American High School Theater Festival

Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School has been invited to participate the 2016 American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF).  Twenty students and five chaperones will have the opportunity to join an elite troupe of high school artists and perform as part of the AHSTF program at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the worldʻs largest performing arts festival held annually in Scotland.  The Edinburgh Festival Fringe involves 42,000 performers from all over the world and attracts about 1 million visitors each year to performances throughout the month of August.

Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School was first nominated to apply for the festival by two local theatre professionals this past fall.  The nominations were based on the high standard of excellence demonstrated by Kamehameha’s theatrical performances, ranging from well-known musicals to original works such as Hawaiian-language operas. The AHSTF Board of Advisors selected Kamehameha Hawaiʻi’s program for their commitment to theatre education, promotion of culture, level of administrative support and community involvement.  Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi will be the first non-Oʻahu school to attend the AHSTF.

Since its first Hōʻike presentation in 2004, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi  High School has been taken small steps toward building its performing arts program.  In 2006, the school initiated its annual Fall Musical and will produce its twelfth musical this November (Into the Woods).  In 2011, Kamehameha Hawaiʻi produced its first Hōʻike in the Hawaiian language.  This feat was followed by entire operas in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in 2012 and 2013.  For the AHSTF, the school plans to perform its third opera, an adaptation of an earlier Hōike production based on the saga of Hina and Kapepeʻekauila.

The honor of attending the AHSTF is a great leap forward for the school.  Enterprises of this pitch and moment come with a large price tag and fundraising efforts have been ongoing since the start of the school year.  With funds raised from our performances and the generous contributions of corporate and private donors, the trip will happen as planned.  A heartfelt Mahalo nui to all those who contributed to this effort.  

Read about Mr. Mahelonaʻs experience at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and American High School Theater Festival.