Moresby Arts Theatre.