T-Shirt Theatre/Alliance for Drama Education has received a $7,000 grant from Hawaiian Electric to support its T-Shirt Theatre performances of “Takes a Village,” a play that explores the universal message of intergenerational wisdom and its positive impact on youth. The Kalihi-based nonprofit, which operates out of Farrington High School, will use the grant to grow audiences and awareness about its programs by touring the production to communities across Oʻahu.

“Hawaiian Electric is pleased to award this grant as one of our 125 Acts of Aloha in celebration of our company’s 125th anniversary,” said Alvin Sabagala, a maintenance supervisor at Kahe Power Plant and Leeward Oʻahu resident, who presented the check to the organization at an outreach performance in Waiʻanae.

“As an educational tool, performance arts can bring stories to life that resonates with young adults beyond a classroom setting. T-Shirt Theatre explores universal themes while promoting education and community — values that we can all appreciate — and we are happy to help grow the program and support their mission,” added Sheila Soderburg, a senior maintenance supervisor at Kahe Power Plant and Māʻili resident, who also attended the performance at Kakoo Ohana Center.

“Our kids have an opportunity to define their community in broader and more inclusive terms by visiting other neighborhoods, and by learning that their stories shared with others can connect us all,” says Artistic Director George Kon.

“Takes a Village” is inspired by the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” which Directors George Kon and Primo Asis wanted to examine after attending graduation parties and seeing the “village” of people that came to celebrate a young person’s life accomplishments. The actors, all students, share stories about advancing through life’s challenges and the help they need from their “village” on their journey to becoming adults.

T-Shirt is the flagship program of The Alliance for Drama Education. In its 30-year history, the nonprofit has developed a methodology that utilizes drama to access the personal experiences of Hawaii’s youth to help them navigate life’s challenges and build a reservoir of skills necessary to lead successful lives. The program – based in Kalihi at Farrington High School – has created a safe and positive environment that helps young Hawaiʻi rehearse for a life full of “Jobs, Justice, and Joy.” For more information on T-Shirt Theatre or the touring production of “Takes a Village,” visit https://rehearseforlife.com/.


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