Kumu Kahua Announces 2024-25 Season

Kumu Kahua Announces 2024-25 Season Of Local Plays Centered Around Identity, Pride, And Self Discover

Kumu Kahua Announces 2024 25 Season

Kumu Kahua Announces 2024 25 Season

54th Season launches August 22, 2024

HONOLULU (June 20, 2024) – Kumu Kahua Theatre is readying the start of its 54th
season, presenting five plays exploring identity, pride, and self discovery within the unique
cultural context of Hawaiʻi. Curated by Kumu Kahua’s Artistic Director Harry Wong III,
each show will feature a talented local cast, whose storytelling will challenge and move
audiences while celebrating the vibrant community of the islands. The new season will kick off at the historic downtown Honolulu theatre starting Thursday, August 22, 2024.


“Through the use of humor, history, and even magic, these plays explore serious issues
about identity, culture, society and belonging,” shares Wong. “We are thrilled to share these diverse and dynamic stories, and celebrate the work of tremendous playwrights with our community.”

The special season will showcase the world premieres of The Golden Gays written by Ryan“Oki”naka and The Magic of Polly Amnesia by Tony Pisculli. Lovey Lee, which was
produced online by Kumu Kahua and written by Moses Goods, will now grace the theatre’s stage for live audiences. Lee Cataluna’s Kimo The Waiter comes to Kumu Kahua for the first time following its premiere last season with the Hawaiʻi Conservatory of Performing Arts at Paliku Theatre, and Southernmost by Mary Lyon Kamitaki will make its highly anticipated Hawaiʻi debut.


Kumu Kahua Announces 2024-25 Season

Lovey Lee by Moses Goods
August 22 – September 22, 2024
Hawaiʻi in the 1970s was a time of reclamation, discovery and pride. For Lovey Lee, a young queer Hawaiian, the 70s is about finding a place where they can just be. Even with Hawaiʻi’s cultural renaissance at its peak and the sexual liberation movement booming throughout the nation, the journey of any brave pioneer is often complicated and fraught with challenges. In this coming-of-age story, Lovey finds themself journeying from their island home and back again in their search for place.

Moses Goods is one of Hawaiʻi’s most prominent theatre a

rtists. Originally from the island of Maui and now based in Honolulu, he has traveled nationally and internationally performing his original work to a wide array of audiences. His body of work ranges from full length plays to theatrical storytelling pieces, most of which are strongly rooted in Native Hawaiian culture.


Kimo the Waiter by Lee Cataluna
November 7 – December 8, 2024
Kimo waits tables while pursuing his dream of acting professionally in the 1980s – but he’s
always too brown, or not brown enough. During a time when there were few roles for people of color, except for local commercials, those television images of Hawaiʻi people were, in some cases, even more limiting than Hollywood’s idea of what it meant to be from Hawaiʻi. Kimo’s quest is funny, frustrating and totally relatable as he tries to break free from stereotypical images of island characters.

Lee Cataluna’s work for theater includes commissions from La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, and San Francisco Playhouse. Her TYA play, Heart Strings, was workshopped at
Northwestern University, had a reading at NYU Steinhardt, received a ReImagine grant
through TYA/USA, and played at Atlantic Theater, NYC, in 2022. She has been called “one
of America’s most dynamic female playwrights” by Arena Stage and one of the “Who’s Who of women playwrights” by National Public Radio. She was a member of the inaugural
Indigenous Writers Cooperative at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her most recent work for Honolulu Theatre for Youth includes Royal School, a collaboration with Moses Goods, and Super Aunty, a collaboration with Sean-Joseph Choo. She has worked with Kumu Kahua many times since her first play Da Mayah broke Kumu box office records in 1998.

Southernmost by Mary Lyon Kamitaki
January 23 – February 23, 2025
For former fisherman Wally Chaves, who lives with his retired wife Becky in the familiar
hills of Kaʻu at the southernmost tip of the Big Island, planting keiki trees for a coffee farm
is giving him new life. When daughter Charlene visits with her girlfriend Jessica – Wally
calls her “one vegetarian lesbian” – everything begins to get unstable. But when earthquakes start to really shake things up, should they stay or should they go?

Mary’s plays have previously been produced by Playwrights’ Arena and developed at Page 73, Alliance Theatre, A Noise Within, Open Fist Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Skylight Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, and UCLA. She is an alumna of the New West playwrights’ group at EST/LA and the Page 73 writers’ group. Mary’s plays center mixed, queer girls and women who reinvent themselves to survive in transforming worlds. She was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and now lives on the island of Manhattan.

The Magic of Polly Amnesia by Tony Pisculli
March 27 – April 27, 2025
Polly Amnesia – orphan, magician, punk – takes the stage for her one-woman magic show. Throughout her act, she attempts to sort hope from delusion, dreams from bullshit and true magic from trickery as she recounts her quixotic quest to solve the mystery of her own identity and the family that abandoned her. But in tonight’s performance, something is
going terribly wrong…

The world premiere of Tony Pisculli’s The Magic of Polly Amnesia in 2025 is already in rehearsals at Kumu Kahua, given the unique magical elements needed to bring the story of Polly to life. Tony is a writer, director and former improviser (which he prefers to think of as “writing on your feet” as opposed to “acting without a script”). With Stephanie Keiko Kong, he wrote #haoleboyfriend for Kumu Kahua Theatre and Enigma for TAG—The

Actors’ Group. He previously wrote the one-act plays “Life Among Shadows”, “The Eternal
Champion”, “Small Gods and Dashiell Hamlett: The Blue Dane Meets the Black Bird (Earle Ernst)” and scenarios for the original commedias “Guano dell’Amore”; “Duck, Duck,
Scrooge”; and “Dromio and Juliet”. His short stories have been published in The Arcanist,
The Vampire Connoisseur, Grievous Angel and Daily Science Fiction.

The Golden Gays by Ryan “Oki”naka
May 29 – June 29, 2025
Aunty Maria Lani Tunta is the free, fierce, and fabulous mother to a chosen family of queens facing their golden years and ready for second chances. What does it mean for a drag queen to be in their 70s, for a sexual player to keep up his game, for a divorced man to explore being gay for the first time, for a widower to date again? These bitches bicker, tease, and challenge each other to move on, and they do it in makeup and heels. In this crazy life you have to seize the cheesecake. This script was inspired by the groundbreaking show: The Golden Girls.

Ryan “Oki”naka was born and raised in Honolulu and prefers to go by the name Oki, a nickname based on his last name (Okinaka). Oki has performed in numerous stage productions, as well as various television, web, and film roles. Oki is currently the featured local artist at Windward Community College’s emerging Island Artist Program. In his role as a playwright, his script, iHula was produced at Kumu Kahua Theater in 2016 and has recently been produced again by Windward Community College at Paliku Theater in 2021.

He’s performed improv comedy for nearly ten years and has been a member of Improvhi. He’s also assisted in writing, performing, and producing Waikiki PD, a local police sketch comedy series.

Tickets to all shows are on sale now with evening and matinee performances available. Patrons are encouraged to reserve seats as soon as possible at www.kumukahua.org or by contacting the theatre box office at (808) 536-4441. Prices range from $5-$25, with showtimes offered Thursdays-Saturdays at 7 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Audiences can additionally take advantage of the theatre’s generous subscription plans. Guests may also consider a donation that will enable others to experience the beauty of theatre with Kumu Kahua’s Scholarship Subscriptions and Dennis Carroll Tickets.

“Keeping it local since 1971,” Kumu Kahua productions are supported in part by The Kim Coco Fund for Justice of the Iwamoto Family Foundation, the NME Fund of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, the Island Insurance Foundation, The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaiʻi, The AAPI Community Fund, The Richard Aadland Fund, The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Spectrum/Charter Communications, ABC Stores, the Gloria Kosasa Gainsley Fund, Hawaiʻi Public Radio, H. Hawaii Media, Simply Storage, Vacations Hawaiʻi, Zippy’s Restaurants, Highway Inn, Generations Magazine, CVS/Longs Drugs, HMSA, Hawaiian Electric, MonkeyPod, and
other foundations, businesses, and loyal patrons.

Kumu Kahua Announces 2024-25



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