Kumu Kahua Theatre presents a new drama about three Okinawan sisters, living in Hawai'i, that has been workshopped at Sundance Festival and recognized as a Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist.
In 1981, Robert Redford gathered a group of his friends and colleagues in the mountains of Utah to create an environment designed to foster independence, discovery, and new voices in American film. In the remote natural setting and removed from the pressures of the marketplace, each emerging artist was encouraged to take creative risks and to craft a film true to their own, unique vision. In 1984, the Institute's activities expanded to include development programs for theatre when the Utah Playwrights Conference became the Sundance Playwrights Lab.
Of over 900 submissions to the Sundance Playwrights Lab in 2012, only eight were selected to participate; Daniel Akiyama's A Cage of Fireflies was one of them.
Three elderly sisters of the kibei generation ? sent as children to be raised in Okinawa, then returned to live and work in Hawai'i ? are at the heart of Daniel Akiyama's new play.
Two of the sisters confine themselves to their small Honolulu apartment, enacting the rituals of daily life as they cling to a dream of returning to Okinawa. The third, charged with running the family's orchid nursery, has inherited a title that is not hers. As long-hidden hopes and regrets surface, the sisters discover what is both selfish and selfless in their love for each other.
An earlier version of this script was developed and presented and as a staged reading at Kumu Kahua Theatre where Daniel Akiyama is a volunteer and past student and past Board Member.
A CAGE OF FIREFLIES
by Daniel Akiyama
Directed by Phyllis S.K. Look
Set and Light Design by Lloyd S. Riford III
Costume Design by Debbie Nishimoto
Hair & Makeup Design by Newton Koshi
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Kimiko, the youngest sister ........................... Dian Kobayashi*
Mitsuko, the middle sister ............................. Karen Yamamoto Hackler
Yukiko, the oldest sister ................................ Kat Koshi
*Dian Kobayashi appears in this production courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.
THE PLAYWRIGHT: DANIEL AKIYAMA was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai'i and graduated from the University of Hawai'i at M?noa. Daniel studied playwriting with Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Y York, Dennis Carroll and Daniel A. Kelin II. A Cage of Fireflies, Daniel's first full-length play, was a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and was developed at the 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab.
THE DIRECTOR: Phyllis S.K. Look (director) holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and is the recipient of an NEA/TCG Directing Fellowship and an HSFCA Individual Artist Fellowship. She is a former co-producer of Hawaii Public Radio's Aloha Shorts. She has worked in professional theatre for more than 25 years, directing productions at theatres across the mainland, while making her artistic home at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.