Alchemy of Aloha: Stories of Big Island People

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Two original theater performances centered around Hawai‘i Island’s people and their stories are set to debut in Downtown Hilo during Aloha First Friday on April 7 at 7 p.m. at East Hawaii Cultural Center.

The event is open to all ages and admission is free.

Alchemy of Aloha is produced under the direction of Seattle-based The New Alchemists, in partnership with Waiakea High School and Full Life Hawaii.

The goal of the community theater project is to uplift local voices and showcase the unique stories of the island’s diverse communities.

Performances are inspired by Full Life Hawaii participant Jennifer Poblano’s published short story, FUZZY LAND, and Waiakea High School’s recent production of an original script dealing with adolescent LGBTQ identity, titled FriENDship by Zoi Nakamura.


Alchemy of Aloha is directed by Lily Raabe, with original music by Ahmed Alabaca, and production support from Hilo native Brandon Estrella.

The New Alchemists were connected to this project through Estrella, the troupe’s artistic producer, who is excited and honored to bring his art and the work of his company back to share with the Hilo community.

Custom performance masks were crafted by local artist Kathleen Kam.

About The New Alchemists


The New Alchemists are a Seattle-based theater company comprised of interdisciplinary artists dedicated to telling the stories of diverse and marginalized communities through non-traditional theater that engages the audience as an active participant in the work. They believe that artists have a responsibility to make bold, thought-provoking work with integrity and imagination. The New Alchemists focus on bringing diverse stories that need to be told to life—with courage, compassion, humanity and heart.

About Full Life Hawaii

Full Life Hawaii is a Hawaii Island nonprofit agency dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities lead happy, productive and self-directed lives. It offers a range of person-centered services that enhance physical health and safety, increase independence, teach skills of daily living, foster social interactions and community inclusion, and create new employment and volunteer opportunities. Its services are tailored to the unique needs of each client. The nonprofit supports each individual’s self-determination, providing the services they need and desire to ensure they retain authority over the direction and quality of their lives.

Full Life Hawaii is based on a belief in the intrinsic value of every individual person and the important contributions they can make to our diverse communities. Its vision is to create an inclusive, loving, interconnected community of aloha for all. One of its events, “Abled Hawaii Artists,” on its tenth year, celebrates abilities and promotes employment in the arts.


About Waiakea High School

Waiakea High School has been a Hilo community pillar in secondary school education since its first graduating class of 1980. The school’s academics are structured into Smaller Learning Communities that create an atmosphere in which the educators are better able to understand the needs, interests and aspirations of each student. Of the five academies, STAR Academy is partnering with The New Alchemists for this event. STAR is an acronym for Sustainability through Traditions, Arts and Recreation. Through this academy, students use the overarching theme of sustainability to develop a greater respect for the culture, character, beauty and history of Hawai‘i’s island community. Students learn and apply the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a rigorous post-secondary course of study in the fields of Creative and Artistic Expression, Travel/Sustainable Tourism, Food Services, Sports and Recreation, and Communication Technology.

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