No Fefe Collective
Could you describe your company and the work you perform?
The No Fefe Collective is the company of artists behind the political satire production, Public Service Announcements (PSA).
The name No Fefe means ‘no fear’ in Samoan. This is a reflection of our core value – not to be afraid to question those in power, to deconstruct and hold them accountable, and lampoon them. After all – the Court Jester is the only one who can mock the King!
PSA was created for Wellington’s population of public servants but it has a broad appeal. It is non-partisan, meaning we make fun of every party and politician and don’t have a political agenda. It is irreverent, silly, and above all funny. It’s also very current – political satire must be up to date, relevant and subversive.
Since 2011 we have performed 14 PSA shows, with more than 50 Wellington-based performers, writers, directors and designers.
What are the core values of your company?
As above, not being afraid to question and lampoon those in power is one of the core values of No Fefe, and by extension, PSA.
We also value humour and engagement. This could be political engagement or being engaged in your community, and for us includes engaging the theatre community.
Based on these values, PSA aims to unite and engage people through laughter, whilst working with Wellington’s top theatre practitioners.
Our shows discuss politics in a detailed and irreverent manner, and we have crafted a style of comedy that has both a wide appeal to the general public and is also very relevant to Wellington’s population of public servants.
As well as entertaining people, the show is about building people’s participation in the political space and providing an alternative way for people to engage: through comedy.
The show is fast and funny, there are no boring bits. We aim to make politics easy to digest, to remove the veils of power and reveal what politicians are really saying, whilst making them ridiculous at the same time.
We work with a wide range of theatre practitioners, from very experienced older practitioners, to younger, up and coming talents. We aim to provide employment and experience to the theatre sector, building professional relationships and creating more political work inside the New Zealand arts industry.
How would you describe the profile of your (prospective) audience?
Approximately 80% of our audience comprises Wellington’s public servants; people that work for political parties, for government departments, press gallery journalists, and occasionally politicians themselves.
The balance of our audience is much broader and younger, made up of students, the general public and other artists.
How do you currently engage your (prospective) audience?
We have spent seven years building a strong brand for PSA that people in Wellington know and trust.
A key part of that has been performing PSA at the annual NZ International Comedy Festival. Being part of the festival, and its marketing machine, has allowed us to build a strong audience base.
Outside of the festival, we engage our audience directly through social media and eDM. We email all Wellington-based government departments directly and ask them to forward the show details around the office.
Our performance base, BATS Theatre, also has a database of our previous audience members that we email directly.
Other seasons outside of the festival have proven just as strong in recent years and our recent pre-election show in Wellington was sold out before it opened, including extra shows that were added to meet demand.
What are the key challenges you have to overcome to locate and select sponsors?
In the past we have worked with sponsorship from individuals who love what we are doing and wanted to support us. In exchange for a financial contribution, we wrote a special monologue for these sponsors who then appeared in the show. It was an exciting challenge for our writers, director and actors, and a lot of fun – but also a lot of work.
Going forward, we would love to be able to connect with a corporate or business sponsor that shares our values and enjoys comedy. Our work is irreverent and fun so would be a great fit for a brand that identifies with the PSA.
Could you describe the value shared and received beyond the dollars?
We would welcome sponsors into the No Fefe family. They would be invited to rehearsal, and would be offered free tickets to the shows for sponsors and their clients.
Because a fresh show is written each season, we could also write mentions of sponsors into the show, which could be a lot of fun.
There would also be opportunities for branding in the programmes and foyer, and within our marketing.
Beyond these arrangements, sponsors would also have the satisfaction of knowing they are supporting original, high quality and professional art. And given the nature of PSA, one that has an important role to play in scrutinising politics and facilitating political discourse.
More broadly, they would be nurturing the development of artists and audiences for theatre in Wellington. And of course, it would be a lot of fun.