Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

46 Merchant St
Honolulu, HI, 96813
United States


Template for Program

Shipwreck’d on the body beautiful, or the tats dancing man

BY Daniel A. Kelin, II

Set & Prop Design by Eric West
Tattoo Design by Mia Yoshimoto
Lighting Design by Cora Yamagata


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.

Sponsored in Part By:


James F. O’Connell………………...Daniel A. Kelin, II



DANIEL A. KELIN, II has served as HTY Director of Drama Education since 1987. During his tenure, he has taught tens of thousands of students throughout the world. Daniel has directed, acted in and written plays performed in Asia, the Pacific, and across the US. As a playwright his play Sing a Porpoise Home received a staged reading at NYU and won the Aurand Harris Playwriting award of the New England Theatre Conference. Donnie Q: Knight of the Third Grade was the winner of the Old Miner’s Children’s Playwriting Contest (NV). His most recent published play, The Musical (Mis)Adventures of Goopy and Bagha, was honored by a children’s theatre in Arizona and performed in South India. Daniel was the founding director of Cabaret Tiki (HI), a playwright collective dedicated to writing and producing plays of five pages or less. As an actor, he has worked with most local theatre companies, appearing at Kumu Kahua in The Watcher of Waipuna, Way of a God, Cockadoodledoo, and #iambadatthis. Daniel has had fellowships with Montalvo Arts Center (CA), Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, and the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, and was a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholar in Education, through which he designed several drama programs in India.

PLAYWRIGHT’S NOTES: It is an undoubted fact that when a white man becomes an outcast, lives with savages, and adopts their manner of life, he soon sinks into such a state of barbarism that he becomes the greater savage of the two.
-The Friend, 1853

On landing, an attempt was made to strip the stranger of his personal possessions, including his clothes ... It was the possession of valuable property, and not the fact of being a stranger, that exposed the intending resident to danger. Incorporation into a chief’s household was, in any case, the normal way to preferment in all areas, usually by formal adoption or marriage. The newcomer was apt to be considered as a sort of status symbol of the local chief and his followers.
–H. E. Maude, 1964, Beachcombers and Castaways

The beachcombers were human before they were Europeans, and they approached their hosts on fundamentally human rather than on cultural terms because their object was survival, not profit, nor evangelization, nor dominion. 
–I. C. Campbell, 1976, European Transculturists in Polynesia, 1789-ca.1840

Through tattooing, discontinuous time becomes continuous, and separate and bordered places become interconnected.
–Makiko Kuwahara, 2005, Tattooing: an anthology

How do we decide who has the right to celebrate our [Irish] culture? Americans … pay much more attention to ancestry no matter how remote it may be. It always astounds Irish people when Americans claim to be Irish-American due to their great-grandparents or other distant relatives. It confuses us that someone can claim a heritage despite never visiting the country, not knowing the history or sharing any Irish experiences. To us, Irishness is a culture that must be experienced, it can’t be inherited. If you were born in Ireland, you’re Irish. It doesn’t matter where your parents were born, be it Nigeria, Lithuania or China, you are Irish. 
–Robert Nielsen, 2017,

I saw more and more people around me getting tattoos. Tattoo no longer told a story or meant anything. But I could see everyone around me getting one or more. A turtle on the foot. A bracelet on the wrist or ankle. An earring around the ear. Some men would go all the way and tattoo the entire body. Every Polynesian wanted, stamped into the skin, a sign of cultural belonging.
–Rai a Mai, 2006, Tattoo, Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing

For a culture’s traditions to be exoticized is almost forgivable in the archaic context of the Captain Cook era, but it is utterly unacceptable in the twenty-first century. It should be the goal of every global citizen to gain a deeper understanding of cultures that seem ‘exotic,’ but it is ultimately up to those cultures to decide whether or not outsiders are allowed to partake in such sacred traditions as ta tatau
–phamvk, The Problematic Cultural Appropriation of Polynesian Tattooing in the Wave of 21st Century Tattoo Revival, 2017,

All history plays are about the present moment. 
–Paula Vogel, 2017


HARRY WONG III was a KKT Board Member from 1989 to 1997. In 1990, he stage managed our international tour to Edinburgh, Washington, DC; and the Los Angeles International Festival of the Arts. In 1993, he graduated with an MFA in Theatre Direction from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Thereafter, his theatre activity has centered around his Artistic Directorship of KKT, apart from the 1995-96 season which he spent in Washington, DC as an Allen Lee Hughes Fellow with the Washington Arena Theatre. His KKT directing credits include the world premieres of Alani Apio’s Kāmau in 1994 and Kāmau A‘e in 1997, and acclaimed productions including Sean T.C. O’Malley’s To The Last Hawaiian Soldier, Edward Sakamoto’s Fishing For Wives, and a revival of Kāmau which toured to the 2008 Pacific Arts Festival in American Sāmoa. Most recently Harry directed Demigods Anonymous, Wild Birds, Living Room, and Uncle’s Regularly Scheduled Garage Party is Cancelled Tonight!.

In 1990, me and my friend Junior saw every Best Picture nominee for that year’s Oscars. I thought for certain it was going to be Goodfellas, and that Martin Scorsese would win Best Director. Goodfellas did and still does blow my mind; the film makes use of everything that is possible in film to tell stories. It didn’t win, nor did Scorsese. Dances With Wolves won, and Kevin Costner, that movie’s star, won Best Director. I just thought Dances With Wolves was long, boring, and well, uninteresting. Also, it was shot unimaginatively–in my opinion. I have never forgiven the Oscars for this slight.

Years later I’m Artistic Director of Kumu Kahua and a Hawaiian playwright was complaining to me about the same movie.

–I hate Dances With Wolves.

–Yeah! Me too. It’s long and boring, and done completely unimaginatively. You know what movie should have won that year-

–I’m tired of all these white savior movies. The only time you see native cultures is through the lens of a white male savior.

I had honestly never thought of that before. I answered my friend, “Yeah, but it’s about a white male savior, I think. It’s not about a native culture. I guess he uses that culture to tell his story.”

O’Connell’s story is about that “use” of native culture.


STEPHANIE CONCHING (Assistant Director) previously directed A Jivebomber’s Christmas (KKT), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus), Jackie: An American Life (DHT), Sweeney Todd, and West Side Story (ACT), as well as, educational productions with HOT. She has been seen on stage in Carousel and Seussical (DHT), Anything Goes and Agnes of God (ACT), and Prom Queen’s Unchained (MVT). She also costeum designed for KKT’s To the Last Hawaiian Soldier. Local audiences have seen her in commercials for Zippy’s, HECO, and Foodland. Stephanie is a house manager with HTY, she sings with the HOT.

ERIC WEST (Set & Props Designer) was a student of art mediums, graphic design and photography in Florida before moving to New York City, pursuing the arts. As an artist, he has had works auctioned at Sotheby’s. He has also worked as a fabricator lead to a career in film, television and as a theatre artistic department lead. For four years Eric has been the Technical Director and a Resident Designer for HTY, he has and continues to assist the theatrical community of O‘ahu for over a decade.

CORA YAMAGATA (Lighting Design) designed lighting recently at KKT for 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).

MIA YOSHIMOTO (Tattoo Designer) is a Hawai‘i-grown Wig/Makeup Artist. Her most recent productions include The Wiz (PTW) , Hedda Gabler (HSF), and Romeo and Juliet (HOT). She is currently attending Honolulu Community College in their cosmetology program. 

CARLYNN WOLFE (Costume Consulting) has been creating costumes in Honolulu for over a decade, most recently for Wild Birds, Who Killed Gilbert Botello?, and iHula at KKT. She was the resident costumer at TAG for six seasons and at MVT for two. She has created costumes for HMH, HSF, IONA, and independent film. Carlynn has received six Hawai‘i State Theatre Council Po‘okela awards for her costume work.


DANIEL A. KELIN, II: See Playwright’s Notes



Production Credits

Stage Manager …………………………........................Stephanie Conching

Technical Director................................................................Eric West

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

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

Special Thanks

Pohnpei: Nahnapas Nelsin Iriate, Canita Rilometo, Gus Kohler, Denise Oen

US: Yoana Amond, Susan St. John (WCC OutLoud in the Library), Tom Arvetis, Mitch Mattson, Jamie Simpson Steele, Steve Barberio, Justina Mattos, Joe Genz, Jonathan Sypert, Matt Mazzella, Harry Wong III

India: Ujjawal Sinha


US: Eric Johnson, Jason Kanda, Meredith Enos, Alvin Chan, Daniel Akiyama, Robert St. John, Sam St. John, Madeline St. John, Sara Antill Howell, Marsha Gildin, Jessica Mattson, Ariel Warmflash, Dave Hall, Brian Glover, Peter Avery, William Kaipo Schwab, Tyler Tanabe, Tom Lee, Jordon Savusa, Karen Hoffman, Grace Overbeke, Julie Kitchey, Carlos Murillo, Jessica Hutchinson, Adrian Danzig, Aito Steele, Ciara Lacy, Adele Balderston, Lily Brennick, Rachael Chapman, Gerard Elmore, Kiana Rivera, Karen Wright, Kati Koerner, Omita Jorlang, Carlinda Jabjulan,Nyla Fujii-Babb, Alia Pan, Evan Anderson, Mary Hall Surface, Kevin Reese, Ashley Forman, Jeff Gere, Kavita Rao, Nick Logue, Ben Moffat, David Hanlon, PJ Starr, Susan Hogan, Dusty Santos, Justin Udovch, Students and faculty of Univ of Hawaii at Hilo

India: Red Apple Theatre Gathering (Sri Lanka), Kantipur Academy artists (Nepal), Ensemble Theatre

Pohnpei: Danko Taboroso, Deva Senarathgoda

2019-01-16 09.01.34 pm copy.png
2019-01-16 09.05.46 pm copy.png