‘The Trial of Liliuokalani’ Opens Friday in Hilo

September 5, 2013, 11:25 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 7:02 PM
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The Hilo Community Players will mark a triple anniversary with the opening of “The Trial of Liliuokalani,” which begins a three-week run of performances at the East Hawaii Cultural Center this Friday, Sept. 6.

2013 marks the 120th anniversary of Queen Liliuokalani’s’s overthrow, the 50th anniversary of the creation of the play, and the 75th anniversary of the Hilo Community Players, the second oldest theatrical organization in Hawaii.

The Trial of Liliuokalani was written in Hilo in 1973 by the late Maurice Zimring, a Hollywood screenwriter who’d retired to Keaukaha and was active in the Big Island Press Club.

Drawing on remembrances, books, archives and transcripts, Zimring combined historical figures and dramatic characters to create “this drama of patriotism and passion,” said a Hilo Community Players release.

The play focuses on events in 1895 after Hawaiian nationalists failed to restore the queen to her throne, and she was tried by an American court for allegedly allowing the uprising against the new republic by her followers.


University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Chair Jackie Pualani Johnson stars as Queen Liliuokalani. Justina Taft Mattos directs the play.


Performances will be upstairs at the East Hawaii Cultural Center, 141 Kalakaua St., in Hilo. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21. Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. on Sept. 8, 15 and 22.

Tickets are $15 at the door; $10 in advance and for students; $5 for 12 and under. Call 961-5711.

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