Class of 2022 graduate Kaiulu Tiogangco portrays Kamehameha I in the act I workshop performance of PAIʻEA.
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Art Center's KEAKA Hawaiian Language Theatre Festival launched online on June 10 and will be up through the end of the month. PAIʻEA is one of 11 Hawaiian theatre productions audiences will be able to stream online through June 30 via the festival.
Our Hōʻike 2022 Act I Workshop performance of PAIʻEA is the first in a trilogy of rock opera performances focusing on Kamehameha I. Written almost entirely in Hawaiian language, this workshopped performance of Act I covers the life of Kamehameha from birth to the Battle of Mokuʻōhai.
“The festival seeks to promote Hawaiian language and culture through theatre arts; providing free entertainment for our Hawaiian-speaking community, opportunities for performers and other theatre practitioners to work on creative projects utilizing Hawaiian language, and opportunities for all to see and hear the Hawaiian language in use within the wider community,” said Justina Mattos, a drama professor at UH Hilo.
The KEAKA Hawaiian Language Theatre Festival is an event UH Hilo's Performing Arts Center has hosted since 2016. Our Hawaiian language opera, HĀʻUPU was performed as part of that first festival, and was a key venue for helping haumāna fine tune their performance before it became the first-ever Hawaiian language offering at the world's largest performing arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in Scotland. It also gave local audiences a chance to see that version of the performance first, before making its way abroad. KEAKA is usually an in-person event however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers opted to produce a virtual festival which offers a variety of genres, from full-length plays to slam poetry, film and short research presentations.
To view all of the online offerings for 2022, visit https://www.ahahanakeaka.org/
You can also watch the PAIʻEA performance below:
Next year, PAIʻEA is scheduled for the full on-stage Hōʻike treatment and will be the production our haumāna will take to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2023 as part of the American High School Theatre Festival.