Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cemetery Pupu Theatre at Oʻahu Cemetery – Videos of Performances

Hawaiian Mission Houses sponsored Cemetery Pupu Theater the past two weekends – if you missed it, you missed some great live performances.  However, I taped each (on my cell phone) and links to each are provided here.

Actors are dressed in period costume telling the life events of select individuals buried at O‘ahu Cemetery - at their respective grave sites.  There was nothing ghoulish about it; rather, it was very effective storytelling.

Portrayed in the June 2012 Hawaiian Mission Houses Cemetery Pupu Theater program were:

John Papa I'i (1800-1870) (portrayed by William Hao)

John Papa Ii was a leading citizen of the Hawaiian kingdom during the nineteenth century. Born in 1800 and raised under the traditional kapu system, I‘i was trained from earliest childhood for a life of service to the high chiefs.

Ii served as a general superintendent of O'ahu schools and was an influential member in the court of Kamehameha III. He was appointed by the king to the Treasury Board; was a member of the Privy Council; Board of Land Commissioners and was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai‘i .

Cherilla Lowrey (1861-1917) (portrayed by Hanna Gaffney)

Cherilla Lowry founder and first president of the Outdoor Circle (TOC) (100-years ago) whose mission was to “Keep Hawai‘i clean, green and beautiful.” Twenty-two Monkeypod trees were planted in A‘ala Park as the organization’s first tree planting project.

Through its mission, much of TOC’s activities strive to educate youth and local citizens about environmental issues that concern the preservation and conservation of Hawai’i’s natural resources, including planting trees, beautifying parks and public areas including parks, streets, playgrounds and schools and bicycle paths.

Eliab Grimes (1780--1848) (portrayed by Zachary Thomas)

Captain Eliab Grimes, a native of Massachusetts, was a Honolulu merchant of many years and operated with his nephew Hiram, as the firm E & H Grimes.  Eliab Grimes persuaded John Sinclair to occupy the Rancho Del Paso (a 44,371-acre Mexican land grant in present day Sacramento County, California)  until such time as he (Grimes) could take legal title to it.

A fur trader whose voyages in illegal activities brought him face-to-face with the Spanish Armada, and required ransoming a crew which included John Dominis, the future would-be father-in-law to Queen Lili`uokalani.

Lucy Thurston (1795 -- 1876) (portrayed by Cecilia Fordham)

Asa Thurston (1787–1868) and Lucy Goodale Thurston were in the first company of American Christian Missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands.  Lucy Goodale Thurston voyaged to the Hawaiian Islands in 1820 intent on bringing the word of God to its inhabitants.  During the next fifty years she raised a family, dealt with tragedy and helped to change the future of Hawaii forever.

The Thurstons, unlike most missionary couples, spent most of the rest of their lives in the islands.  Lucy compiled her letters and other writings into one of the most vivid accounts of the early mission days.  She underwent a mastectomy without anesthetic in 1855.  She died on October 13, 1876 in Honolulu.

Lorrin Andrews (1795--1868) (portrayed by Jeff Gere)

Lorrin Andrews was an early American missionary to Hawaii and judge.   In June 1831 the mission hoped to establish a seminary on Maui, since it was somewhat centrally located among the Hawaiian Islands. Andrews was selected to run the school called Lahainaluna for "upper Lahaina".

On September 5, 1831 classes began in thatched huts with 25 married Hawaiian young men. It was the first college west of the Rocky Mountains.  His students published the first newspaper and were involved in the first case of counterfeiting currency in Hawaiʻi.  He later served as a judge and became a member of Hawai‘i's first Supreme Court.

Please also consider visiting the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (on King Street, adjoining Kawaiaha‘o Church.)  I am honored and proud to have been recently elected to serve on the Missions Houses Board of Trustees.

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