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Hana Keaka: Hawaiian Theater

Photo by Arianna Patterson

Three Molokai legends came to life last Wednesday, Feb. 28, performed by students from the Kualapuu School’s Hawaiian immersion program. The memorable performance of Hana Keaka theater was held at the Molokai Community Health Center.

The kindergarten through sixth graders tested their drama skills in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 300 Molokai community members. The keiki actors performed the stories of the giant Ha’eha’eku, the wise Kuapakaa, and the famous Kaohele.

Kalae Tangonan, a parent volunteer who created the costumes and set design for the performance, explained that Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u has been performing Hana Keaka annually for more than 10 years.

“It was so cute,” said Tangonan, and “it’s all in Hawaiian. Really cool.”

She explained that participating in the play helps students learn Hawaiian songs and legends, as well as allows them to become comfortable performing on stage.

Additionally, the dramatic performance functions as a “mahalo to the community for supporting the program,” explained Tangonan. “They get to see in action how the kids are adapting to the language.”

Usually free, this year’s performance came with a $25 ticket price, which covered a chicken bowl for each attendee.


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