The Congregational Library & Archives is pleased to host “My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia,” a play commissioned by the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives and supported by the Massachusetts Humanities Council. Commemorating Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s death in 1818, the play tells the story of a Native Hawaiian man who travelled to New England and inspired the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM) and the sending of the first missionaries to the Hawaiian Kingdom.
This is the first time the Hawaiian Mission Houses Site and Archives has taken its award-winning History Theater program to the continental United States. “My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia” has already toured extensively throughout the Hawaiian Islands, including on Oahu, Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island to great reviews! Based on primary source research, this emotionally powerful play is written by and starring Moses Goods, one of the premier actors, writers, and storytellers in Hawaiʻi.
After the performance, we will host a discussion about ʻŌpūkahaʻia's legacy, historical methodologies, and Hawaiian agency as part of a MassHumanities grant-funded discussion series. Panelists include scholars from both Hawaiʻi and New England.
The program also features Poʻai Lincoln, a prominent local singer/musician and Hawaiian Mission Houses’ Cultural Programs Coordinator, who will accompany the program with Hawaiian Oli (chant) and Mele (song).
The Congregational Library event is part of a month-long New England tour, honoring the ʻŌpūkahaʻia bicentennial. Other stops include the Phillips Academy in Andover, Old Sturbridge Village, Williams College, and the American Antiquarian Society. The tour ends with a Sunday morning service at the Park Street Church, featuring a delegation from the Kawaiahaʻo Church, and a Wednesday evening performance.
There is no charge for attending the play and discussion, but we ask that you please register here if you plan on attending