Thursday, April 30, 2009

Behind the Scenes

While a theatrical performance is meant to convey the playwright’s words to the audience, the process leading up to a show can mean many different things for the cast and crew. Those of us who are living and breathing The Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu, particularly now as we near the first performance, have made different connections to the play than a first-time audience might. As we continue on this journey I’d like to share with you how The Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu is impacting the people who are working to bring Ms. Kneubuhl’s words to life.

Meghan Williams – Production Assistant

Being involved with The Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu has afforded me the opportunity to work in programming at NMAI. In that sense the play represents something bigger than the actual work of putting on the production. I’ve just completed my Master’s in Museum Studies and I focused on programming and education with a research interest in Aboriginal representation in museums. I also have experience in theater and this internship combines all these things. I literally did a dance when I got accepted to come here, and I love every day of it. This museum truly is a wonderful place to work.

What I connect to most about the play is that it deals with a well documented historical period in a different way. By showing us how contact may have looked for female characters, Victoria offers us a refreshing perspective. The play is not a complete picture of the time, nor does it claim historical accuracy, but it does offer a realistic possibility of what may have happened between the women involved. I’m always interested in the untold stories behind mainstream versions, which is what this play provides. Although ironically, in The Conversion of Ka‘ahumanu the untold story is the mainstream account of history. I like that twist.

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