Written by faculty and acted by students, the Founders Play tells the history of the founding of Punahou 175 years ago. The play, performed for K – 12 students during Chapel services at the beginning of this school year, spans 50 years and honors the School’s Hawaiian and Christian roots.
The play tells the story of a young Hawaiian named ‘Opukaha‘ia who left the Islands aboard a cargo vessel to New England in 1809. There, he inspired seven young American couples to become the first company of missionaries to voyage to Hawai‘i and begin the work of converting the Hawaiian people to Christianity.
At the time of their arrival, the lands of Ka Punahou were in the care of Boki, the governor of O‘ahu, and his wife Liliha (whose grandfather, Kame‘eiamoku, received the lands as a gift from Kamehameha I). It was through the influence of Queen Ka‘ahumanu, Kamehameha’s favorite wife and queen regent, that the Sandwich Islands Mission was granted the Punahou lands.
The Founders Play was written by Lizzy Cooper ’63 Lowrey, Heather Taylor ’92 and Chaplain Lauren Buck Medeiros. Ensemble cast: Caleb Balisacan ’17, Katja Berthold ’17, Kai Cox ’18, Harley Derrickson ’18, Summer Derrickson ’16, David Di Martino ’17, Nathalie Jones ’17, Celia Kenney ’16, Malia Kiang ’18, Michael Kiang ’16, Lani Saunders ’17, Kylie Shaieb ’18, Malia Ane ’72 (ipu) and Beebe Freitas (piano).