‘Cage of Fireflies’ opens tonight

  • From left to right, Pauline Nishida-Miller, Arlene Araki, and Jeannie Kutsunai, pictured here displaying a wedding kimono during rehearsal, comprise the entire cast of A Cage of Fireflies. (Photo courtesy / Aloha Performing Arts Company)

Beginning tonight, the three-woman cast anchoring “A Cage of Fireflies” will take audiences on a journey that confronts culture, security and finding one’s place, not only in the world, but in the family.

The story is based around three elderly sisters of the kibei generation — played by Pauline Nishida-Miller, Arlene Araki, and Jeannie Kutsunai — who were sent as children to be raised in Okinawa, but who then returned to live and work in Hawaii.


Two of the sisters confine themselves to their Honolulu apartment where they enact the rituals of daily life and dream of one day returning to Okinawa. The third, charged with running their family’s orchid nursery, embraces the modern world and disrupts her family’s fragile traditions.

As long-hidden hopes, resentments and regrets surface, the sisters must confront the nature of their love for each other.

The play was written by Honolulu playwright Daniel Akiyama and is the inaugural production in Aloha Theatre’s new series, “Voices from the Ring of Fire.” Plays in the Voices series will feature Hawaii playwrights and themes of interest to the island community.


Cage of Fireflies runs weekends beginning tonight through Sept. 1. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. while Sunday matine curtains lift at 2:30 p.m. at the theater in Kainaliu.

Tickets range from $12-25.

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