Our Street | 2008
In December 2007 Prayas was invited by Auckland City Council to participate in the Wesley Community Project where the young members of Prayas formed the satellite group and went on to co-write the script for ‘Sticky Fingers’. This community project was staged in April 2008 and involved members from various ethnicities. ‘Sticky Fingers’ then grew into a full blown multimedia production – ‘Our Street’, a fascinating story about Wesley’s mixed community.
A culturally rich and diverse play – with more than just hints of song and dance – Our Street combined a multitude of modern performing arts including krumping, hip hop, film, Indian dance and a 33-piece Tongan brass band.
There were two plays within one where a North Indian and a Samoan family prepared for the weddings of their eldest girls. It was set in Auckland’s Wesley, Mount Albert and Mount Roskill suburbs.
The story followed two couples trying to make sure their mixed marriages go off without a hitch. Only an elusive caterer, a missing guitarist, a meddling aunty and one little secret stood in their way.
The Auckland City Council initiated Our Street and it was performed over four nights at Auckland Town Hall.
It won warm reviews and interested media coverage, but for the growing Indian community of Auckland, it opened up links with other ethnic groups. Migrant Indians, for example, found themselves dancing to Samoan songs – and a bewildering array of other migrant groups found themselves tapping their feet to the rhythms of India.
Sananda Chatterjee wrote the Indian side of the story while Justine Simei-Barton was the Creative Director of Our Street.