"Masters of the Currents" Masters the Art of Storytelling
I had the pleasure of attending Honolulu Theater for Youth’s opening night performance of Masters of the Currents by TeAda Productions. Performing through the month of October here in Honolulu before setting sail on a National tour. Directed by Ova Saopeng and Leilani Chan, Masters of the Currents sheds light upon the rather misunderstood Micronesian Culture. Featuring Ova Saopeng, Mike “Bian” Raed, Jayceleen Ifenuk, Emeraldrose Hadik, and Innocenta Sound-Kikku.
The show opens with beautiful island projections upon the sail of a canoe instantly creating a magical atmosphere of wonder and exploration. The stories of three young Micronesian children living in Hawaii are woven together to construct a strong boat fit for a journey through the sub-oceanic region. An immigrant story in it’s purest of form; Masters deals with themes of acceptance, culture shock, and racism. Heavy themes, given that it’s children’s show, but it manages to hit upon these topics while not taking itself to seriously. Masters assembled a group of true members of Hawaii’s Micronesian community. The result is a natural honest representation of a very real community. Their personal connection to their culture resulted in a more appropriate and powerful telling of the story. These young actors are a true gift to our theater community and I look forward to seeing them in more production.
Masters manages to fit within it one hour run time, a layered snapshot of the beauty that is Micronesia while not shying away from its complex history, like the fact that many Micronesian immigrants moved to Hawaii because the U.S Military destroyed their homes due to nuclear bomb testing. TeAda productions did well to present these heavy topics as way to inform not to anger. The over lining message of the show is that we are all in the same boat. This message resonated greatly with me. Masters aspires to teach the world that though we all destined to face many hardships, we must be strong upon the waves of adversity, hold on tight to the ropes that connect us to our ancestors, keep a steady eye on the horizon, and we will all reach our destination together as one people united by love.
Masters of the Currents will continue to teach these lessons to the youth of Hawaii daily through October, before they embark on a national tour, but you only have one more chance to catch their public performance this coming Saturday, October 21st at 4:30pm at Tenney Theatre. Congratulations to the cast and crew and mahalo for providing a fulfilling and emotional night of theater.