About Town | 8-13-14

Original Play Festival runs today through Saturday


Original Play Festival runs today through Saturday

The Aloha Performing Arts Company’s 21st annual Original Play Festival begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu. A festival pass is available for $15, otherwise the ticket price is $5 per evening, with a $1 discount when a stub from a previous night is presented at the box office.

Five directors have selected casts for seven new, unproduced and unpublished plays.

The festival opens Wednesday with “By the Rivers of Babylon,” by Indiana playwright David Greenberg and directed by Cathy Riehle. This drama is set against the backdrop of the displacement of families by the Tennessee Valley Authority through the exercise of eminent domain. Cast members include Sam Valenti, Mark Murdock, Giuse Bullock, Vince Mott, Miguel Montez, Scott Pierce, Linda Flournoy, Jason Heady, Cathy Riehle, Denette McWilliams and Sharyn Toyama.

Thursday night features a double bill. First up is “The Magic Uke” by Dennis McKenna, of Hawi, directed by Tiffany Kutsunai. This is a morality fable in which the instrument of the title affects the lives of members of one family in various ways. Actor/readers are Justyn Toyama, Jeannie Kutsunai, Mark Murdock, Dan Hoff, Cameron Bailey, Kristy Krauss, Jason Heady, Susan McGee and Janemarie Singer. These same performers also make up the cast of the second half of the bill, “Home Again,” by Edward Pickard of Honolulu, directed by Kelly Ann Miles. This is a story of incest and mystery in the backwoods.

Three plays will be presented Friday, all under the direction of Victor Pisauro. First is “Missiles of Truth” by South Kona playwright John Holliday. This is a two-person show about the relationship of a grandmother and her grandson, played by Renee Monell and Justyn Toyama, respectively. The middle play is also a two-hander, “What To Do About the Kids,” by Colorado playwright J. Jackson. Jason Heady and Aaron Getzinger play two guys trying to take care of a pair of unseen kids, who are not your normal offspring. After an intermission, “Next Wife,” by Kailua-Kona playwright Kitty Powell, will be presented. A deceased wife comes back from the beyond to help her husband, who is experiencing writer’s block. Cast members are Bob Haber, William LeBus, Kerry Matsumoto, Suzanne Murdock, Tiffany Kutsunai and Stacey Canedy.

The final play of the festival is Saturday’s “A Tiny Little Secret,” by Robert O. Davis of Delaware, directed by Kitty Powell. Hijinks in this script involve keeping the body of a winning political candidate from being discovered. Mark and Suzanne Murdock head up the cast, which also includes Susan McGee, Joel Michaelson, Bert Toyama, Dan Hoff, and Nora Judd.

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, APAC will honor all participants in “OPF XXI” with a free, onstage public potluck wrap celebration. Those who have witnessed all the readings may vote on the “Opie,” a people’s choice award for best script of the festival, as well as awards for best actor and best actress. All plays are presented as staged readings, with simple technical presentation, and actors holding scripts. Each evening will be concluded with a brief talk-back discussion with the audience, the director, the cast, and in some cases, the playwright.

For tickets or more information, call 322-9924.

Hair-cutting event will produce wigs for cancer patients

Kamaaina Diamond Company will hold a hair-cutting event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 18 to generate hair that will be donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths for cancer patients who have applied for a free wig through American Cancer Society.

Minimum hair length is 8 inches. Hair that is 25 percent gray is acceptable. Participants will receive a ponytail cut and style by a qualified hair stylist. Door prizes and drawings will be held for gift certificates. Pupu and drinks will be supplied. Precut ponytails will be accepted anytime.

A $50 Kamaaina Diamond Company gift certificate will be awarded for each ponytail donated. Call Brenda at 331-1904 for more information and to sign up for the cut or as a stylist.

Bus pull competition to benefit Special Olympics

Special Olympics West-Hawaii will hold their “Bus’ a Move” bus pull competition Saturday at Kona Commons.

Teams of ten are encouraged to enter. Awards will be given in three categories: fastest pull, lowest combined weight, and most enthusiastic team. Teams will pull a Robert’s Hawaii charter bus. A lighter, 16,500-pound vehicle provided will be used in the lowest combined weight category.

Teams can register now by calling 345-0433 or emailing sowhdenise@gmail.com. T-shirts will be given to all pre-registered participants. Volunteers are also sought.

Meditation class offered Sunday

A free meditation class will teach authentic Buddhist meditation and help participants attain tools for living a more peaceful lifestyle from 4 to 5:45 p.m. Sunday at Niaulani Volcano Art Center. The class is open to beginners as well as seasoned meditators, Buddhists and nonBuddhists.

Dress warmly and bring a cushion. Chairs are also provided.

Call 985-7470 for information.

Class helps attendees survive enounter with an active shooter

The Hawaii Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 26 at the old courthouse across from the North Kohala police station.


The presentation is designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident.

Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention.