MACC Presents Hanna Ii-Epstein’s Pakalolo Sweet
The Maui Arts & Cultural Center will present the Kumu Kahua Theatre production of Hanna Ii-Epstein’s drama Pakalolo Sweet. Performances are in the MACC’s McCoy Studio Theater at 7:30 pm nightly Friday and Saturday, November 9 & 10, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.
Pakalolo Sweet focuses on Junior Boy who is a young Hawaiian man who comes from a lineage of marijuana growers on the North Shore of O’ahu and is now proudly expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Nani. During a night of karaoke, beer, and weed, the medical uses, benefits, and cultural aspects of marijuana in pre-contact Hawai’i are explored. What follows is unexpected and heartbreaking as the audience witnesses Junior Boy’s struggle to do what he believes is best for his ‘ohana. This is a prequel to playwright Hannah Ii-Epstein’s previous play, Not One Batu, which follows the character of Papa’s family and the inevitable hardships arising when indigenous values are systematically marginalized.
Pakalolo Sweet is the second one-act in Ii-Epstein’s trilogy of drug exploration plays set on the North Shore of O’ahu. Opening and threaded through with lanai karaoke, this play focuses on Uncle Makana’s ‘ohana.
The play has been directed by Wil Kahele who has served as actor, director & playwright for other KKT productions. He also co-directed Kāmau, which also toured to the Pacific Arts Festival in Sāmoa in 2008.
Playwright Hannah Ii-Epstein is from the North Shore of O‘ahu and recently received her MFA in Writing for the screen and stage at Northwestern University. She is a creative writer, dramatist, and Co-Artistic Director of Chicago’s Nothing Without a Company (NWaC). Since 2007, over twenty of her works were produced in Hawai‘i by Kumu Kahua Theatre and in Chicago by NWaC, About Face Theatre’s Babes on Stage, and Fury Theatre’s SAST. Hannah‘s film, Sweet, won BestFilm Runner Up in Chicago’s 48HFP (48 Hour Film Project) in 2015. In 2016, Hannah and her play, Not One Batu, was honored by Hawai‘i State Theatre Council Po‘okela Awards.
Based in Honolulu, Kumu Kahua Theatre’s mission is to present plays about life in Hawai ́i, by Hawai ́i playwrights, for Hawai ́i’s people. Under managing director Donna Blanchard and artistic director Harry Wong III, Kumu Kahua Theatre is the only theatre solely devoted to theatre specific of place in the islands. Kumu Kahua has been staging Hawai‘i-themed projects by island writers since the 1970s, at the outset of the Hawaiian cultural renaissance and Maui Arts & Cultural Center has become the presenter of Kumu Kahua on Maui.
Tickets are $28, plus applicable fees. Tickets are available at the MACC Box Office, (808) 242-SHOW Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or online anytime at MauiArts.org. The play includes smoking on stage, coarse language, adult themes and loud sound effects.