For its upcoming production, Kumu Kahua Theatre will go virtual

Actors, sign on! Kumu Kahua Theater takes performances online

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rehearsals of Kumu Kahua Theatre's "The Conversion of Kaahumanu" are being done on a digital stage.

That’s also how the play by Hawaii playwright Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl will be peformed when they debut on Zoom on Aug. 8 and 9.

The theater's managing director Donna Blanchard said the live productions on computer will be a new experience for the audience.

"You are going to be intimate with the actors. You're going to be this close to them. You're going to hear them well. You are going to be able to see them well," she said.

COVID’s cutback on social gatherings forced the theater to embrace a new method for telling stories with actors performing from their homes.

"Kumu Kahua is a small theater, so the actors know that what they do with their faces and their eyes and their voices can communicate a lot," artistic director Harry Wong III said.

The cast has rehearsed since March, when the play was supposed to premiere.

"We promise it is really going to be more than you expect we can do on a screen," Blanchard said.

Kumu Kahua was founded 50 years ago to tell Hawaii stories in different ways. This is very different.

"Working with this new medium I think is an honor to that idea of experimentality, and seeing how that experiment can still communicate our stories," Wong said.

"The Conversion of Kaahumanu" is being offered to the audience for free, but Blanchard's hoping for donations.

"We are hoping that people will donate when they see the show because we need to keep this place alive until we can open the theater again," she said.

For more information on the performance go to KumuKahua.org.

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