The Alliance for Drama Education (ADE) is a nonprofit organization managed by the original founders and directed by a working board of teachers, administrators, parents, business leaders, and alumni. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with over 2,000 past and present contributing members.

Our flagship program: T-Shirt Theatre

T-Shirt Theater is a Kalihi-based performance group with students from Farrington High School and Kalakaua and Dole Middle Schools.

T-Shirt Theatre is a Community of Practice where young people come together around the practice of dramatic arts. Participants make a commitment to themselves and other company members to engage because they find value in learning, practicing the art, and in the culture of the community. Over the course of being a part of the community, participants experience an arc of development that results in their becoming contributing adult citizens.

Our School Residencies

Our professional artist-educators partner with K-12 schools throughout Hawai‘i to stimulate, develop and refine youngsters’ cognitive and creative skills by using drama education to achieve DOE standards. Through the use of discussions, demonstrations, and theatre exercises, we teach drama appreciation, respect for self and others, focus, teamwork, and life skills.

Our Community Engagement Practice

T-Shirt Theater travels to communities across Hawai‘i partnering with organizations in performance/discussions that unpack common themes to stimulate multi-generational dialog.

Our Values

  • We reveal what we feel, believe and think through self-expression, with compassion shaping our words and actions.
  • We use effective communication as a tool to articulate our organizational mission. We teach communication skills that help young learners develop poise, creative thinking and self-confidence.
  • We use teamwork to harmonize our differences and act as one.
  • We show kindness and respect in all our relationships, moving beyond ourselves to look through the eyes of fellow human beings.
  • Our resiliency mandates that should we fall down seven times, we will get up eight.
  • We focus our energy and imagination into one point of concentration, directing all of our efforts to the achievement of our goals.


T-Shirt Theatre is low tech and high zest. We perform mostly in our T-Shirts and on a bare stage. Which leaves the fancy costumes and elaborate sets, up to your imagination. A T-Shirt Theatre cast member is easily identifiable by one of the many brightly colored shirts that are used for performances. The T-Shirt Theatre logo is printed on a variety of colors that range from turquoise to lavender to maroon. The cast is not limited from which of the 25+ colors they are able to choose. We find that the colors they choose often reflect their own personalities. These shirts are our uniforms and we wear them proudly whenever we need to perform.


Lychee is a metaphor for the community of Kalihi. In the past, Kalihi and Farrington have received a bad reputation because of the gang activity associated with the area. The school as a whole was labeled and stereotyped to this day. However, Farrington and Kalihi is home to some of the nicest and friendliest people around. We all work hard to break the stereotype that surrounds us. Like the lychee, we may have a hard shell or a spiky covered hide, but if you take a look inside, we’re not as bad as you may think.

You know, there’s a fruit that grows on tree
Deep in the heart of a place called Kalihi
It’s got a hard shell, and a spiky covered hide
And at first you may not think, that there’s anything inside
But take a closer look my friend, and see what lies within
The inside’s really wonderful, the outside, it’s just a skin
It’s called lychee, lychee. Homeboy vegetation, lychee
Kalihi is a melting pot of all varieties
We got Samoans, Filipinos, Okinawans, and Chinese
Koreans, Hapa-Haoles, Hawaiians, and Portugeese, cause we’re all lychee, lychee
So if you’re intimidated by my face, or by my name
don’t forget to look inside me, cause inside, we’re just the same, Lychee
There’s no need for segregation, cause we’re all lychee, lychee