This is a virtual performance open to Iowa educators and their students. Teachers and parents may request access to view the performance at their leisure during the viewing period.
Best Suited for Grades: 3+
Curriculum Connections: Art, Language Arts, History, Social Studies, Character
Study Guide: Access the complimentary teacher's guide HERE.
Hawaii's first Olympic gold medalist and the grandfather of modern surfing, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku is unquestionably one of the most important and beloved figures in Hawaiian history. In many ways, Duke is Hawaii. He lived through Hawaii's transition from an independent Nation to a U.S territory and on to statehood. His gentle, welcoming spirit helped Hawaii gain the Aloha reputation that continues to attract people from around the world even today.
Many think of Duke as a famous surfer and as a statue in Waikiki. There is much more to this larger-than-life man, however, and this performance takes a closer look at his extraordinary accomplishments. We follow Duke from his first swimming lesson to his victories at the Olympic Games in 1912, 1920, and 1924; from the bustle of the exhibition scene and the lights of Hollywood to the gentle breezes and energy of Waikiki; from his public persona as Honolulu’s official “Ambassador of Aloha” to his deep, personal relationship with nature and his community. We see life changing events and acts of everyday kindness.
Using a minimalist set and projections showing images and pictures from Duke's life spanning from the turn of the century through modern times, we find Duke through his own eyes, through history’s reflection on his journey in a complicated era, and through the viewpoint of those who loved him. As playwright and performer, Moses Goods creates an unforgettable portrayal and transforms himself into dozens of characters to bring to life a true Hawaiian hero.