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Student plays explore disability

Four plays produced by local high school students that deal with disability are getting a shot at the stage, thanks to mentoring by various community organizations. The plays make up the Hawaii Summer Playwrights Discovery Festival, organized by The Actors Group, the University of Hawaii-Manoa Center on Disability Studies, and Vision, Strength and Access (VSA) Hawaii, the state organization on arts and disability.

The plays were part of a competition by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. "Usually the plays that aren’t chosen just disappear," said Susan Miller of the disability studies center. "But for the first time, we decided that these plays are going to be brought back to the state."

The Actors Group members mentored the students in acting, writing, lighting and other aspects of stagecraft.

The plays are:

» "Invalidation," by Samuel Spengler and Jackson Shimanoff of Le Jardin Academy, about friends who have grown apart.

» "Exceptional Hearing," by home-schooled student Aliyah Flowe, about the error of prejudging a person.

» "Play in Progress," a fairy tale by Maryknoll student Kelley Mitchell about the writing of a play.

» "The Honu and the Hare," in which VSA students give a Hawaiian flavor to the classic parable.

Performances are at The Actors Theatre, 1116 Smith St. Three plays will be performed tonight through Saturday at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $10. All four will be performed Sunday starting at 2 p.m.; tickets are $15.

Order tickets at Visit YoungPlaywrightFestivalPlays.html.


Fresh Cafe hosts fundraiser

Fresh Cafe at 831 Queen St. will host the Freedom Fest benefit tomorrow for organizations that support victims of sex-trafficking.

GiRL FeST and the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery will be the beneficiaries of an evening’s featuring poets from Youth Speaks Hawaii, the African Drum & Dance Collective Badenyaa and Sewa Fare, and music from Simple Souls, Kelli Heath and Carly Smith of the Girlas, Yoza, Lei Melket and Black Square.

The event, for ages 18 and up, starts at 7 p.m. Sliding-scale admission runs $7 to $20. Call 599-3931 or visit or


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