The production of “Conversion of Kaʻahumanu” is postponed until further notice
Staff Writer Holly S. Trowbridge and Editor-in-Chief Rosannah Gosser
In wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus, the production of the “Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu” has been postponed to an unspecified date in May or early June, according to Justina Mattos, assistant professor of drama in the UH Hilo Performing Arts Department and the director for the play.
The show was originally intended to be performed on April 3, 4, and 5, to pay homage to the 200th anniversary of the very first Christian missionaries and their arrival in Hawai‘i on March 30, 1820. The production will no longer be providing school showings.
Maya Kuluwaimakaokalani McGarry, a sophomore in psychology and performing arts, worked as a backstage assistant and stagehand at the Performing Arts Center and was the stage manager for the production of “Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu.” McGarry states in an email correspondence with Ke Kalahea that the center either postponed or canceled all of their shows after the university system-wide decision to move classes to an online platform, leaving her without employment.
“Since we are always preparing for the next show, there is no work that needs to be done,” McGarry explains. She says they are hoping to open the show’s production on the first weekend of June, “if the circumstances allow for it.”
Volunteering and then working for the theatre was part of the reason that McGarry chose to double major in performing arts, and while she loved her job and is disappointed that they won’t be able to work for a while, she understands that it’s all “for the safety of the campus and the community.”
McGarry hopes to return to work in the theater as soon as she can and doesn’t plan on seeking unemployment soon. “I’m taking this time at home to focus more on my classes, my goals, and spending more time with my family,” she states. “It’s unsettling to see how many people have been misplaced and left jobless, without any form of income or sustenance, because of the pandemic. I have a lot of respect for first responders, medical staff, and essential delivery services and can only pray that we can stick together and get through this tough time.”