Voices from Okinawa

Voices from Okinawa

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Back by popular demand, its Jon Shirota’s popular play Voices from Okinawa.

Voices from Okinawa will run on the following dates at the Kumu Kahua Theatre: July 15-18, 22-23, 25, 29-31; August 1.

Purchase tickets here.

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Originally produced in 2008 by the East West Players in Los Angeles, Voices From Okinawa tells the story of Kama Hutchins, an American of Okinawan ancestry who teaches English to local Okinawans. He eschews traditional ESL teaching methods to have his students relate personal stories to the class. As the tales are told, the attitudes of the young students toward the American soldiers stationed on the island, change. (For years, Okinawans have protested the U.S. presence, citing crime, rape and the destruction of Okinawan culture.) From his students, as well as from his shaman great-aunt, Kama learns a great about his own cultural heritage. The drama blends with comedy as Kama is compelled to defend his teaching methods to the school principal. The playwright’s father left Okinawa in 1907, along with three brothers, and became a pineapple grower on Maui. The brothers eventually returned to Okinawa, but Shirota’s family remained.

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