ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Jenny Taira (Composer & Bookwriter) and Laurie Rubin (Lyricist & Bookwriter) are excited to present "Peace On Your Wings", a fictional musical based on one of history's most inspiring stories of the young Sadako Sasaki, innocent victim of the after-effects of the WWII atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, and her wish for peace. As co-founders of Ohana Arts, a youth performing arts organization based in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jenny and Laurie also wanted to create more musical theater repertoire for youth and more specifically, for Asian American youth. "We have discovered that most of the musical theater repertoire available for licensing is written for adults, so our students at Ohana Arts are always portraying roles beyond their years", says Jenny Taira. "Being in Hawaii, we also have a high percentage of Asian students participating in Ohana Arts, and we realize more and more that there is so little repertoire for those entering the industry who are subjected to type casting" says Laurie Rubin. Funds donated towards this project will go towards the production's world premiere in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 20th-22nd, 2014 at Leeward Community College Theatre.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
PEACE ON YOUR WINGS
Music by Jenny Taira
Lyrics by Laurie Rubin
Book by Jenny Taira & Laurie Rubin
Directed by Cari Lee
“Peace On Your Wings” is a fictional story inspired by the life of Sadako Sasaki. Set in post-war 1950′s Japan, it explores the lives of students at a middle school in Hiroshima as they face the terminal illness of their friend amidst their own adolescent drama. The musical score combines modern pop and japanese influences to create a unique, uplifting, and inspiring show. Though the students have to grapple with issues of terminal illness and death at such a young age, they also learn the power of their own strength, and their ability to connect deeply with others who remain positive, focusing on living every precious moment of their lives to the fullest.
Meet Sadako, a 12 year-old who loves to run, and whose talents earn her school a win in the annual field day race. As Sadako's life journey takes a turn when she is diagnosed with leukemia, she spends her time folding cranes in her desire to keep living, obedient to the superstition that if one folds a thousand paper cranes, they will be blessed with a long life. She also fosters meaningful friendships with her young hospital mates with the same diagnosis. The quick-witted Aiko is athletic and stocky, and has a good self esteem. She struggles to maintain her lifelong friendship with Masa, an insecure boy who is small for his age who is desperate to earn the respect of his "cool" classmates. Kazuko, an eternally optimistic patient in Sadako's ward who is three years younger than Sadako, helps to keep the morale high and hospital life fun for the other patients. These are just a few of the many characters in the show who will keep you smiling, while also inspiring a few tearful moments in their poignant ways throughout the show.
The students at Ohana Arts, faculty, and administration alike are very excited to be creating this new work because we feel that the best way to convey a message as important as cultivating peace is by relating it to the kinds of situations kids face in their every day at school with complicated friendships and growing up. This particular show allows us to tell the story of an innocent child who suffered the after effects of war, and to share how her classmates and friends are inspired by her to overcome their own personal turmoil in an effort to come together for the sake of spreading the message of peace. We hope this show will inspire diverse audiences to be proactive in their own lives in helping to foster a world with less strife for our future generations to live in.
Ohana Arts needs your support!
We are so excited to invite all of you who are our friends, family, and supporters to play an active role in making this project possible. While we are extremely grateful to have received initial foundation and corporate support, we are not quite there yet! In order to cover all the costs of bringing this show to life in a theater, we need your help. Some of our expenses include:
Theater Rental: $15,000
Technical Staff, and Equipment Rental: $18,000
Costume, Set, and Make-Up Design: $6,000
Liability Insurance: $2500
Future plans: Tours, Festivals, and more!
We believe this premiere in the Fall is just the beginning. A neighbor islands tour of this production will take place in January and February, and is being sponsored by the Honpa Hongwangi Mission of Hawaii. Future plans include sending "Peace on Your Wings" to various musical theater festivals around the country. Our dream is to bring the production to Hiroshima to pay homage to Sadako whose spirit lives on, and her classmates who came together to build the beautiful peace memorial in honor of Sadako. Furthermore, we are very enthusiastic about creating new repertoire for youth theater groups as currently, there are very few musicals specifically for children and teens that don't relegate them to adult roles.
We are so incredibly proud of our students who have grown so much every year, and who have accomplished amazing feats in their ability to tell a story through their choreography, music, and acting. Their professionalism and wonderful spirit inspired us to get this project out into the world so that you all can experience their amazing gifts. We at Ohana Arts are very excited about the journey ahead of us, and we look forward to sharing this experience with you all, and thank you in advance for becoming active participants in making this show a reality!
Risks and challenges
Ohana Arts has been putting on productions for five years now, and also produced a full week line-up for our Fall Festival of Music in November 2011. Our team is garnering a substantial amount of experience in PR, marketing, scheduling, and organizing a successful theatrical team to put on high quality productions to be performed for enthusiastic audiences which are increasing in size every year. As founders of Ohana Arts, as well as teachers who work with the students in the program daily, we are always faced with challenges and their corresponding risks, such as worry about ensuring sizable audiences, ensuring our students can perform at a high artistic and musical standard given the short rehearsal periods we have, being capable of dealing with emergencies such as injured or ill students during production week, and a myriad of other worries and situations that come up. We have always pulled through these challenges and put on great shows. Our audiences often comment on how impressed they are that we can put on such a high caliber of performance in such a short amount of time, and we know it's because we have incredibly talented students, a fantastic faculty with a lot of theater experience, and loyal parents and board members who can all work together in making our shows a success. We believe that no matter what the risks are, we have the wherewithal to put up this production the way we have done these past five years, and are excited to present our first world premiere of an original musical!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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