HONOLULU (KHON2) — Local playwright Ryan “Oki” Okinaka has created a new cultural experience that explores the bounds of ʻohana and hānai relations and the perpetuation of legacy.
iHula is set to premiere on the Palikū Theatre stage, which is presented by Hawaiʻi Conservatory of Performing Arts at Windward Community College, from Feb. 10 through Feb.19.
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“This is a play about creating ʻohana, beyond biological relations and the great honor and sometimes burden of perpetuating culture,” said Kinoshita. “Oki’s play is an unforgettable and moving experience. If you love hula, you cannot miss this play honoring its power.”
The new play will feature hula, mele and aloha in a story that follows different women who attempt to overcome their fears, pride and insecurities as they seek to discover the true meaning of hula.
According to WCC, “The cast features Reece Flores, Aren Iverson, Alysia Kepaa and Kevin Molina [all recently featured in Demigods Anonymous at Palikū Theatre], Thomalin Sirivattha [from the 2021 version of iHula], Kaipo Dudoit [most recently seen in Who You Again? at Kumu Kahua Theatre], and Leleaʻe Kahalepuna-Wong who was in the original cast of iHula at Kumu Kahua Theatre and now plays the role of the kumu hula.”
Okinaka, who is a lecturer at WCC, received the Hawaiʻi Conservatory of Performing Arts Emerging Island Artist program. His play Who You Again? premiered at Kumu Kahua Theatre in 2022.
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WCC said that iHula first premiered at Kumu Kahua Theatre in 2016 being recognized for its excellence in writing by the Hawaiʻi State Theatre Council.