Ka'iulani - The Island Rose
A Play For the Stage Based on the Life of Princess Ka'iulani
Photos on this page are from a 2008 Staged Reading of the script. Roles have not yet been cast.
When we peel away the myth, we see Ka'iulani as a young woman
forced to face dramatic changes in her short life because of repeated
Both an original play and screenplay, written and researched since 2002 by Jennifer Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi, celebrates the life of Princess Ka‘iulani, a brave young girl of two races, who overcame great sorrow to become Hawaii's 'Hope of the Nation.' This remarkable child who was educated in Hawai'i and the British Isles, was heir to the Hawaiian throne at the time of annexation.
Ka‘iulani's story of determination and courage is a story for our time. Through her struggle to embrace her dual heritage, she found the inner strength to speak for her nation in its darkest hour. The play challenges us to examine the prejudices and misunderstandings that tear us apart. And her story compels us to embrace diversity as the foundation upon which we build our greatness.
The play is a captivating tale of courage, hope and perseverance, which explores the life of Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka‘iulani Cleghorn, Crown Princess of Hawaii. Born to a Hawaiian mother and Scottish father, this daughter of a double race was the last heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii."
David Johnston, Artistic Director of MAPA is directing this professional show, and with the assistance of Jennifer Fahrni, is looking for the finest Hawaiian talent to cast in the roles of the great musical Kalakaua family. These include King David Kalakaua, Queen Liliuokalani, Princess Likelike, Princes Koa, Kuhio & Edward, and Ka‘iulani's godmother, Princess Ruth.
The script is a period piece (years 1885-1893) which covers a sensitive and controversial period in Hawaiian history. As well as several members of the Kalakaua Royal Family, Robert Louis Stevenson, Annie Cleghorn, and other well-known politicians and ladies of the day are characterized.
It is not widely known that Princess Ka‘iulani was a child of dual heritage, her mother being the willful and vivacious Hawaiian Princess, Miriam Likelike who also held the position of Royal Governor of Hawaii, and her father, the Scottish born merchant, Archibald Scott Cleghorn. This remarkable child of two races was educated in Hawai'i and the British Isles, and was heir to the Hawaiian throne at the time of annexation.
At the young age of seventeen, the young princess fought courageously for her country in its hour of need. Ka‘iulani was also instrumental in changing the world's prejudiced view of the Hawaiian people.
At the time of Ka'iulani's birth, her uncle is King, but childless. The Hawaiian nation celebrates Ka'iulani's royal birth as highest born alii of her generation. Despite personal setbacks, lives her life with love, music, and a sense of humor. However, in turbulent political times, as the last heir to the Hawaiian throne, Princess Ka‘iulani is sent to England to receive an education suitable for a Queen. Just at the time she comes into her own, Ka‘iulani is faced with the challenge of her life.
"The Kumu/choreographers required for this production, are crucial, as several moments of truth in this production are conveyed through hula. These performances will be the most memorable highlights of the play", says Fahrni. There are several of pieces in the production and a kumu is required for each piece - also both male and female dancers.
To be considered for casting: email and submit resume and headshot if available. If you have no headshot and resume, please email your interest to Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian actors are required. Anyone wanting to take part in or sponsor the stage production is encouraged to contact David Johnston, Executive and Artistic Director of the Maui Academy of Performing Arts in Hawaii at 808-244-8760, or email Jennifer at email@example.com.
All photos on this page are from a Public Performance Reading of the script in April of 2008.
Ka Wai Ola - Office of Hawaiian Affairs Newspaper
Topix Website discussing “Ka‘iulanii - The Island Rose”
Maui Time Newspaper - Maui's Pick of the Week - True Tragedy - by Starr Begley
Weekly Newspaper - Island Rose Reading: Performance Reading - Saturday, April 12th , 2008
photo: cast of the first Performance Reading, April 08. Additional photos: see Facebook page, Jennifer Fahrni.
View additional articles on the play, Ka'iulani - The Island Rose and The Ka'iulani Project.
All material on this site is Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Fahrni and The Kaiulani Project unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
The Kaiulani website is proudly designed by C. Siobhan Halstead at Shoobee Designs