In March 2017, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School will present two musical plays written by local teacher, choral director, and playwright Clarence Waipa. Almost a King portrays the events of the final years of Prince Leleiōhoku, the younger brother of Liliʻuokalani, and heir to the throne. Kaʻiulani recounts the childhood and premature demise of Princess Kaʻiulani. Both plays were written by Waipa while he was a teacher at St. Josephʻs School in Hilo, and were performed by students. Music for both plays include music of the time period and original compositions by Waipa.
The combined plays have been given the title Ka ʻIu O Hoku, by student (and Scotland alum) Kuʻuhiapo Jeong (c/o 2018). In English it is roughly translated “the highest of the star/ the sky”. Both Kaʻiulani and Leleiōhoku were viewed as the highest and most important people at that time (when the Hawaiian Kingdom was at the brick of annexation) as heirs to the throne. The title also cleverly combines their two names.
The plays will be presented Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17 at Koaiʻa Gymnasium, featuring the entire high school student body.