E pili ana i kēia hana keaka
He hana keaka ʻo He Leo Aloha e nune ana i ia mea ʻo ke aloha. ʻO ia kaunu mole paʻa a ka puʻuwai i hoʻohānupanupa ʻia aʻela e nā paʻa mele, paʻa moʻolelo o ko Hawaiʻi pae ʻāina i pāʻihiʻihi ʻia i ka hanohano me ka hiehie ke kumuhana nui o kēia hana keaka. Me ʻeono haumāna kula nui e kaʻi aku ai ke anaina i ka hoʻohuahualau ʻana i ia mau mea ʻo ka ʻanoʻi a me ka haʻehaʻe. Me ko lākou mau leo kolonahe e hiʻilei ai lākou i ke ahi lapalapa o ke aloha, i wehi hoʻohihi, i lei mili na ka manaʻo. I mau ka puana a i lohe ʻia, e kuhikuhi aku ana nō nei mau haumāna i nā mele kuʻuna a me nā moʻolelo kūliʻuliʻu o ka ʻāina iā lākou e nanalu ana i nā ʻale polikua o ke aloha. Na nā mele, nā moʻolelo a me nā noʻeau a nā kūpuna i ʻekepue ʻia e nā kaona manaʻo e ʻī maila i ke kauoha a kūpuna mā, e mālama i ka leo ʻo ia ke kuleana e kipa. A e kipa, e noho, e nānea i nei leo kamaʻāina. He leo hone ia o ka waipahē e nahenahe ana i ke kuahiwi, kualono, e hoʻolono mai iā He Leo Aloha.
He Leo Aloha explores the power and limits of the leo (voice and language). The play follows a group of college students on a quest to scrutinize and find true aloha in one another and in the knowledge of their ancestors through their own ingenuity in applying their ancestral language. On this journey they seek to weave the world of their ancestors into their own words, allowing for multi-generational communication in each utterance, imbuing their words with mana (divine power, authority). Traditional mele and original oli are utilized to communicate and highlight the power of the leo. He Leo Aloha is a story about the power of language and the vital importance of communication, articulating that a mastery of language is the power to remedy any situation.
Ke Kime Hana Keaka
Joshua “Baba” Kamoaniʻala Tavares - LAPA - is a kanaka ʻōiwi actor from Hōnaunau, Kona on Hawaiʻi Island and is thrilled to be a part of the cast of He Leo Aloha. He is a first year graduate student at UH Mānoa with a focus in Acting and Hana Keaka. Recent credits: Lapa; He Leo Aloha (Kennedy Theatre), Man 1; Songs for A New World (Aloha Theatre) and Angel Dummott Schunard; RENT (20th Anniversary National Tour). Mahalo! @babatavares
Lily Hiʻilani Okimura - HIʻILEIALOHA - is a second year graduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, pursuing an MFA in Hawaiian Theatre with a focus in acting. She was born and raised in Maunalua, Oʻahu and currently lives in Kalaepōhaku with her husband. Acting and performing since she was in middle school, Hiʻilani joined the Hawaiian Theatre program after receiving her B.A. in Theatre from UHM to learn more about and reconnect with her culture, and intertwine her Hawaiian culture in her theatre career. Her previous works from Kennedy Theatre includes Eddie Wen’ Go: The Story of the Upside Down Canoe as Kaleo Kolohā, and He Leo Aloha as Hiʻileialoha.
Iāsona Kaper - Assistant Director - hails from Heʻeia, Koʻolau-poko, Oʻahu. He previously earned his BA and MA from Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language, and is now a first-year student in the Hawaiian Theatre MFA program. He has been active in the Oʻahu theatre community since 2006, when he was part of the tech crew for Kumu Kahua Theatre’s repertory run of two plays by Edward Sakamoto, Aloha Las Vegas and Mahalo Las Vegas. More recently, he has performed in Over the River and Through the Woods (The Actors’ Group), Romeo and Juliet (Hilo Community Players), and Open Your Hearts Wide (PlayBuilders of Hawaiʻi). He supported Kaipulaumakaniolono’s recent thesis production, He Leo Aloha, as assistant director and dramaturge, and has since been happy to serve as assistant director for Ākea Kahikina’s thesis production, Hoʻoilina.
Ākea Kahikina - MILI - hails from Oneʻula, Honouliuli and is an MFA candidate in the Hawaiian Theatre program at UHM with a focus on playwriting. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama and the Musical Theatre Conservatory at the University of Miami. He is also a lecturer at UHM and a Hawaiian language translator for Civil Beat Honolulu. He was last seen on the Kennedy Theatre stage in ʻAuʻa ʻIa: Holding On and He Leo Aloha.
Kaipulaumakaniolono - DIRECTOR - hails from the Pali Hāuli-uli o ke Koʻolau, the verdant Kahaluʻu, Oʻahu in the center of the Hawaiʻi archipelago. His studies in the MFA for Hawaiian Theatre program at UHM currently engages practices of indigenous futurity in reshaping and remembering traditional narratives. Kaipu has appeared in the productions of Kamapuaʻa (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008), Lāʻieikawai (2015), ʻAuʻa ʻia: Holding On (2019-2020) and as “Maui” in the Hawaiian language version of Disney’s Moana (2018). In 2021 he directed his thesis production He Leo Aloha. In addition to his work as a theatre artist, Kaipu composes Hawaiian chant and poetry. His vocal talents were featured at the Art of the Chanter (2017) and his latest composition is available on Nā Palapalai’s Back to the Patch (2019) and Ikaakamai’s I Kuanoʻo (2020).
Tammy Haili‘ōpua Baker - Hawaiian Theatre Program Director - is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her work centers on the development of an indigenous Hawaiian theatre aesthetic and form, language revitalization, and the empowerment of cultural identity through stage performance. Baker is the artistic director of Ka Hālau Hanakeaka, a Hawaiian medium theatre troupe based on O‘ahu. Originally from Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i she now resides in Kahalu‘u, Ko‘olaupoko, O‘ahu with her ‘ohana.
Kaneikoliakawahineikaʻiukapuomua Baker - ʻANOʻI - he wahi keiki kēia no nā Pali Hāuliuli o ke Koʻolau i hāʻale ka wai i ka maka o ka ʻōpua. Na nā liko i halihali ʻia e ka lau makani i onaona ai kona nui kino i ka wehi lupalupa o ka ʻāina o Kahaluʻu. He haku lole nō hoʻi kēia i leia ke ʻala kūpaoa o kahi Maile Speetjens. ʻAkahi hoʻi a komo nō nei wahi haumāna i ka papahana MFA Hana Keaka o ke kula nui o Hawaiʻi ma Mānoa, i nei hale keaka hoʻi ke ala ana e kaukoe aku ai. Kaʻiu was recently awarded the "Special Achievement in Individual Performance from the 2022 National Awards of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival."
Kaʻulakauikeaokea Krug - HAʻEHAʻE - Aloha, ʻo wau ʻo Kaʻulakauikeaokea Krug no ka ulu niu kaulana o Pōkaʻī i Waiʻanae, Oʻahu. He kama i hānai ʻia ma ke kahua o ka ʻōlelo a me nā loina kahiko i waiho ʻia e nā kūpuna āiwaiwa o ke au i kunewa akula. He haumāna i puka mai ka papahana kaiapuni a ke kāmoe aʻe nei ma ke ala hoʻonaʻauao ma ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Mānoa. Aloha nui kākou. Aloha, I am Kaʻulakauikeaokea Krug from Waiʻanae on the island of Oʻahu. I was raised on a foundation of Hawaiian language and culture that has been left for us by my extraordinary ancestors. I graduated from a Hawaiian immersion school and now I am a student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Aloha nui kākou. Kaʻula was recently awarded the "Special Achievement in Individual Performance from the 2022 National Awards of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival."
Ikaika Mendez - NAHE - Aloha, ʻo wau nō ʻo Ikaika Mendez, he kama no Kanaio, Maui. I am a native of Kanaio on the island of Maui, currently residing on the island of Oʻahu. I am an undergraduate at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa studying both ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, or Hawaiian Language, and Music with an emphasis on Music in the Pacific. My passions lie within the walls of Mele, or music, and ʻImi Naʻauao, or education. My dream is to become that resource and medium of knowledge for the future generations through educating them on Hawaiian history, language and music.
ʻO KA WAIHONA A KE ALOHA ka papahana ho‘oheno mele o Kawaihuelani, a he waihona ko‘iko‘i loa ia i ho‘okumu ‘ia na Kumu Keawe Lopes i ka makahiki 2002 no ka ho‘omau ‘ia o nā mele, nā mea oli, nā ho‘opa‘a, nā pu‘ukani a me nā haku mele nō ho‘i i ō mau nā mo‘olelo o Kūpuna mā. ‘O ka mākia ho‘okahi o nēia waihona makamae, ‘o ia ho‘i kēia, “Ho‘oheno ka puana i lohe ‘ia,” a he paipai nui ia i ka ho‘oheno mau o kākou i nā mele i lohe ‘ia ma mua, a e puana hou ‘ia hoi, i lohe ‘ia nā mo‘olelo o Kūpuna mā e nā pepeiao ho‘oheno mele o kānaka o kēia mua aku. I loko nō o nā makahiki he 20 i hala aku nei, ua ho‘okumu ‘ia kēia mau papahana ma lalo o Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha: Nā Mele o Hawai‘i Nei, Ke Welo Mau Nei, Ka Papa Mele Kauwela, Ho‘okani Mānoa, Lā Mele, The Tuahine Troupe, E Kau A Hua ‘o Kauhua a me #PuanaPō‘akolu. A ua pa‘i ‘ia kona puke pai kumuhana mua i ka makahiki 2014 ‘o ia ho‘i ‘o E Mau Ai Ka Puana.