About Us

Our Goals

KDEN is a nonprofit community theater organization whose goal it is to foster quality Community Theater. We seek to enrich and unite our community through involvement in the performing arts. KDEN’s goals are as follows:

1. Promotion of the performing arts.

2. Offering opportunities for community members to participate in all levels of theater productions.

3. Educating the community about the performing arts.

4. Entertaining and enriching our audiences.

5. Inspiring the youth of our community with the magic of the performing arts to help ensure that the living heritage of the performing arts will be preserved for future generations.

KDEN: A Brief History

We are a Community Theater organization formed by experienced Community Theater organizers and performing artists in 2002. Suzi Bond, Executive Director and founding Board President, has participated in Hawai’i Community Theater for most of her career. For seven years, Suzi served as producer for an art center’s performing arts programs, producing popular summer musicals at the two hundred and eighty seat KMC Theater at Kilauea Military Camp within Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP). Founding Board Member, Peter Charlot, organized a renovation of this unique and historic theater in 1991, and then started a tradition of using it for Community Theater productions.

With the mission of seeking to enrich and unite our community through involvement with performing arts, KDEN received its 501c3 status on May 9, 2003 (permanent status in May 2007). Although KDEN is a still considered a new non-profit, its founders have over 175 combined years of experience in the performing arts. With this knowledge base, the founding board is quite capable to build on the successes of the past to bring our community together through quality performing arts productions. With the addition of two new board members in 2005 and another in 2006, we have not only added to our combined years of theatrical experience, but we have added organizational expertise to the board.

Since Man of La Mancha, KDEN’s initial show in summer 2002, we have produced a wide variety of well-attended musical theater programs, Li’l Abner, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, and The MikadoYou’re A Good Man Charlie BrownSnoopy: The MusicalBye Bye BirdieJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. KDEN has also produced Buz Tennent and Melina Lilios in Concert and Makana in Concert, as well as many concerts by the Volcano Festival Chorus and collaborations with other theater companies. Summer 2008 brought our third Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, H.M.S. Pinafore to KMC Theater.

2005 saw KDEN successfully present its first non-musical production, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, with a small, very talented cast and a gorgeous set that received applause when the curtain opened. Since then we have also produced Christie’s And Then There Were None and Larry Shue’s The Foreigner.

In 2005 KDEN also started our Children’s Theater Program with the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences (VSAS), and our Living History Program under contract with Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP). Our children’s theater program offers VSAS Middle School children the opportunity to work as an ensemble tooward a common goal. It also instills confidence in the children and makes it easier for them later when they have to give presentations in class or in front of a large group. The Living History Program provides a fascinating glimpse into the life, times and research of one of our island’s most important early scientists and features two actors portraying the parts of Dr. Thomas Jaggar and his assistant Mrs. Isabel Maydwell. These acclaimed performances, open to the public for visitors to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, are held in the historic Whitney Vault, original site of the first non medical observatory dedicated to saving lives world wide. The program takes people back to April 13, 1912 when the Whitney Vault had just been built and the seismograph is about to be installed.

The Volcano Community Theater Tradition

The Volcano community has a long tradition of, and reputation for, providing original programs inspired by the region, and has enjoyed bringing in touring shows as well as sponsoring art, music, and productions from around the country and the world. Our community has embraced the creation of new ways to benefit from the many cultures of this area.

With many talented residents, Volcano is fortunate to have enthusiastic support for community theater and offers opportunities to a wide variety of artists. This small community provides a retreat from the tumult of big cities, and many opportunities to work with a wonderful range of dedicated amateurs and professionals who create and inspire excellence.

KDEN was formed by experienced community organizers and artists to continue this long tradition with their neighbors and friends.

The KDEN Board of Directors

Bill Chikasuye, President

Dawn Pelletier, Vice President

Karen Blue, Secretary

Peter Serafin, Board Member at Large

Stephanie Becher, Board Member at Large

Tanya Aynessazian, Board Member at Large

Suzi Bond, Executive Director

The board holds meetings on the second Sunday of every month at 4:00pm. The location of the meeting varies, and depends upon where the board decides to eat. If you would like to become a member, feel free to contact us!