Rehearsing for Life

The Alliance for Drama Education (ADE) is a private, not for profit organization that helps young Hawai‘i “rehearse for life.”

T-Shirt Theatre is a low tech, high zest performing company based at Farrington High School in beautiful downtown Kalihi USA. TST’s signature piece is Lychee, a fruit that’s rough on the outside and sweet on the inside, much like some of the youth who first become a part of the company and find that their stories are transformed into the plays they perform. T-Shirt Theatre was born from a contract several years ago to train incoming students audience skills in an effort to tame what was then very unruly assemblies in the 1200 seat Farrington auditorium. The training culminated in a performance onstage.

George and Walt Dulaney (T-Shirt Theatre writer/producer) had a simple set of rules: Focus, Safety & Do Your Best. Focus with your eyes, ears and knees on the performer. When someone is performing, you’re supporting till it’s your turn to take the light. Preserve the safety of the body and safety of the heart. No razzing, teasing or side conversations. Finally, do your best and have fun.

For over 31 years, T-Shirt Theatre has been inspiring Hawaii’s youth to “do your best and have fun” emphasized in a program that provides English academic credit to its young participants. It is the hard work and dedication that also shines through the performances that ensures that these students have certainly “rehearsed for life” in their drama experience.

The Alliance for Drama Education was founded by George Kon and Walt Dulaney. George continues to serve as Executive Director and Artistic Director. Walt Dulaney passed away in TKTKT leaving a great legacy of education that George Kon remains dedicated to in the practices and the standards of educational excellence they built. After nearly 2 decades of nurturing talented Kalihi students in T-Shirt Theatre, George is quick to note a small group of dedicated alumni who have grown up with the process are beginning to take on major responsibilities.­ Francis Asis, who came to in as an 8th grader, now choreographs and co-directs the shows. Jonah Moananu composes, coaches and heads up a young crew of Kalihi artist-educators in ADE’s Gett!ng Dramat!c program and assistant directors with TST. These people are ADE’s legacy.