Anapela Polata'ivao


Samoan born, Anapela Polata’ivao is from the villages of Vailoa and Vaiusu in Upolu and Fagae'e and Safune in Savai’i. Since graduating from Toi Whakaari in 2000, her and partner Vela Manusaute created the South Auckland theatre collective Kila Kokonut Krew which garnered them a New Generation Arts Laureate after producing the landmark Pasifika musical The Factory. Anapela gained international acclaim for her performance in the short film Night Shift (2012) and won Best Actress in the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards for her role in Tusiata Avia’s Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, which she also directed. Anapela made history last year as the first Samoan woman to have directed a show off-Broadway when Wild Dogs Under My Skirt made its New York debut and was subsequently named the winner of the Fringe Encore Series at the SoHo Playhouse.