Ohana Arts presents
PEACE ON YOUR WINGS – A NEW MUSICAL
August 6 & 7 & 8 & 9 & , 2015
“Peace On Your Wings” – An Original Musical
Music by Jenny Taira
Lyrics by Laurie Rubin
Book by Jenny Taira & Laurie Rubin
Directed by Cari Lee
Choreography by Danielle Bensky
Ohana Arts is the proud producer of Peace On Your Wings, a new musical inspired by the life of Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year old girl who died from leukemia resulting from radiation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. She was made famous for having folded over a thousand paper cranes to fulfill an old Japanese legend that would grant one wish to anyone who would fold one thousand cranes. To this day she is a reminder of innocent victims of war, and her story of her thousand paper cranes have inspired a movement of folding cranes for peace. The musical juxtaposes Sadako’s true story and the events leading up to her death in November 1955 with a fictional story about a group of her friends who rallied support from around Japan to have a monument built in Sadako’s memory to honor the children victims of the atomic bomb. The fictional elements of the musical provide an opportunity to weave in issues that affect children in middle school today. In creating a piece of theater that shares an important historical element, and keeping it relatable to current young audiences, Peace On Your Wings is able to effectively impart Sadako’s message, and the important contributions of a group of young students who were able to make a difference. It is because of Sadako’s young friends that people around the world know Sadako, and why the origami crane has become an internationally recognized symbol of peace.
Set in post-war 1950′s Japan, Peace On Your Wings explores the lives of students at a middle school in Hiroshima as they face the terminal illness of their friend amidst their own adolescent drama. The musical score combines modern musical theater, 1950’s boogie-woogie and rock and roll, and Japanese styles, including taiko, to create a unique, uplifting, and inspiring show. While Sadako remains optimistic in the hospital, determinately folding origami cranes to fulfill the Japanese legend promising one wish and long life to the folder of a thousand, her friends grow distant as they deal with their own self identity, bullying, and the growing pains of becoming teenagers. Though the students have to grapple with issues of terminal illness and death at such a young age, they also learn the power of their own strength, and their ability to connect deeply with others who remain positive, focusing on living every precious moment of their lives to the fullest. Peace On Your Wings teaches the lesson, “Ichigo Ichie,” meaning “Today is the first and last day of your life.”
Ohana Arts, whose mission is to promote peace and world friendship through the universal language of the arts and which the writers, Jennifer Taira and Laurie Rubin co-founded, along with director Carolyn Lee, premiered Peace On Your Wings on the weekend of November 20th-22nd 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The weekend included four packed performances, two of which were sold out with last minute hopeful audience members having to be turned away. The Ohana Arts all-star cast was comprised of 38 children, ages 6-18 from 15 schools around the island. The full scale production had a 19 piece orchestra, full set, and costumes. The cast then embarked on a sold-out statewide tour with standing ovations at every performance. The overwhelmingly positive response has led to an encore performance in Honolulu, as well as plans for US, Japan, and Europe tours in 2015 & 2016.