GOSHEN — Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is offering a Bicentennial Hawaiian cultural and history theater program on tour in New England between Sept. 29 and Oct. 23.
The play “My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” will be on a month-long tour of museums, churches, and historic sites bringing the story of Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia, the Native Hawaiian man that travelled to New England and who inspired the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to send Protestant missionaries to the Hawaiian Kingdom, to a new and historically-connected audience. This program is brought you by the Church of Christ Congregational.
This is the first time Hawaiian Mission Houses is taking the award-winning History Theater program to the continental United States. It has toured extensively throughout the Hawaiian Islands, including on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island. The tour will end with a regional commemoration event on the exact day of the 200th anniversary of the ABCFM missionaries leaving Boston for Hawaiʻi at Park Street Church in Boston.
Based on primary source research, this emotionally powerful play is written by and starring Moses Goods, one of the premier actors, writers, and storytellers in Hawaiʻi. The program also features Poʻai Lincoln, a prominent local singer/musician and Hawaiian Mission Houses’ Cultural Programs Coordinator, who will accompany the program with Hawaiian Oli (chant) and Mele (song). Commissioned by Hawaiian Mission Houses to honor the bicentennial of ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s death in 1818,
“My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” brings to life the story of a Native Hawaiian man who is a fundamental part of Hawaiʻi’s history.
The performance will be part of the normal Sunday Church Service at the Church of Christ Congregational, 5 Old Middle Street, Goshen, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m.
The events listed as public performances will entail a 1.5-hour cultural program that features Moses Goods and Poʻai Lincoln in a powerful and moving program incorporating live theater performance and music.
The Indigenous Language Symposium, supported by the Connecticut Humanities Council, will be a panel discussion program that may include a performance of the play.
“My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” will be at the following venues in Connecticut:
Sept. 30: Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, 7 p.m. public performance
Oct. 1: New Haven Museum, 5:30 p.m. public performance, 114 Whitney Ave, New Haven.
Oct. 2: Yale University outside Connecticut Hall, 1 p.m., public performance, Yale University, 1017 Chapel St., New Haven.
Oct. 6: Cornwall Village Meeting House, Cornwall, 3 p.m., 8 Bolton Road, Cornwall.
Oct. 10: Indigenous Language Symposium at the Pequot Museum, 110 Pequot Trail, Ledyard, with support of Connecticut Humanities
Oct. 12: United Congregational Church of Torrington, Torrington, 7 p.m., 1622 Torringford Street, Torrington
Oct. 14: First Congregational Church of Guilford, 7 p.m., public performance, 110 Broad Street, Rt 77 at the Green, Guilford
Oct. 18: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1 p.m., public performance on the Charles W. Morgan, requires paid admission to Mystic Seaport Museum. 75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic
For the full performance schedule for the entire tour please visit https://www.missionhouses.org/new-england-programs/
Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is located in Honolulu’s Historic Capitol District and is the leading authority on Protestant missionary history in Hawaiʻi. It is known worldwide as the place where the written Hawaiian language was developed through the collaborative efforts of the missionaries and the Aliʻi and the Hawaiian people. It preserves the two oldest documented houses in Hawaiʻi, which were built and used by the missionaries in the early nineteenth century, and the largest collection of Hawaiian language books in the world.