2005 may have been the height of Hawai‘i’s ice “epidemic.”  That year, Hawai‘i police arrested  719 people on meth charges.  Though we haven’t heard a whole lot about it since, crystal methamphetamine hasn’t gone away, and some fear it has just become part of our social fabric.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a new production at Kumu Kahua that makes you wonder how prevalent this drug still is.

Plugged In Shadows

Jan 15, 2016
Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

    Shadow puppet performances are still a vibrant part of village life on Bali.  Flat cut outs are silhouetted against a translucent screen by the light of a coconut husk lamp.  Religious and historical epics make up interwoven plot lines that continue for six hours or more through the night.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, there’s a new twist on the tradition brewing at Kennedy Theatre.

“Subali-Sugriwa: Battle of the Monkey Kings” will be performed the last two weekends of January at Kennedy Theatre on the UH Mānoa campus. 

Kumu kahua



   In early April, three pirates hatched a plan to get people out of their snuggly homes and into Kumu Kahua Theatre.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa visited the theatre recently to find out why and how.

The New Play Festival runs Sunday through Tuesday, June 21st through 23rd at Kumu Kahua.  Eventbrite is handling advance tickets, or get tickets at Kumu one hour prior to performance.  

Connect with the New Play Festival on Facebook.

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   The inaugural production of the new Hawaiian Theatre program at UH Mānoa sold out its first weekend at Kennedy Theatre.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports Lāʻieikawai is the story of how the most beautiful woman in Hawai‘i found her true love.  A special fund for Hawaiian Theatre has been started at the UH Foundation for touring and for future productions.

“Lāʻieikawai” continues at Kennedy Theatre on the UH Mānoa campus through this weekend  only.

kumu kahua


   “My Name is Gary Cooper”, the current production at Kumu Kahua has been generating a lot of buzz for the unconventional way it tackles family and race relations.  According to the play, the 1953 Hollywood film, “Return to Paradise” starring Gary Cooper,  spawned a generation of Samoan “Gary Coopers”, one of whom is the subject of this story.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

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   In Kumu Kahua’s current production, "the underneath", the waters of the Ala Wai Canal are a metaphor for the past and for the complex relationship between two brothers.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found it is both a whodunit and a layered family portrait.

“The Underneath”, by Susan Soon Stanton, continues at Kumu Kahua through December 7th.   Deft staging propels strong performances by Jonathan Clarke Sypert, Brandon DiPaola, Stephanie Keiko Kong, Kati Kuroda, and William Ha'o.

kaveh kardan

As the Hokule’a and Hikianalia continue their worldwide sail, a theatre production in Honolulu is remembering a tragedy that nearly swamped Hōkūle‘a’s beginnings.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports, it was March 16th, 1978, and amidst great fanfare, the Hokule’a set sail from Magic Island.    

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  The Hawaiian Mission Houses is back with another season of Cemetery Pupu Theatre—what is that, you ask?  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa discovered it’s a convivial evening of food, drink and stories from the past.

HPR has just learned the Hawaiian Mission Houses’ Cemetery Pupu Theatre is sold out for this summer’s run.  Look forward to “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged”,  a comedy which purportedly does feature everything he’s written, August 8-23, at the Mission Houses performance mound.   

Kumu Kahua



  How will I die?  It's not a comfortable question, but that question, how will I die?, becomes a family matter very quickly in Hawai’i.  That is the subject of the current production, "Koi, Like the Fish", at Kumu Kahua Theatre.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports.

“Koi, Like the Fish” continues at Kumu Kahua Theatre through June 29th.   By popular demand, Lee Cataluna’s “Flowers of Hawai’i” returns for encore performances starting July 24th .  Kumu Kahua is also continuing its theatre arts classes at the Kaka’ako Agora.  

Honolulu Theatre for Youth

The curtain is going up on Honolulu’s fall theatre season and there’s a particularly wide variety of offerings this year.  HPR‘s Noe Tanigawa offers this sampler.

Will the Real Charlie Chan Please Stand Up?  through September 22

The Toxic Avenger through 9/29

A Korean Cinderella through 9/28