It Takes A Village
Plantation Plays is the current co-production of The Leeward Theatre and Hawai'i's Plantation Village. This site specific production is a first for Honolulu with proceeds from the performances at the plantation venue benefiting Hawai'i's Plantation Village. Each presentation consists of three 20-minute plays. The audience is greeted at the back garden of the plantation offices as the first story begins.
Lost Boy by Kiki transports us to a bygone era as Boy loses his iPod while catching Pokémon and finds instead two friends who show him how to make his own fun and maybe not get so trapped in his own devices.
Jan Shoda and the Case of the Missing Chicken by Courtney Takabayashi is another story that takes the audience through the plantation is search of Mrs. Doodledoo, a pet chicken. There are various clues obviously displayed (anybody remember Blue's Clues?), so that even the youngest sleuth is encouraged to help track down the lost hen. We meet a couple of suspicious neighbors along the way and learn a little about plantation life at the same time.
Saudade by Kirstyn Trombetta finds two brothers on a quest to find the owner of an old, worn box. Why does everyone they meet want to possess it? What kind of treasures are inside that could make it so valuable? The actors sing a song appropriately titled "Saudade," with lyrics by Trombetta and music by Kristen Labiano and Shekinah Qalo. This song highlights the entire production with its heartwarming melody to a homeland fondly remembered.
Because this production is site specific, you will do a little walking and a little standing. However, there are benches provided at each "stage" of the performances and shade is abundant throughout the venue. There is even a light breeze passing through now and again, but just in case, don't forget your good shoes and sunglasses.
The actors make good use of the various porches and verandas throughout the village. Although costumes are basic, vital props and accessories engage the viewer, encouraging the imagination to flow, creating the magic.
We attended the 10:00am Sunday performance and the weather was beautiful. And if you've never been to the Hawai'i Plantation Village, this is a great opportunity to visit and take a walk through history.
There are eight performances left at Hawaii's Plantation Village. The performances are at 10:00am and 2:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, February 18, 19, 25 and 26. Admission is only $5.00. There are also 17 school performances where the actors will present the same stories in traditional proscenium. Credit Director Ashley DeMoville with building and juggling three separate casts to learn all three plays. This way, the actors' class schedules could be met uninterrupted as well as their performance obligations.
Plantation Plays is delightful children's theatre and keiki will no doubt enjoy it, but these plays also speak to the child in all of us and I encourage everyone to see it.