The high school theater class will perform their fall production on December 8 and 9 in the high school gym. Titled “One Christmas Eve at Evergreen Mall,” the play combines eight stories into one and is set in a fictional mall, where shoppers are faced with last minute decisions on what to buy, what to do, and where to go for the Christmas holiday.

A new feature of this year’s production is that there will be an actual pre-show “mall” in the gym where the audience can actually do some holiday shopping. The “mall” will feature items made by a variety of high school clubs and the proceeds of the sale will go to benefit the Maui relief fund of the Hawaii Southern Baptist Convention.

(Left to right) Raymee Ontai (’27), Winston Yamanaka (’24), and Leina Wong ’27 post for publicity photos in preparation for the play. Photograph by Joseph Giles (’24).
Yoyo Xia ’24 (left) and Mia Takahashi ’25 (right) pose for their publicity shots.Photograph by Joseph Giles (’24).

The Theater Production class is typically a high school elective but this year’s class includes a handful of eighth graders. Theater teacher Anna Hamaguchi sees this as an opportunity for younger students to learn both technical and performance skills. “With eighth graders, one nice thing about that is that I can get some students to run tech. And it’s easier for people to learn the tech side of a performance if they’re actually in the class, because you need to be familiar with the play and the performance. And you need to be there for the rehearsals in order to know when to turn the lights on,” she said. Prior to this semester, Hamaguchi would recruit student volunteers outside of her class to help with lights and sound.

The fall production is the culmination of one semester’s work. Explaining the process, Hamaguchi said, “We work on how they can make vocal choices or physical choices to create a different character, someone who is not themselves. What are the characters? What does the character want in the scene?” Sophomore Zoë Naso, who is playing three different characters, explained how she pays close attention to the emotional aspect of her characters: “I am preparing for these roles by observing people I know who can relate to the emotions each character portrays, and then I channel that for myself when I rehearse,” she said.

This year, Hamaguchi decided to pick a Christmas-themed play to remind everyone about what people think about when Christmas comes around. “I chose this piece because I thought it would just be nice to have a good-feeling kind of show that reminds us what Christmas is all about. And it would be a nice, fun festive thing to have for our community,” she said.

When asked about what the audience can expect from this production, Hamaguchi said, “[They can expect] a feel-good Christmas show with an opportunity to make some purchases from clubs and give something back and contribute to a Maui relief fund.”

Tickets for the production can be purchased in person from Hamaguchi or at the HBA website. There are two performances—7:00 p.m. on December 8 and 9 at the high school gym.