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Kumu Kahua Theatre Announces 51st Season


The season kicks off with #haoleboyfriend, running September 2 - 19, 2021.

Kumu Kahua Theatre Announces 51st Season

Kumu Kahua Theatre will present five plays in its upcoming fifty first season, four of which will be world premieres. Because of precautions taken to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19, Kumu Kahua Theatre is planning to present the first two shows live, online only. The three remaining shows beginning in January 2022 are currently scheduled to take place in person at Kumu Kahua Theatre in downtown Honolulu.

The theatre will continue to offer a digital representation of shows for those who have been watching across the state and world, or are otherwise unable to visit the theatre in person. They'll also continue to present closed captioned digital performances, and digital shows will still be offered on a pay-what-you-will basis.

When in person theatre is possible again in this intimate theatre space, if seating is limited due to the, season subscribers will be the first to secure those seats.

The following is a listing of Kumu Kahua Theatre's 51st season of plays written by, for and about the people of Hawai'i.


by Stephanie Keiko Kong & Tony Pisculli

Sept. 2 - 19, 2021

Five former math geeks and high school besties reunite fifteen years after they've graduated from Pearl City to wrestle with secrets, major life changes and guacamole at their favorite karaoke room. If you requested Lady Marmalade from the DJ at your prom, this play is dedicated to you.

Stephanie Keiko Kong and Tony Pisculli are better known as actor and director respectively and have each won multiple HSTC Awards for Excellence. They honed their creative collaboration on multiple projects with the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, beginning with Richard III in 2012. In 2017, they began writing plays together. Their creative process is fueled by trust in each other's artistry, caffeine, and the positive creative friction between actor and director.

#haoleboyfriend is their first, and therefore favorite, script, though it is the second to be produced. In 2020 they wrote their third script Enigma, specifically to address themes of identity and isolation arising from the pandemic (and the unique challenges of staging a play under pandemic conditions). They co-directed the production for TAG-The Actors' Group. Their second script, Small-kine Super, as yet unproduced, is a comedic local riff on the theme that even with a little power comes some responsibility and takes place largely underwater.

The Kasha of Kaimukī

by Hannah Iʻi-Epstein

Oct. 28 - Nov. 14, 2021

Based on Hawaiʻiʻs most famous & terrifying haunted house comes the thriller The Kasha of Kaimukī. Sam & Amanda are a lesbian couple who recently moved into the Kaimukī house with a new roommate, Emily. With their friend Joseph, they find the Kasha, a ghost from Japanese

folklore who has an insatiable hunger for blood and corpses. Will these four friends survive, or die like the others?

Hannah Ii-Epstein (she/her/hers), born and raised on the North Shore of O`ahu and received her MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage at Northwestern University in 2018. She is a creative writer, dramatist, and Co-Artistic Director of Nothing Without a Company (NWaC). Since 2007, over twenty of her works were produced in Hawai`i by Kumu Kahua Theatre and in Chicago by NWaC, About Face Theatre's Babes on Stage, and Fury Theatre's SAST. In 2016 Hannah and her play, Not One Batu, was honored by Hawai`i State Theatre Council Po`okela Award. In 2018, in Chicago Not One Batu was Reader and Jeff Recommended. In 2019 her short film, Redesign Your Life, won 5 awards, including Best Film Runner Up at 48HFP Chicago. Hannah is a founding member of BearCat Productions and a member of the Hawaiian Civic Club and Aloha Center Chicago.

The Conversion of Kaʻahumanu

by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl

Jan 20 - Feb 20, 2022

When Lucy Thurston and Sybil Bingham arrive on the shores of Oʻahu in 1820, a year after Queen Kaʻahumanu overthrew the traditional kapu system in ancient Hawaiʻi, they immediately attempt their missionary task. Queen Kaʻahumanu, however, is more interested in their dresses than any new god and has no desire for any new religion. Sybil and Lucy persevere, and so begins the slow, gradual process of Kaʻahumanu's conversion. This complex historical drama explores the official adoption of Christianity in Hawaiʻi.

Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl was born in Honolulu and is of Hawaiian and Samoan ancestry. Many of her plays have been produced by Kumu Kahua, including Ola Nā Iwi (twice) and Fanny and Belle and The Conversion of Kaʻahumanu. Her production, The Holiday of Rain, was specially commissioned by Kumu Kahua Theatre. Several of her plays have toured Britain, America, the Pacific, and Asia. Ms. Kneubuhl has been actively involved in producing many community performance programs that reflect the unique history of her island home. She also served as producer/writer for the TV series Biography Hawai'i. She was named one of the Extraordinary Women on Hawai'i in 2001 by the Foundation for Hawai'i Women's History and the Native Hawaiian Library of Alu Like, Inc. In 1994, she was honored with the Hawai`i Award for Literature, the highest honor the State of Hawai'i bestows on a writer. In 2006, she received the Elliot Cades Award for Literature. Hawai'i Nei, a collection of three plays, was published in 2002 by the University of Hawai'i Press. Her three mysteries, Murder Casts a Shadow, Murder Leaves Its Mark, and Murder Frames the Scene have also been published by the University of Hawai'i Press.

Who You Again?

by Ryan Okinaka

March 24 - April 24, 2022

A family struggles to care for their matriarch as dementia slowly steals her memories away. Her grandson's method of existing within -- and adding to -- the imaginative world she inhabits creates a special bond. He helps her cope with changing realities, and she gives him the gift of self-acceptance.

Ryan "OKI" Okinaka was born and raised in Honolulu, Hi; Ryan prefers to go by the name Oki, a nickname based on his last name. Oki has performed in numerous stage productions, as well as, various television, web, and film roles. He's also a playwright having produced his first production, iHula at Kumu Kahua Theater. He's performed improv comedy for nearly ten years and has been a member of Improvhi. He's also assisted in writing, performing, and producing Waikiki PD, a local police sketch comedy series.


by Wil Kahele

May 26 - June 26, 2022

It's not just fun and games at Waikīkī's Aloha Sunset Lānai. Balancing personal dreams and multiple jobs, a dynamic musical duo and their hula counterparts discover that sometimes the entertainment they provide has profound impacts.

WILLIAM KAHELE has worn many hats at KKT including actor, director, and now playwright. His acting credits include several musicals at DHT, MVT, and ACT, as well as work in films, including Haole, Under the Blood Red Sun, 6B, The Ride, Silent Years, and The Sand Island Drive-In Anthem. For KKT he has appeared in Echoes of Dat Red Guitar, Folks You Meet in Longs, Waiting for a King, The Hilo Massacre, The Great Kaua'i Train Robbery, and Flowers of Hawai'i. His directing credits include co-directing - with Harry Wong - the 2007 KKT revival of Alani Apio's Kāmau, which also toured to the Pacific Arts Festival in Sāmoa in 2008. He also directed Joker in 2015, Māui the Demigod in 2010, Kāmau A'e in 2012, and Koi, Like the Fish in 2014 here at KKT.

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