Alone at the Kahilu

Waking up in HawaiiAlone at the Kahilu Theatre on the Big Island… 7:30 pm. It’s raining outside, and my acting and musical theater students all left. Now it’s just me, closing up. The silence in this theatre is filled with so much sound because the theatre is alive with every performer that has walked through its doors to grace this stage… Hawaiian music, classical, wild and vibrant dance. Talk Story. Hula — the fierce celebration of that sacred dance. The theatre is like the mountain in that you can’t separate it from its history. Alone in this theatre, shutting off lights and locking doors, I feel the ghost of Richard Smart, the Kahilu’s founder, now long gone — and the ghost of the man who gave his life when the theatre was being built and he fell to his death from the catwalk. There is a plaque for him that I imagine will always be here. Paintings in the booth of a young Richard Smart — once a bon vivant, a Broadway gypsy — he had a vision for what this space could be, this theatre he named after his Hawaiian mother, Thelma Kahilu Parker, and at one time this theatre was a house for Kahilu-produced musicals and plays. So happy to have been given the gift of directing a Kahilu-produced musical last January — the first one in decades — and now another one in June; to be part of bringing back a piece of this theatre that was once so significant. It’s a magical place, the Kahilu. It closed its doors and then came back to life and now it’s vibrant and full. Like Hawaii itself. Grateful beyond words to have a home in this house that means so much to me.
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