A Letter of Thanks to PlayBuilders of Hawai‘i for ‘Dragonfly’
Submitted by "Ron" to the PlayBuilders of Hawai'i Theatre Company (and shared with Hitting the Stage) after seeing their play, Dragonfly, written by Terri Madden and directed by William Ha'o.
To the PlayBuilders cast, crew, and production team,
This past Saturday April 22nd, 2017 at the Mission Memorial Auditorium a miraculous event took place. The birth of a new play, "Dragonfly".
Its fruition was as if happening spontaneously for the first time, but it was born out of "blood, sweat, and tears". For even before it was thought of as a creative project, it was rising like "a phoenix from the ashes", as all your plays do, taken from the depths of true lives of turmoil, only to evolve by its end into discovery, revelation, and hope.
Months of story searching, molding them into some kind of masterpiece, distilling them into its essence...Poetic lyrics and music married into song, which goes directly to our souls, or words woven into rap...And weeks and weeks of devoted (betimes arduous) rehearsals, yet all the while loved, enjoyed. Not only was a play being built, but a family as well.
And so I wrote in my penciled comments Saturday, that PlayBuilders is the best theatre on the Island if not the entire State. Because it is relevant, its themes oh so important. Because the script was perfection. Because its morning premiere was performed as if it were its closing night, with everyone giving their all, cast and crew and production team alike. Emotions pure and natural, flowed. As an audience member, "Thank you!" I say. Now it is your play...the baby's finally come, with its own life. Truly like a birth-day celebration, but hard-won, only after its growing pains and labor of love.
But what impressed me most was that you have heart! So much heart...because you players know it is not just a play, but you represent the real lives of those who have suffered, before making it to the summit (in this case, Tara, and all the foster children of Uncle Arthur and Aunty Allene Uesuge.) The play also stands in esteem for others who may still be struggling along their paths today. Creating this world on stage is indeed a responsibility. But oh what a rewarding one. And for us the audience, ultimately moving.
So thank you, thank you, mahaaalo all!--for your dedication, determination, joy, being real, and most of all your heart. I'm so proud of "Tara" Jenica, for her debut community theatre role, and grateful to her father Eric Wong, my apartments Property Manager, for letting me know! And to PlayBuilders, thank you for building these plays. For inspiring us...to be a bit better, to be aware of those around us, and to love a lot more.
Ron, fellow theatre-maker,
an "amateur" at heart as in "one who loves" the arts
May you love your run as much as we love you!
Also, to HittingTheStage readers,
Here's a less-than-a-minute video (by Karis Lo) on the 2 year making of "Dragonfly" --Ron