Global Youth Leadership Program
During the summer of 2015, a group of Japanese students participating in the Global Youth Leadership Program visited Hawai’i in order to experience international culture and attend leadership workshops provided by University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s East West Center. T-Shirt Theatre was invited to perform “With Their Voices Raised” as well as hold a workshop in order to help the students break out of their shells since the students knew minimal English. Even with the language barrier, the use of theatre conveyed the necessary messages and themes. T-Shirt Theatre came again several more times to hold additional workshops to help the students with communication skills and attended their final showcase at the end of the program.
With Their Voices Raised
Dr. Patricia Liehr, Professor of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University, gave a speech at Farrington High School which led to a chance conversation with Lt. Colonel David Carlson about TST and “With Their Voices Raised.” It was comprised of Interviews with survivors of both Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor, that were collected not as a research paper but as a dramatic presentation. Since Farrington served as a clinic during the war, Patricia wondered if there was a drama group on campus that could handle such serious material and premiere the show in Hawaii. She learned about T-Shirt Theatre.
Composed solely of selected verbatim monologues from both sides of the Pacific War, this important piece of island & US history deserved a showcase. Normally, T-Shirt Theatre only performs original student-written shows, but we had a core of talented alumni that were available to stage the piece. Our cast included TST alumni: Jarren Amian, Jayden Dela Cruz, Maricar Dela Cruz, Elvis Grande, Jay Laeno, and Janelle Yere, and current FHS students Jacynth Agraan and Lealoha Tumbaga.. This project was extremely challenging for the actors to memorize, but it has forever changed how they look at that war.
The Hawaii premiere was held on Sunday, November 9, 2014 (Veteran’s Day) at 2pm and was very appropriately at the Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island.
Where Does it End?
Theatre performances are traditionally performed in front of a large audience who’s just there to watch the show. However, a small group of T-shirt Theatre cast and alumni participated with a different type of performance when approached by the Consuela Foundation. In this Plays for Living Script, “Where Does it End?” follows teenagers that go suffer as a result of bullying. The narrative focuses on the fact that a bully doesn’t necessarily mean the big guy who’s picking on the little guy. It shows how everyone has the potential of being a bully without even realizing it. It even touches on why a bully acts the way they do, and how to stop the cycle of bullying. All these thought provoking question are important because after the performance, the cast and directors sat down with the audience and discussed these topics. These averaged about 20-30 people, with a mix of students and adults. The purpose of these performances were to connect with smaller groups of people in order to create a more intimate and impactful environment. Audiences included the Academy of the Pacific, the Palama Settlement football boys, Kalihi YMCA, the T-Shirt Theatre Cast, and a Moloka’i community center.