History Theatre: A Century Apart, Together Today

We invite you to history theatre to hear the stories of Hawaii’s past directly from the people who lived it.


Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, Lahaina Jodo Mission, and Lahaina Restoration Foundation are pleased to announce our Fall performance of History Theatre.

– Free parking is available at the site of the event (Lahaina Jodo Mission).
– Doors open at 6 p.m. Performances start at 6:30 p.m.
– There will be three performances occurring simultaneously, and guests will cycle through all three performances, so please plan on a bit of walking during the event.
– Seating will be available at each location.
– This is an outdoor event, so please dress accordingly.

This program will include portrayals of:

John Papa ʻĪʻĪ (1800-1870) was born in Waipiʻo, Oʻahu, on August 3, 1800. He was related by blood and marriage to the family of Kaʻahumanu. He began serving as a kahu to Kamehameha II in the royal court of Kamehameha I as a child. When the pioneer company of American missionaries arrived in April 1820, ʻĪʻĪ and another young man, Kahuhu, were put under the tutelage of Rev. Asa Thurston to learn and was one of the first Hawaiians to become literate. He became closely associated with Rev. Hiram Bingham as his language teacher and translation partner in translating the Bible into Hawaiian. A collection of his newspaper articles was published in the 20th century by the Bishop Museum as Fragments of Hawaiian History. He is buried at Oʻahu Cemetery.

Rev. William Ellis (1794-1872) was born in London, England. He was ordained and married Mercy Moor in November, 1815. They became missionaries, under the auspices of the London Missionary Society, to Tahiti in 1816. He was stationed at Eimeo and Huahine. He became fluent in Tahitian and operated the printing press for the mission. In 1822, he arrived in Hawaiʻi for the first time with Auna, Matatore, Rev. Tyerman, and Rev. Bennet. The Tahitian Deputation was immeasurably helpful to the American missionaries in Hawaiʻi as they became language teachers, translators, and liaisons to the Hawaiian aliʻi. In late 1823 he returned to Tahiti and returned in early 1824 with his wife, children, and more Tahitian missionaries – including Tauʻā. He and his family left Hawaiʻi in 1824. He is buried in London, England.

Wilhelmine Kekelaokalaninui Dowsett (1861-1929) was born on Kauaʻi and organized the National Women’s Equal Suffrage Assocaition of Hawaiʻi in 1912. She led the largest suffrage organization in Hawaiʻi at the time. She built a large multi-ethnic movement across class divisions in support of Women’s Suffrage She worked across the Territory with other suffragists such as Emma Nāwahī on Hawaiʻi Island and Lahilahi Webb.  She led rallies and marches in favor of women’s suffrage throughout Honolulu.  She is buried in Oʻahu Cemetery.

Mahalo to the Baldwin Foundation for supporting Hawaiian Mission Houses’ History Theatre performances on Maui.