Education Takes The Stagev

By Natalie McKinney
Wednesday - June 22, 2011 Share

By Natalie McKinney, President, Board of Directors
‘Ohi‘a Productions

‘Ohi’a Productions was founded in 1995 by Kaneohe artist Michael Furuya and his cousin, the late playwright Lisa Matsumoto, to provide creative, educational and inspiring theatrical experiences to children and families of Hawaii.

Our Educational Touring Program sends small troupes of actors to preschools, elementary schools and public and private events to perform musicals that promote science, literacy, environmental awareness, education and preservation. Since the start of the program, more than 230,000 students statewide have seen these shows. Currently on tour is Fun With Fables, a performance that brings Aesop’s fables to life through song, humor and an array of colorful and comical characters.

This fall we will debut Superhero Smarts, which was commissioned by Referentia and dedicated to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. This musical adventure explores science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and knowledge-building skills that will stimulate thinking and creativity while empowering students to discover their own STEM superhero within.

The ‘Ohi’a crew prepares for Fun With Fables. (From back left) Matthew Pablo, Dusty Behner, Reiko Ho, Royce Okazaki and Sara Robertson. Photo courtesy of ‘Ohi’a Productions

Our ‘Ohana Program was created to share the joys of theater with our families and community by providing uplifting and memorable experiences for our audiences. This summer’s Ohana Program performance is Lisa Matsumoto’s Once Upon One Noddah Time with music and lyrics by Roslyn Catracchia. It is a co-presentation of ‘Ohi’a Productions and University of Hawaii Presents, and is directed by Tamara Montgomery and Patrick Fujioka. Once Upon One Noddah Time is a delightful adaptation of the traditional fairy tales we all know and love, turning them into a comedic local fantasy full of memorable songs and colorful characters. Meet a menagerie of delightful local-style fairy tale characters as they wander their way through a fun and crazy adventure! The play will appear on stage at Kennedy Theatre July 8-24.

For information on booking Fun With Fables or Superhero Smarts for your school or purchasing tickets for Once Upon One Noddah Time, visit or call 943-0456.

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