Kanui rising, Ha‘o-style
Image: Courtesy Mission Houses MUSEUM

Stage / If all the world’s a stage, that includes graveyards, right? And perhaps there’s no better place to bring history back to life than in a cemetery. Cemetery Pupu Theatre, presented by Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, is back with an all-new cast of prominent, dearly departed Hawaii residents, presented through monologues.

Each character has been thoroughly researched and this season, with each monologue scripted by Zach Thomas, who also plays the Rev. Hiram Bingham, an early missionary. Other characters include William Beals, a hapa under the care of Rev. Bingham’s wife; William Kanui, one of only two native Hawaiians buried in the Mission Cemetery, played by William Hao; Mary Tenney Castle, of the famed Castle Trust, played by Jo Pruden; and Anna Rice Cooke, who founded the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

“I think people might be surprised at what they learn,” says Mike Smola of Mission Houses. “They might not know, for example, that many Hawaiians went to the Gold Rush in California . . . And Hiram Bingham was beat up by a mob of sailors. But people will have to come down to find out why.”

Pupu and drinks will be served from 5–6pm, followed by the cemetery
tour and more refreshments. Smola says, “People are interested in the
gravestones after [the show]. They want to get close and really look
at them.” Now that’s something you can’t do in just any old theater.

Mission Cemetery (assemble at the Mission Houses Museum), 553 S. King St., Fri.–Sat., 10/5–10/13, 5–9pm, $60, [], 447-3926