na Ākea Kahikina, ma ke Kula Nui o Hawaiʻi ma Mānoa

E pili ana i kēia hana keaka

Set in a pre-pandemic Hawai‘i upon the luxurious slopes of Lēʻahi, Hoʻoilina is a farcical hana keaka that knocks on the door of a Kanaka Maoli family anxiously poised for a will reading that will determine the fate of a huge inheritance from their beloved matriarch.  Just as the will is about to be read, a quirky stranger appears at the door, claiming her right to the hefty endowment. As chaos ensues, family secrets are revealed, causing the family to question their own relationships, identity, and future as Kanaka while being insidiously constricted by the pressures of capitalism and cultural loss. Hoʻoilina is a hana keaka (Hawaiian theatre) production performed in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language), Pidgin, ʻōlelo māhū (Māhū language), and English.

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Ke Kime Hana Keaka

Kaʻiminaʻauao Cambern - DANNY - was born on Oʻahu and raised in the malu of Konahuanui, Mānoa. He is a PhD student in UH Mānoa’s Department of Political Science where he studies Indigenous politics. Hoʻoilina is Kaʻiminaʻauao’s first performance in hana keaka, though, it is not his first rodeo in the theater. As a young adult, Kaʻiminaʻauao trained in classical ballet in Philadelphia and New York and danced around the continental United States.


Makiʻilei Ishihara - NOE - Makiʻilei was born and raised in Kāneʻohe. Her love for theatre was nurtured at Windward Community College (WCC) by Mr. B (Ron Bright) & the Palikū Theatre ʻohana. She brought her passion for theatre & ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi together for her performance in the inaugural hana keaka production of Lāʻieikawai (Kahu/mea oli). In 2016 she joined Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY) as a Company Actor and performed, created & taught with them for five years (including Emmy Award-winning TV Series The HiWay”). As an alumna of the UHM Theatre program she is excited back on the Kennedy stage with this electrifying beautiful ʻohana of characters & actors. Kuʻu ʻohana Hoʻoilina: “looks like we made it, look how far weʻve come...” mahalo nui for all the laughs & love. No kuʻu ʻohana: mahalo nui for all of your love, support, & holding down the fort while I was away. I couldnʻt have made it without you.


Kekoaopololū Kealoha - MRS. ELLIS - Originally From Niuliʻi, Kohala, Hawaiʻi Island, Kekoaopololū came to Mānoa to complete his BA at the University of Hawaiʻi. Working toward a major in sociology and two minors in Public Health and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, Kekoaopololū is passionate about mea Hawaiʻi and improving the social conditions of the Hawaiian and LGBTQ+ communities. He loves performance, Aloha ʻĀina, and advocacy work. Kekoaopololū is excited to bring Hana Keaka to the stage and grateful for the opportunities available to Kānaka Maoli that increase access to mea, ʻŌlelo, and moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi.


Ernest Kalikoaloha Martin, Jr. - KAIMANA- No Waipiʻo, Oʻahualua mai ʻo Kalikoaloha. He haumāna ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ʻo ia.


Ka‘ōnohiokalāe‘ālohilohinei Müller - MR. KAUMAKA - is an MFA acting student from the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. He grew up talking Pidgin with his friends and neighbors, and to bring that magic from his youth to the stage has been a unique honor for him. Kalā hopes to use pidgin and performance going forward in as many ways as possible to represent the communities and stories he came of age surrounded by. If you see Kalā in the streets, make sure you throw one high shaka. Please enjoy Hoʻoilina, and give a huge thank you to all the people who donated so much effort and time to make this production a success.


Lily Hiʻilani Okimura - LILI-LEI - 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 Kalepōhaku 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.


Joshua “Baba” Kamoaniʻala Tavares - NANE - is a kanaka ʻōiwi actor from Hōnaunau, Kona on Hawaiʻi Island and is thrilled to be a part of the cast of Hoʻoilina. 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


Gage Richard Thomas (He/Him) - NICK - is a first-year MFA student studying Asian Performance. He has most recently been seen as Mergatroyd in Interstellar Cinderella and is now seen as Nick in Hoʻoilina. Being a new resident to Hawai’i, he is grateful for the amount of support he has received from the faculty and his peers. Gage is a recent graduate from New York University where he received a BFA in Musical Theatre.


Iāsona Kaper - Assistant Director - hails from Heʻeia, Koʻolaupoko, 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 is now happy to serve as assistant director for Ākea Kahikina’s thesis production, Hoʻoilina.


Ākea Kahikina - Playwright & Director - 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 - Kākoʻo - hails from the Pali Hāuliuli 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. His research focuses on Moʻolelo Kaʻao, traditional storytelling, song and chant. 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.


Jonah Bobilin - Lighting Designer - Jonah Bobilin is a freelance theatrical designer from Oʻahu. Jonah is fascinated by the spectator/performer encounter and the way that scenographic gestures can support and flavor this interaction. In particular, they enjoy working on productions that examine the important issues and contradictions of our society, and which induce the audience to enact meaningful change after leaving the theatre. He has worked at Mānoa Valley Theatre, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Hawaiʻi Theatre, Chaminade University of Honolulu, The ARTS at Marks Garage, The Actors’ Group, and various other educational institutions in Hawaiʻi. Jonah was the Head Electrician for Mānoa Valley Theatre’s 51st Production Season and worked as a Production Assistant / Carpenter at Kennedy Theatre from 2017-2021. They are on the Interim Executive Board of Design Action, an intergenerational coalition of BIPOC and white designers working to end racial inequities in the North American Theater.


Rick Greaver - Sound Designer - majored in both music and theater at California State University Northridge and graduated with a degree in Theatre. He worked for almost 20 years in entertainment production, in theme parks such as Six Flags Magic Mountain, television studios such as CBS Television City, and in various theaters, universities, and stages; stage managing, producing, and directing numerous productions and events. He returned to California State University Northridge Department of Theatre in 2001 and worked as the Production Stage Manager for eleven years until moving to Hawaii as the Production & Facilities Manager for the Kennedy Theatre and the Department of Theatre and Dance in 2012. He also earned his MFA in Sound Design from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2019.


Kara Nabarette - Scenic & Props Designer - is an MFA Candidate in Scenic Design and working as a Graduate Assistant in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her works in UHM include Fa’alavelave, I’m Lot Lane (a solo effort), and Ondine. Her most recent design was Interstellar Cinderella, in which she was also the puppet and properties designer. Besides scenic design, she has an interest in puppetry, properties design, and scenic



Kaneikoliakawahineikaʻiukapuomua Baker - Costume Designer - 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 nei, i nei hale keaka hoʻi ke ala ana e kaukoe aku ai.


Maile Speetjens - Costume Adviser - serves as Professor of Costume Design/Technology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her work in costumes has spanned from Boston to Hawai‘i and in between. Recent work includes He Leo Aloha and ‘Au‘a ‘Ia: Holding On (UHM Hana Keaka) Aloha Attire and Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu (Kumu Kahua Theatre, Honolulu), and Much Ado About Nothing (OpenStage Theatre, Colorado). Maile holds degrees from Emerson College (Boston, MA) and the University of Georgia (Athens, GA).


Michelle Bisbee - Projections Designer & Scenic Advisor - is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design, Properties, and Scenic Art for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Locally, she has worked with Mānoa Valley Theatre, Diamond Head Theatre, Chaminade University, Ohana Arts, and Kaua‘i Community Players. She has taught at four universities and worked professionally as a scenic designer, properties master, artisan, scenic artist, fabricator, and restoration for companies such as The Henry Ford Museum, Cirque du Soleil, Music Theatre of Wichita, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and many others.