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A Hula Family Drama at Kumu Kahua Theatre

A Hula Family Drama at Kumu Kahua Theatre

Kumu Kahua Theatre Presents the World Premiere of iHula
by Ryan Okinaka

WHAT: iHula by Ryan Okinaka
WHERE: Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant Street
WHEN: November 3 – December 4, 2016
COST: $5-$25; Ticket information below
INFO: 536-4441, kumukahua.org

HONOLULU, HI—Kumu Kahua Theatre continues their 46th season with a warm story of a hālau navigating through generational changes to keep traditions alive in the electronic age.

The art of hula is interwoven into this story about four very different young women.  Kumu `Iwalani is trying her hardest to pass on her love for hula and the knowledge she has learned from her Kūpuna to her students, a task that gets harder to do to with each passing generation.  Pono, Kumu’s rebellious granddaughter, has better things to do then give up her nights teaching the keiki class. Jen, the only white girl in the hālau, has “Miss Aloha Hula” dreams. Kanani, the youngest of the group is sick of being called a baby. And finally Pumehana is a passionate dancer who seems content with being the “big girl” in the back line.  Can these hula sisters overcome their fears, pride and insecurities in order to discover the true meaning of hula? Or, will this art form be #forgotten to a generation of tweets and selfies?

This play is the first written by Ryan Okinaka.  Ryan is also an actor who has appeared in the outrageously popular Shoyu on Rice by Scot Izuka in Kumu Kahua Theatre’s 45th season.  His directing credits include Assistant Directing Lee Cataluna’s Flowers of Hawai‘i in the 44th season.  Both shows sold out two separate runs in their perspective seasons.

“My brother Nate is Kumu Hula for Hula Halau Kawailehua” says Okinaka.  “In 2012 he asked for my help in creating something very special for the hālau hoʻike. Special because this hoʻike was being dedicated to our father Norman Okinaka, who passed away only a few months earlier. This became a project for both my brother and me as we collaborated to tell a story through hula and theatre. For weeks we worked tirelessly together, he with his hālau and me, writing a script to tell a story.”

The show features known Kumu Kahua Theatre actors Anette Aga of My Boy He Play Ball, Geph Albo Jr. of Not One Batu, Jaime Bradner of Kāmau A‘e and Flowers of Hawai‘i, Kahana Ho of Kāmau A‘e, One Comedy of Erras and Cockadoodledoo, and Lelea‘e Kahalepuna Wong, who won Po‘okela recognition for her performances last season in Not One Batu and Lysistrate Jones (at Mānoa Valley Theatre).

Performance dates and times:

Thursday, Friday & Saturday 8pm: November 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26; December 1, 2, 3, 2016
Sundays 2pm: November 6, 13, 20, 27; December *4, 2016
*American Sign Language Interpretation upon request
(No show Thursday, November 24 - Thanksgiving)

Tickets for performances can be purchased with a credit card by calling 536-4441, or by visiting the box office at 46 Merchant Street (corner of Bethel and Merchant Streets, downtown) between 11am and 3pm Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at KumuKahua.org.

Ticket prices are $5-$25.

Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by The Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Also paid for in part The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, The Hawai‘i Community Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawai‘i, Trustee); Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation, The Atherton Foundation and Hawaiian Electric Company; The Star-Advertiser and other foundations, businesses and patrons.

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