“My Name is `Opukaha`ia” Hawaiian Cultural Program Coming to CT, MA Churches


Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is pleased to announce a special Bicentennial Hawaiian cultural and history theater program on tour in New England between September 29 and October 23, 2019. The play - “My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” - will be on a month-long tour of museums, churches, and historic sites bringing the story of Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia, the Native Hawaiian man who inspired the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission to send Protestant missionaries to the Hawaiian Kingdom, to a new and historically-connected audience.

Based on primary source research, this emotionally powerful play is written by and starring Moses Goods, one of the premier actors, writers, and storytellers in Hawaiʻi. The program also features Poʻai Lincoln, a prominent local singer/musician and Hawaiian Mission Houses’ Cultural Programs Coordinator, who will accompany the program with Hawaiian Oli (chant) and Mele (song). 

The events listed as public performances will entail a 1 ½ hour cultural program, where Goods and Lincoln perform a powerful and moving program incorporating live theater performance and music  Commissioned by Hawaiian Mission Houses to honor the bicentennial of ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s death in 1818, “My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” brings to life the story of a Native Hawaiian man who is a fundamental part of Hawaiʻi’s history.
This is the first time Hawaiian Mission Houses is taking the award-winning History Theatre program  to the continental United States.  It has toured extensively throughout the Hawaiian islands, including on Oahu, Kaua’i, Maui, and Hawai’i Island to great reviews! The month-long tour will begin on the 200th anniversary of the ordination of Rev. Hiram Bingham and Rev. Asa Thurston at the church where the ordination ceremony was held at the Church of Christ in Goshen, CT. The  tour will end with a regional commemoration event at Park Street Church in Boston, on the exact day of the 200th anniversary of the ABCFM missionaries leaving Boston for Hawaiʻi. Don’t miss this once in a 200-year opportunity!

“My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” will be at the following churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts:

Sept. 29 - Church of Christ, Congregational in Goshen, CT – 10 am service
Oct. 6 – Cornwall Village Meeting House, Cornwall, CT – 3 pm commemorative event
Oct.12 – United Congregational Church of Torrington, CT – 7 pm performance
Oct. 13 -  Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, Wellesley, MA - 11:30 am performance
Oct.14, 2019 – First Congregational Church of Guilford, CT – 7 pm performance
Oct. 20 - Park Street Church, Boston, MA - 8:30 am, 11 am, 4 pm services
October 23 - Park Street Church, Boston, MA , commemorative event  

Full performance schedule for the entire tour   
Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is located in Honolulu’s Historic Capitol District and is the leading authority on Protestant missionary history in Hawaiʻi.  It is known worldwide as the place where the written Hawaiian language was developed through the collaborative efforts of the missionaries and the Aliʻi and the Hawaiian people. It preserves the two oldest documented houses in Hawaiʻi, which were built and used by the missionaries in the early nineteenth century, and the largest collection of Hawaiian language books in the world.