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46 Merchant St
Honolulu, HI, 96813
United States

808-536-4441

Program

Watcher of waipuna

by Gary Pak
Directed by Harry wong iii

 Lighting Design by Cora Yamagata
Prop Design by John Cummings III


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Please, no photography or recording of any kind during the performance, except by prior arrangement with Kumu Kahua Theatre.

Also in consideration of those around you please turn off all cell phones, digital watches, pagers, and personal electronic devices.

KUMU KAHUA PRODUCTIONS are supported by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, celebrating more than thirty years of culture and the arts in Hawai‘i (with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts), the Atherton Foundation, McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawai‘i, Trustee), Hawaiian Electric Company, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, The Hawai‘i Community Foundation and other foundations, businesses and patrons.


OUR PRODUCTIONS ARE SPONSORED IN PART BY THE FOLLOWING:

Grantors

  • The City and County of Honolulu

  • The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

  • McInerny Foundation (Bank of Hawai‘i, Trustee)

  • and other generous foundations.

Sponsors

  • The Richard Aadland Fund

  • The Robert Emens Black Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation

  • The Iwamoto Family Foundation

  • Edric Sakamoto


CHARACTERs

Chorus……………………………….Samantha Fukushima

Gilbert Sanchez…………………….Eddy Gudoy

Gilbert Sanchez…………………….Brandon Hagio

Chorus……………………………….Kahana Ho

Chorus……………………………….Lelea‘e “Buffy” Kahalepuna-Wong

Gilbert Sanchez………………….….Kirk A. Lapilio Jr.

Chorus……………………………….Pō‘ai Lincoln

Chorus……………………………….Darryl Soriano

Chorus…………………………….…Nicole Tessier

Setting: Waipuna, Late Twentieth Century
THERE WILL BE ONE 15-MINUTE INTERMISSION


THE PLAYWRIGHT

GARY PAK has written five books of fiction: three novels, A Ricepaper Airplane, Children of a Fireland and Brothers Under a Same Sky; and two short story collections, The Watcher of Waipuna and Other Stories and Language of the Geckos and Other Stories.  He is a Professor of English at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where he teaches fiction writing, Ethnic American literature and the contemporary cinema of East Asia. The Watcher of Waipuna was previously adapted for Kumu Kahua’s stage as well as his novel, A Ricepaper Airplane. His children’s play, Beyond the Falls, was produced by Honolulu Theater for Youth. Among the grants and awards he has received, he was a Fulbright senior scholar in 2002.  Currently, he is directing a documentary on the Kalama Valley struggle (1970-1971), involved in several writing projects, and performing as a jazz pianist.

PLAYWRIGHT’S NOTES: When I was in my first year in college on the East Coast, the Kalama Valley land-eviction struggle had erupted.  Of all places, I read about the historic event in the New Yorker magazine.  I remember going to a professor and exclaiming, with joy, “Hawai‘i is seceding from the U.S.!”  Of course, it didn’t, but the heroics of the once-again displaced residents–working people and farmers–joined by “outside agitators” fired something in my young, idealistic heart.  When I came home, with a near useless degree in hand, I met up with activists whom I knew in my anti-war days during my senior year of high school.  And I became totally involved and committed in the “movement,” as we called it.  One of the struggles I was involved in was the Waiāhole-Waikāne land struggle in the mid-1970s, and I witnessed people of all walks of life come together for the common benefit of one community, which later became the inspiration for Gilbert Sanchez and The Watcher of Waipuna.

As a cultural worker, I often remind myself that these are not my stories per se, but I am rather a conduit to express and describe the voices of those who cannot or are not allowed to voice their stories and imagination.

I dedicate this staging of my novella to the activists who have recently passed on, most of whom I have stood with in the struggles to bring about a better world, some of whom I consider my dear friends. These are my heroes, and I hope you see and feel their spirit in today’s production of The Watcher of Waipuna.


THE DIRECTOR

HARRY WONG III is a graduate from UH Manoa with an MFA in Theatre Direction. He has been the Artistic Director of KKT since 1997, and was a KKT Board Member from 1989 to 1997. In 1990, he stage-managed KKT’s international tour to Edinburgh, Washington, DC; and the Los Angeles International Festival of the Arts. He also served as an Allen Lee Hughes Fellow with the Washington Arena Theatre. His KKT directing credits include acclaimed productions such as To The Last Hawaiian Soldier and Fishing For Wives. Most recently, Harry directed Shipwreck’d on the Body Beautiful, or the Tats Dancing Man; Demigods Anonymous; and Living Room.

DIRECTOR’S NOTES: The Watcher Of Waipuna (1996) was the second literary adaptation done at Kumu Kahua, the first being Maui the Demigod (1991) by Steven Goldsberry. By literary adaptation I mean that exposition plays a prominent role on stage. Such an inclusion of exposition adds voices, which complete, clarify, confuse, and compete with the dialogue. It creates a community around the play. I believe that Gary Pak, through these voices, attempts to capture a sense of the various communities that were part of the land struggles of the 1970s and 80s. The play is not a historical document, but a grasping of what that moment in time felt like; an attempt to show a communities making of itself.



ABOUT THE CAST

SAMANTHA FUKUSHIMA (Chorus) is making her KKT stage debut. She was recently seen in Folks You Meet at Longs (LCC) and Freakshow (LCC). She won a Po‘okela for Best Ensemble for Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (LCC).

EDDY GUDOY (Gilbert Sanchez) is a veteran actor of the stage. He was recently seen in Pakalolo Sweet, Who Killed Gilbert Botello?, and Uncle’s Regularly Scheduled Garage Party is CANCELLED Tonight!. Other performances include Once Upon One Noddah Time and The Princess and the Iso Peanut (MVT).

BRANDON HAGIO (Gilbert Sanchez) recently was seen at KKT in Dead of Night, Who Killed Gilbert Botello?, Uncle’s Regularly Scheduled Garage Party is CANCELLED Tonight!, and #iambadatthis. He has been part of several Productions that have received Po‘okelas for Best Ensemble.

KAHANA HO (Chorus) most recently has been seen in All’s Well That Ends Well (HSF), Living Room (KKT), and Twelf Nite O’Wateva (HMH). She is a multiple Po‘okela award winner and has worked in various productions as a set build crewmember, dresser, light and sound designer and operator, stage manager, technical director, and assistant director.

LELEA‘E “BUFFY” KAHALEPUNA-WONG (Chorus) is a Kalani High School graduate and holds her certificate of completion from Hawaiian ‘Ohana Education in the Arts. A multiple Po‘okela Award recipient, she was recently seen in Demigods Anonymous (KKT),The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at UHM, and Happily Eva Afta at MVT.

KIRK A. LAPILIO JR. (Gilbert Sanchez) is a graduate of Leeward Community College. He recently performed in Folks You Meet at Longs (LCC) and King Lear (HSF). He previously performed in Wild Birds and Demigods Anonymous at KKT. He received a Po‘okela award for Best Ensemble for Clockwork Cutie Review (LCC).

PŌ‘AI LINCOLN (Chorus) most recently was seen in Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (TAG) and Pakalolo Sweet (KKT). She majored in music with a focus on voice at UH Mānoa. She is the Cultural Program Coordinator for Hawaiian Mission Houses.

DARRYL SORIANO  (Chorus) holds a BSN from Hawai‘i Pacific University. She was recently seen in 38 Minutes (KKT) and has also started making short films as co-director and co-writer.

NICOLE TESSIER  (Chorus) went to Campbell High School and received an MFA in Asian Theatre Performance from UH Manoa. She has performed in China, NYC, and at theaters throughout Hawai‘i, receiving Po‘okela awards for performance and service. She is the Managing Director of Hawai‘i Shakespeare Festival and sang on Kamuela Kahoano’s Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning album Stream Dreams.


THEATRE ABBREVIATIONS

 
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The design and production team

CORA YAMAGATA (Lighting Design) designed lighting recently at KKT for Shipwreck’d on the Body Beautiful, or the Tats Dancing Man; June is the First Fall; Dead of Night; Demigods Anonymous; Wild Birds; Black Faggot & Puzzy; the underneath; and My Name is Gary Cooper. She holds a BFA in Theatre and Dance from UHM, has danced with Tau Dance Theatre and as a five-year cast member of ‘Ulalena (ARRA-Montréal).


Production Credits

Stage Manager …………………………........................Will Ha‘o

Poster Design and Program Layout.............................Brian Onaga

Publicity Photography......................................................Chris Kwock

Set Display Photography......................………………Ed Greevy

Special Thanks

Cheryl Ho


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Donors

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