The cast of students who will be embarking on this pioneering adventure for Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i and their community.
Next August, 20 students from Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i will travel to Scotland to represent their school, community and culture at the world’s largest performing arts festival.
The Fringe involves over 4,000 shows featuring over 42,000 performers from all over the world and attracts about a million visitors each year.
“Ka Lei Hāweoʻula O Ke Ao Hou” (The lei of the new beginnings of the new realm) was chosen by students as the theme for their trip and represents the pioneering nature of the performance for the Kea‘au campus and many firsts they will achieve. It will be the first time that hula and ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language) will be presented at this international festival, which has roots that date back to 1947. It’ll be the first time performing off-island for the program. KS Hawai‘i will be the first Kamehameha Schools campus, as well as the first Hawai‘i high school not located on O‘ahu to perform at the prestigious festival.
“As we look to the many tasks necessary to prepare for the journey, it is not difficult to feel overwhelmed and fearful,” said junior Makana Waikiki, who along with cast mate Ku‘uhiapo Jeong came up with the theme for the trip.
“But as our kūpuna (ancestors) watched the foreboding red sky gradually lighten into day, we look to this experience as the dawn of a new chapter of life and learning.”
The cast thus far include juniors Hansel Ka‘aumoana, Daylan-Blake Kalai, Alya Kanehailua, Kamalanai Kekuewa, Pomai Longakit, Tenielle Nagareda, Shariah Olomua and Waikiki; sophomores Hiwa Brown, Kaeo Cachola, Leiana Clark, Tiari Faagata, Sierra Gleason, Alexia Iwamoto, Jeong, Jameson Sato, Damien Stack and Chalet Tauati; freshman Kekuahiwi Woods and eighth grade student Kayla Enanoria.
KS Hawaiʻi was nominated for the festival by two local theatre professionals this past fall. The nominations were based on the high standard of excellence demonstrated by KS’ theatrical performances, ranging from well-known musicals to original works such as Hawaiian language operas, which were presented in 2013 and 2014. The AHSTF Board of Advisors selected the KSH program for its commitment to theatre education, promotion of culture, level of administrative support and community involvement.
The group is fundraising to support for the large cost of traveling to and attending the two-week festival, estimated at $213,000. Funds raised through their fall musical (West Side Story) this November, Christmas Concert in December and Hō‘ike that is presented in March, will be applied to the fundraising efforts.
The Hō‘ike A Ha‘i Performing Arts Department has also created a blog where updates will be posted and performance information is available. Visit http://blogs.ksbe.edu/hah/ to see more. Supporters are encouraged to contact Choral Director Herb Mahelona at 808-982-0741 or theater kumu Eric Stack at 808-982-0713 for information on fundraising activities and other sponsorship opportunities.