The Leeward Theatre presents PlayBuilders’ 2015 Festival of Original Plays. New, original works have been written by outstanding local playwrights and will be read by Hawai’i’s best actors. Directors from major theatre companies across the island have volunteered their time and talent to insure that the quality of each presentation will be outstanding. Don’t miss a night of this very special series. No play is presented more than once. This years selected playwrights are Kemuel DeMoville, Joseph O’Brien, Mark Tjarks, David Penhallow Scott, and for the first time, we have devoted an evening to youth. This years youth night is presented by students of PlayBuilders Playwriting Educator of the Year, Robert St. John of Le Jardin Academy.

Founded in 2011, PlayBuilders’ Festival provides an outlet for new plays and playwrights written by, with, and for the people of Hawai’i. Recent successes from the festival include Nancy Moss’ “Will the Real Charlie Chan Please Stand Up” and Jan Shiarella McGrath’s “Outage” which were produced in 2013 at Kumu Kahua Theatre and TAG respectively.

This years festival will be held on three consecutive Friday evenings, January 9, 16, and 23rd from 8-10 PM at the Leeward Community College Lab Theatre at Leeward Community College. There will be a special Backstage Meet the Playwrights Ice Cream Social on January 9 from 7-8 PM for playwrights, directors, actors, and those who purchase tickets for all three evenings.


Friday, January 9th

7 pm Backstage Meet the Playwrights Ice Cream Social (free to playwrights, directors, actors and those who purchase tickets for all 3 performances)

  • 8 pm “Somethings Wrong with the Foundation” by Kemuel DeMoville – directed by Kirstyn Trombetta

  • 9 pm “Big Tent” by Joseph O’Brien – directed by Matthew Kelty

  • 9:45 pm “The Unsalable Thing” By Mark Tjarks – directed by Nicole Tessier **director of the 2014 Audience Appreciation award winning play**


Friday, January 16th

  • 8 pm “Dark Side of the Moon” by David Penhallow Scott – directed by J Kamamo Bailon

Friday, Youth Night, January 23rd

Presented with Robert St. John’s Playwriting Program at Le Jardin Academy; readings begin at 8pm

  • “Shank and Rivers” by Clay McDermott directed by Kathy Bowers

  • “Forgiven” by Jennifer Fachan directed by Kathy Bowers

  • “Oboe” by Daisy Sprenger directed by Jennifer Fachan

  • “What Methinks” by James Christensen directed by Kathy Bowers

  • “Through the Lies of the Beholder” by Maddison Mathews directed by Jack Moore

  • “Computing 4 Life” by Kivalu Ramanlal directed by Ian Chong

Play Précis

“Somethings Wrong with the Foundation” by Kemuel DeMoville

Set in the Upper Hutt Valley of New Zealand, Something’s Wrong with the Foundation is the story of two brothers dealing with the death of their father. One brother, Karl, blames his father’s death on his mother, suspecting she’s having an affair with the family contractor, Zak. He decides the best course of action is to try to kill the contractor. Using a local “day worker” from the homeless shelter as his accomplish (and alibi) he sets out to murder Zak. The other brother, Lewis, looks for father figures wherever he can find them, whether it’s in the form of Karl’s homeless drifter buddy, or the contractor his brother is trying to murder. Lewis abandons his own family, his career, and his brother in his desperate need to fill the void his father’s death created. All of the action is taking place while a kitchen is being built across the stage, eventually sealing both brothers inside its walls.

“Big Tent” by Joseph O’Brien

There was some talk, and to this day such talk continues, about just how inclusive our major political parties are. Whether in fact, everyone is equally welcome. Including people from sexual minorities. The play opens with a young, and quite naïve, gay man who has heard that there is a political convention going on there right now. He’s heard that the party has a “big tent” and is open to everybody. He decides to visit the convention, to see what it’s all about. At the entrance to convention, he is greeted by two doorkeepers, Mr. Gop and Mr. Fu. All of the dialogue takes place between the young man, Mr. John Gay, and the two doorkeepers. Mr. Gay appears very eager but clueless about politics. But he came to the convention to find out whatever he can. Specifically, he wants to know if the party will support his rights. As the conversation between Mr. Gay and Mr. Gop and Mr. Fu unfolds, John Gay is becoming more and more aware that maybe this allegedly big tent part, isn’t as big of a tent as he had hoped for. He leaves the convention, convinced that the party is not what he had in mind.

“The Unsalable Thing” by Mark Tjarks

Contestants in a storage wars bidding competition try to unravel the mystery of the renter of a storage locker through its contents…until they come upon the unsalable thing. Are there some things that truly cannot be sold?

“Dark Side of the Moon” by David Penhallow Scott

Dark Side of the Moon is the Hawaiian version of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”. Setting: 1941. O’ahu, the third largest island in the Hawaiian chain is where Honolulu, the mighty city of politics and economic forces reigns as king of the territory. Central to O’ahu is Pearl Harbor that now shelters the US Naval Fleet. The Navy’s presence in Hawai’i is a warning that the Second World War now looms as a dark cloud out on the horizon.

Anna Scott (Lady) has returned from France to Aina Hau, (The Scott coconut plantation). She recently fled Paris because of the Nazi invasion and has arrived home broke. Lady had hoped to regain her health, sanity, and recoup her share of the family fortune that she lost in Paris. Unfortunately, Aina Hau is about to go on the auction block because of mismanagement by her dead husband, her brother, the judge, and family members who live on the dark side of the moon. Her only solution to save the fortunes of the Scott family is to cut down the coconut grove to build tacky homes for the navy families who have moved to Hawai’i to work at Pearl Harbor.

Youth Night Readings

“Through the Lies of the Beholder” by Maddison Mathews

Hate graffiti has been carved into the wall of the rec-center, a hangout for Hadley and Abby. Their friendship and their values are tested as they find themselves in disagreement about what to do. Who are they and what do they stand for? What roles have their fathers played in their attitudes about others? How much responsibility do we have to take for the actions of others?

“What Methinks” by James Christensen

A Knight by the name of Sir Cassius and a Highwayman by the name of Paul encounter each other in the woods. And then God shows up and things get rather messy. It turns out that all three are in for some very big surprises.

“Oboe” by Daisy Sprenger

Marie has invited Harold, her sophisticated music partner, over to practice. He is supposed to bring his oboe. Marie has some ideas about how she wants the evening to go. But her brother Gerald is being typically annoying. He has some idea that Harold is Marie’s boyfriend. Marie practices speaking French and acting sophisticated. But Harold arrives late and things do not go according to her plan. And in the end, things really turn sour because of the lemonade.

“Forgiven” by Jennifer Fachan

Lucas tries to stay positive about life in the orphanage, but Rodger makes things difficult. While Lucas lives on hope, Rodger feels pushed around and mistreated by the world and takes it out on Lucas. Is it true that the entire universe is based on this principle, or does forgiveness actually have a place, too?

“Shank and Rivers” by Clay McDermott

The Driver is on his way to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood, all the way from Stanleytown, Tennessee. To him, life looks good. That is, until he innocently decides to pick up a crabby hitchhiker with the odd name of Shank. Perhaps if the Driver picked up this next hitchhiker–the nice looking hippie fellow with the art canvases–they could both teach this fellow Shank a thing or two about how to be more polite.

“Computing 4 Life” by Kivalu Ramanlal

Is John “addicted to his computer”? Isn’t 37 hours a week a normal amount of time to spend on it? So what if he spends most of that time playing games? His mother should stop bugging him about it. Isn’t it all just healthy diversion? But still, why is his computer behaving so funny lately? Along with all of its usual problems, it has taken to criticizing him, too. And since the Computer is John’s only friend, he might just have to call for tech support.

Publicity & Photos

Honolulu Pulse     |     Univ. of Hawai’i News     |     Honolulu Magazine     |     Midweek     |     HPR’s The Conversation

Find photos from all three day's events online on our Facebook page, or below by event date:


The 2015 Festival will continue our tradition of bestowing festival awards, the Best Play Award determined by professional adjudicators who attend each reading, the Audience Appreciation Award determined by votes by audience members, and a new Best Youth Play Award determined by PlayBuilders staff. Each entry in this year’s festival will be given the 2015 Official Selection Award as these plays were adjudicated by PlayBuilders’ staff.

The official list of awards is listed below:

The Unsalable Thing
By Mark Tjarks, directed by Nicole Tessier

The Unsalable Thing
By Mark Tjarks, directed by Nicole Tessier

By Daisy Springer, directed by Jennifer Fachan

Shank and Rivers
By Clay McDermott, directed by Kathy Bowers