PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company in association with The Foster Care Training Committee presents “Dragonfly”

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company in association with The Foster Care Training Committee presents “Dragonfly”, a community engaged play based on story circles and interviews with former foster youth, therapists and social workers. See the performance televised only on 'Ōlelo channel 53 on Oceanic Cable and channel 1053 on Hawaiian Telcom on the following dates:

6/11/2017 6:30 PM
6/12/2017 3:30 PM
6/18/2017 10:00 PM
6/19/2017 7:30 AM

The PlayFestival 2017 Winners Announced 

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company is pleased to announce the winners of The PlayFestival 2017 held at Kumu Kahua Theatre, as part of their Dark Night Series.  
 
Twelve plays, written by both youth and adults, were presented on Sunday, April 2nd and Monday, April 3rd. The PlayFestival is an annual event that has been organized by PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company over the past 6 years.
 
Adult Division:

Best Play: "Saving Mofo" written by Robert St. John
Best Director: Karen Loebl Kaulana for "Da Truth of Da Fruit"
Best Actor: Maile Kapua'ala with a special mention going to Daryl Bonilla and Nicolas Logue
2017 Audience Appreciation Award: "Da Truth of Da Fruit" written by Lyana Atsumi

Youth Division:
Best Play: "Fun Family Dinner" written by Sunny Lee
Best Director: Justus Wahl for "Fun Family Dinner"
Best Actor: Ian Chong
 
2017 Audience Appreciation Awards:
"Fun Family Dinner" written by Sunny Lee
 
Kumu Kahua Theatre’s Dark Night Series was created to offer other theatre groups, playwrights, and performance artists the opportunity to present their work to the community. The PlayFestival 2017 was presented during dark nights, evenings when Kumu Kahua’s regular season shows were not being performed.  To be part of the Dark Night Series artists must submit a proposal, which is reviewed by the Board of Directors of Kumu Kahua.  From these proposals, projects are chosen that Kumu Kahua feels will promote the development of the theatrical arts and benefit local artists.  Kumu Kahua sees this as another way to enhance and enrich the cultural diversity and artistic climate of Honolulu.
 
PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company gathers and shares real stories that resonate with, empower, and connect individuals throughout the culturally rich and diverse communities of Hawai'i.
 
For more information regarding The Playwrights’ Club, please contact Rachel Funk Heller.

Dragonfly: Community Engaged Theater

Dragonfly: Community Engaged Theater
Helping Hawaii’s Children-In-Need.

PlayBuilders in collaboration with The Foster Care Training Committee, presents “Dragonfly”, a community engaged play based on story circles and interviews with former foster youth, therapists and social workers conducted and collected by Terri Madden between January of 2016 and 2017. The Foster Care Training Committee is a public-private partnership of organizations committed to enhancing the lives of foster children by providing nurturing, support and training for their caregivers. The play will be performed at various venues between April 22 and May 28, as a means of helping to educate the public regarding Hawaii’s children-in-need.

Madden and the PlayBuilders Ensemble met with former foster youth every Sunday night at the ARTS at Marks Garage in 2016 to study theatre and share stories about what it is like to grow up in the foster care system. Sometimes social workers, therapists, and foster parents joined them.

Former foster youth, Layla Kilolu and Apu Turano wrote original songs for the play.

Directed by well-known local actor and director, William Ha’o, “Dragonfly” is choreographed by PlayBuilders Ensemble member, Becky McGarvey, with music direction and arrangements by Ruth Shiroma Foster.  The play is made possible through the support of The Hawaii Community Foundation, The Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation, The Hawaii People’s Fund, Chinatown Soup, The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and East Oahu Realty. Organizations who have donated their venues for the free performances include The Mayors Office on Culture and the Arts, Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church, Dot’s Restaurant, Wahiawa, and New Hope, Leeward.

The title of the play, Dragonfly: The story of a young local girls journey through foster care, came about after a former foster youth shared her story about a dragonfly she encountered.  We later discovered that in almost every part of the world a “dragonfly symbolizes change and the change in the perspective of self-realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.”

Based on real life experiences of Aunty Allene and Uncle Arthur Uesugi of Waianae, who fostered over 300 children in Waianae during their foster care years, Terri Madden weaved other stories collected, based in truth, into a fictionalized account of Tara, a young girl who is removed from her birth home at the age of 4 and then struggles throughout her childhood to find love and acceptance.  Through her childhood journey of constant change and loss as a foster youth, Tara eventually learns that only forgiveness and self acceptance can lead her to an ohana of her own making, and her true purpose in life. This is a beautifully raw story performed by 22 performers, several who are former foster youth. Here are some reactions to the play shared by audience members from the foster care community who attended the first reading of the play last November:

"I honestly think this play will make a difference."

"(Dragonfly) humanizes the system: gives hope, shows how resilient the youth are and the incredible amount of changes they go through."

" I love that the play honors a long time caregiver and her late spouse and their dedication to these children."

" Music and lyrics are awesome. The feelings, stories, and diversity displayed."

" I loved the music! I loved Danni’s dance."

"The original songs written by former foster youth are amazing"

"I very much loved the play... It was touching and emotional."

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company’s mission is to gather and share real stories that resonate with, empower and connect individuals throughout the culturally rich and diverse communities of Hawaiʻi.  For more information, please contact Terri Madden at terri.madden@playbuilders.org or call her at 808-218-0103.

Kumu Kahua Theatre Presents, as Part of its Dark Night Series, The PlayFestival 2017 (An Annual Event Organized by PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company)

HONOLULU, HI--Kumu Kahua Theatre presents, as part of its Dark Night Series, The PlayFestival 2017, an annual event organized by PlayBuilders of Hawai’i Theater Company.  

Formerly known as the Festival of Original Plays, PlayBuilders first launched the festival in 2011, as a way to meet their mission of “gathering and sharing real stories that resonate, empower and connect” the people of Hawai’i.

“The PlayFestival serves as an outlet for new plays and playwrights, and participants have enjoyed many successes as a result.” Festival chair, Rachel Heller, explains, “An open call for original plays by local playwrights went out last fall and only the best plays were selected. The PlayFestival has developed into an incredible opportunity for local playwrights who wish to have their works seen and possibly produced.”

PlayBuilders has commissioned past festival participants, to write full-length, community-engaged plays to further serve their mission. Recently, former festival participant and PlayBuilders’ Founder and Managing Director, Terri Madden, was commissioned to write “Dragonfly, The Story of a Young Local Girl’s Journey Through Foster Care” in collaboration with The Foster Care Training Committee. The play is currently in rehearsal and will tour the island of Oahu this spring, in an effort to help educate the public and recruit more high quality foster and adoptive homes. (At any given time, state wide, about 1000 foster children are living in often over crowded emergency shelters.)

Other theatre companies have chosen several PlayFestival plays as part of their regular seasons as well.  Such examples include Nancy Moss’ Will the Real Charlie Chan Please Stand Up, Marion Lyman-Mersereau’s Eddie Wen Go: The Story of the Upside Down Canoe, and Jan Shiarella McGrath’s Outage, which were produced at Kumu Kahua Theatre, The Hawai’i Theatre, and TAG respectively.

The PlayFestival 2017 will be held at Kumu Kahua Theatre on April 2nd, and 3rd.  The festival will consist of rehearsed readings of original, one-act plays by local playwrights, in two divisions, youth and adults. Plays from the Youth Division will be presented on Sunday afternoon, April 2nd: 4:30- 6:30.  Plays from the Adult division will be presented on Monday, April 3rd from 6pm-9pm. Awards in each category will be announced at the festival’s closing.  Each festival night will include a special “Meet the Playwrights” ice cream social during intermission.

The following plays and playwrights have been selected from a record number of submissions this year and will be presented on dates indicated:

April 2: 4:30 - 6:30 pm (Youth)
“The Order of the Purple Swallow” by Daisy Sprenger, directed by Violet Schwarzsmith
“Anarchy in the Milky Way: by Hayley Dietrich, directed by Daisy Sprenger
“Death Wears a Hoodie by Noah Goebert, directed by Clay McDermott
Intermission
“Fun Family Dinner by Sunny Lee, directed by Justus Wahl
“My Conscience Hates Commies” by Daisy Sprenger, directed by Hayley Dietrich
“Stress” by Justus Wahl, directed by Robert St. John
“Loss Found” by Clay McDermott, directed by Ian Chong

April 3: 6:00-9:00 pm (Adult)
“Da Truth of Da Fruit” by Lyana Atsumi, directed by Karen Loebl Kaulana
“Patient” by Tali Ariav, directed by Nicole Tessier
“DaʻAina” by Vanessa Lee Miller, directed by Taurie Kinoshita
Intermission
“Da Kine Hawaiian Soap Opera” by Sean-Joseph Choo , directed by Jasmine Fernandez,
“Saving Mofo” by Robert St. James, directed by Walt Gaines

Location: Kumu Kahua Theatre
46 Merchant Street, Honolulu
Tickets: $10 per evening.
Free Ice Cream Social during intermission!

Advance tickets available online only at playbuilders.org. At door ticket sales begin 45 minutes prior to each performance.

***

Kumu Kahua Theatre’s Dark Night Series was created to offer other theatre groups, playwrights, and performance artists the opportunity to present their work to the community. The PlayFestival 2017 is being presented during dark nights, evenings when Kumu Kahua’s regular season shows are not being performed.  To be part of the Dark Night Series artists must submit a proposal, which is reviewed by the Board of Directors of Kumu Kahua.  From these proposals, projects are chosen that Kumu Kahua feels will promote the development of the theatrical arts and benefit local artists.  Kumu Kahua sees this as another way to enhance and enrich the cultural diversity and artistic climate of Honolulu.

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company gathers and shares real stories that resonate with, empower, and connect individuals throughout the culturally rich and diverse communities of Hawai'i.

TICKETS:  $10.00

To purchase advanced tickets, please go to www.playbuilders.org
Tickets may also be purchased at the door 45 minutes prior to the event.
For additional information please contact Rachel Funk Heller at rachelfunkheller@gmail.com

EVENTBRITE:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kumu-kahua-theatre-presents-as-part-of-its-dark-night-series-the-playfestival-2017-an-annual-event-tickets-32367136978

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company Auditions for “Fostering Ohana”

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company Auditions for “Fostering Ohana”

Chinatown, Hawaii- The ARTS at Marks Garage, Sundays, January 22, and January 29th, 6:00-9:00 PM. 

PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi Theater Company is holding auditions for Fostering Ohana written by Terri Madden in collaboration with Hawaii's Foster Care Community, with music by Apu Turano and Layla Kilolu (rap lyrics by Michelle Martin) at the ARTS at Marks Garage, January 22 and 29th from 6 to 9 pm. Please come prepared to move, and to sing a song you are comfortable with. You will be singing a cappella, so do not bring sheet music. Directed by William Haʻo,Fostering Ohana is about a young girl named Tara who is removed from her biological mother at the age of 4, and spends much of her childhood running from place to place, searching for family, only to find that, in the end, only she holds the key to forgiveness which ultimately allows her to form a stable family of her own. The play is based on stories shared by the foster care community during story circles and individual interviews conducted by Madden with the PlayBuilders Ensemble from January to December of 2016.  PlayBuilders appreciates the help and assistance we have received from Alan Castillo of Hui Hoʻomalu, Partners in Development, Vernon Viernes of Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center, Judith Wilhoite of Family Programs Hawaiʻi, and Ria Kremenar of Catholic Charities Hawaii, who are also members of the Foster Care Training Committee. Other helpful community partners for this project include The Department of Human Services, Epic Ohana, Hale Kipa, Epic Foundation, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and The ARTS at Marks Garage. This project would not be possible without The Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation, and The Hawaii People’s Fund. Chinatown Soup also provided additional funding, and individual donations provided by private donors and members of PlayBuilders’ Board of Directors. 

Director, William Haʻo, has been a professional actor for over twenty five years. Based in New York City, he has performed for many of NYCs’ theater companies and has toured in almost every state of the Union, with performances also in Vancouver, Canada, and Athens, Greece. His work includes various voiceovers for documentaries. He narrated the award-winning documentary On the Move: The Central Ballet of China. Since returning home he has performed with Loʻi Theatre, Kumu Kahua Theatre, and the Oral History Department at UHM. For Hawaii Mission Houses (HMH), Will has directed Twelf Nite O' WatevaThe TempestTwo Gentlemen Of Verona for their outdoor summer shows. He also directs their popular Cemetery Pupu Theater series. He also performed at The Hawaii Theater in Eddie Wen Go, The Story of the Upside Down Canoe by Marion Lyman-Mersereau.

Community Collaborative playwright, Terri Madden, holds an MFA in Theatre (Playwriting focus) from UH, and has lived (on and off ) in Honolulu since 1973, when her Army officer father was transferred here.   Plays she has written include Clinchco, The Day After Payday (2008 and 2010, Resident Playwright, Ralph Stanly Traditional Mountain Music Center, Clintwood VA), Appalachia, Hawaii (Earl Ernst Theatre, University of Hawai), and the following PlayBuilders’ productions: Wahiawa, Remembah Wen (2011), Yes, I Am, Stories from Honolulu’s LGBT Community, devised with Ronald Gilliam and Kahana Ho (2012), and Yes, I am Leeward Edition,devised with Ronald Gilliam and Kahana Ho ((2013 ).  For PlayBuilders, Terri also produced Someone Else’s Slippahs, Chinatown (2011),Houseless in Paradise (2013-2014), and The Waipahu Project (2015). A 45-year theatre veteran, Terri is a recipient of Lisa Toshigawa Inouye Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and is a multiple Po’okela Award winning actress for performances in both straight plays and musicals. For the 2013-2014 season, Terri was acknowledged by the Hawaii State Theatre Council with a Po’okela Award for directing “Houseless in Paradise” which was also selected as “Overall Play.”

Performances of “Fostering Ohana” will begin in April at The ARTS at Marks Garage, Hawaii Pacific University, and other locations, as the play will tour Oahu and the outer islands. The preliminary schedule will be shared at auditions. Both experienced actors and people who have never performed before are welcome to audition. We are especially interested in people from the Foster Care community who would like to participate in the play.

PlayBuilders’ mission is, “to gather and share real stories that resonate with, empower, and connect individuals throughout the culturally rich and diverse communities of Hawaiʻi.” PlayBuilders prides itself for being a multi-ethnic ensemble of experienced theatre makers who help Hawaii's communities explore their identity, history, peoples and cultures through theater. As Founder and Executive Director, Terri Madden notes: “Our original works are based on shared stories, and feature community members performing alongside our experienced actors. PlayBuilders' productions are presented in places meaningful to community members and the public is invited to attend, thus providing connections of understanding and friendship between all of Hawaii's people.