Alani Apio's KAMAU A'E Opens at Kuma Kahua May 31
The Hawaiian sovereignty movement, with its complexities and controversies, takes the stage in Alani Apio's powerful drama Kamau A'e, opening May 31 until July 1 at Kuma Kahua.
First produced in 1997, K?mau A'e-meaning "to carry forward"-is the second installment of Apio's in-progress trilogy focused on the Mahekona family set against a backdrop of an island and culture in transition. Kumu Kahua restages the work to share its message with a new generation of audiences.
This new production marks a natural line of the "carrying on" of commitment to the work of Alani Apio. The show's director, Wil T.K. Kahele, co-directed with Harry Wong III the revival of Apio's K?mau -the first play in the trilogy-at Kumu Kahua in 2007 and on tour to the Pacific Arts Festival in Samoa in 2008. And actor Charles Kapahu Timtim, who appeared in K?mau in 1994 and the premiere of Kamau A'e in 1997, takes the role of the central character, Michael Kawaipono Mahekona. Taking on a new role, he is again poised to make an indelible impression on audiences in this evolving story.
At the center of the production is Michael Kawaipono Mahekona. Fresh out of prison, Michael joins a group of activists on a mission to reclaim Hawaiian land. As the group splinters over whether to stand firm or compromise on its principles, Michael must decide how to stay true to what he believes.
"The cast is solid and powerful," says Apio. "I'm excited for them and for our audiences. Fifteen years have passed since the show premiered in 1997. So much has changed here and yet, with respect to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, not much has changed since then. It'll be interesting to see our collective take on it now."
PLaywright ALANI APIO grew up in Pu'uloa, or 'Ewa Beach, in a family of fishermen. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai'i–M?noa (UHM), with a degree in Drama and Theatre. He's a founding and current board member of Kanu Hawaii (kanuhawaii.org) and works as a community consultant for utility companies and developers on sustainability projects and projects that have potential Native Hawaiian burial issues.
Director WIL T. K. KAHELE is well known for his work in local theater and film and has acted, directed, and stage managed many productions for KKT. He co-directed with Harry Wong III the revival of Apio's K?mau at KKT in 2007, and on tour to the Pacific Arts Festival in Samoa in 2008 and directed Maui the Demigod in 2010.
Jaime Bradner (Lisa Kealoha) made her KKT debut last fall in Kemuel DeMoville's Cane Fields Burning. She is a veteran of the Leeward Community College (LCC) Acting Training Program under Paul Cravath and is currently studying with Paul Mitri at UHM.
Elexis Draine (Anita Sanchez), trained in theater at Leeward Community College, most recently earned raves from KKT audiences in the recent smash Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre, which will be revived in July.
SHARON R. GARCIA DOYLE (Wainani Carson) is known in Honolulu for her work in costume design as well as acting. This past fall she appeared in two Late Night Theatre productions at UHM's Ernst Lab: Paula Vogel's Hot n' Throbbing and Diana Son's Stop Kiss. Last summer, she played in HSF's The Tempest. Her training and education includes an Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts from Honolulu Community College (HCC), acting and voice work at University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and acting, voice and Shakespeare with Paul Mitri at UHM.
Dawn Gohara (Raynell Hashimoto) is from Pukalani, Maui. She has been seen in several KKT productions including the 1986 revival and interisland tour of James Benton's Twelf Nite O Wateva! and the two revival seasons (2003 and 2011) of Cataluna's Folks You Meet in Long's. She also played in the 2007 revival and tour to Samoa of K?mau, and the 2011 production of Lee Tonouchi's Da Kine Space. Her work in other media includes 20 years at KCCN/KINE radio, the Honolulu Advertiser, and radio and television voice work. Dawn is a member of the KKT Board of Directors.
WILLIAM HA'O (T?t? K?ne) formerly built an acting career for himself based from NYC and has toured nationally and internationally. His awards include the Villager Award, an ensemble award NYC for Paper Angel, and a Chicago Film Festival Blue Ribbon award for Best Documentary The Central Ballet of China. His TV credits include The Cosby Show, One Life to Live, and All My Children. In Hawai'i, KKT roles include those in Another Heaven and Maui the Demigod. Most recently, he will be remembered for his powerful performance as Nui in Lee Cataluna's The Great Kaua'i Train Robbery. His educational background includes study at Chaminade and LCC.
KAHANA HO (Lahela Mau) recently appeared in a V-Day Honolulu 2012 production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. She holds degrees in Music (BA) and an M.Ed. (Counseling).
JOEY HUMEL (Carolyn) has a nursing background and training from Hawaii Pacific University. She has also done voice-over and radio commercials.
DANIEL W. LYMAN (Bully Mack) has wide-ranging theater credits. For Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) he played in Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin; for MVT, Tony and Tina's Wedding; for Army Community Theatre South Pacific and for UHM-Kennedy Theatre Camelot. He also appeared at Maui Community Theatre in The Glass Menagerie and Born Yesterday; and at ICT (Island Community Theatre, American S?moa) in Rain and The Fantastiks.
William Murray (Alika Kealoha) is another young actor who began his stage work at LCC, under Betty Burdick and Paul Cravath. In the 2007 revival of K?mau he played George and now steps into the pivotal role of Alika. At Cruel Theatre in 2007, he participated in the blistering Artaudian attack on consumerism, Haditha WalMartt Killing Machine.
RAYMOND RIVERA (George Mahekona) has appeared in many productions at LCC. In 2008, he appeared in an independent film Off the Rock. He has taken "all the available acting courses under Paul Cravath" at LCC, and K?mau A'e marks his KKT debut.
CHARLES K?PAHU TIMTIM (Michael Mahekona) has nearly 20 years of performance experience behind him. In 1994 he played Alika in the first production of K?mau, making an indelible impression as that complex and confused character. Four years later, in the premiere of K?mau A'e, he played Alika again. In this production he switches to Michael, who now becomes the protagonist in the evolving story. Recently he has participated in Victoria Kneubuhl's site-specific historical reconstructions Mai Poina and The Annexation Debates. He has considerable film and TV experience as well. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools.
KIMBERLEIGH KA LEI O NAHA VILLASENOR (Understudy) has appeared in Army Community Theatre musicals and has extensive credits in TV and commercial work, including Magnum PI, Raven, and Birds of Paradise. She has been seen at KKT in Kaluaiko'olau and Maui the Demigod. She has trained privately in various performance techniques with Laurence Paxton, Bill Ogilvie, Lydia Kamakawiwoole and John Rampage, among others, and holds a BA in English from UHM.
Kumu Kahua productions are made possible with support from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, celebrating more than thirty years of culture and the arts in Hawai'i, and the National Endowment for the Arts; paid for in part by the taxpayers of the City & County of Honolulu; the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts; The Annenberg Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawaii, Trustee); and other Foundations, Businesses and Patrons.
This play contains strong language.
Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. on May 31; June 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 2012; and Sundays at 2 p.m.: June 3, 10, 17, 24; July 1, 2012 at Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant St. Friday, June 8 performance will be followed by a Talk Story session with playwright Alani Apio.
Tickets cost $5-$20 from 536-4441, www.kumukahua.org; box office open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.