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.
❧ Promote performing arts.
❧ Offer opportunities for community members to participate in all levels of theater productions.
❧ Educate the community about the performing arts.
❧ Entertain and enrich our audiences.
❧ Inspire 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.
Our target population for both production participants and for audience members reflects the large diversity of our community. Our goal is for our productions to be accessible to people in a wide range of cultural backgrounds, ages, and economic status with a particular emphasis on low-income families.
KDEN’s goal is to continue to offer Community Theater to a full range of ages, experience, and backgrounds. Community Theater is unique among all the artistic traditions in that it truly gives something to everyone. It is a wellspring for apprenticeship opportunities: construction, clerical work, money management, organizational skills, and more. It also provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform through acting, dancing, singing, and devotedly ‘treading the boards.’ Community Theater is a proven participant in bringing communities together with a common purpose and shared experiences. There is nothing quite like it.
Our 40 to 75 production participants come from multi-cultural backgrounds, involve multi-generational participation from ages 4 to 72 years of age, and live in our local community. Our 1000+ audience members range in age from younger than 5 to over 80 years old, also with multi-cultural backgrounds and from a wide range of economic situations. Families of both retired and current military personnel that are guests at Kilauea Military Camp, the local community, tourists to East Hawaii, and supporters from other islands and the continental United States demonstrate the wide variety of audience members at our performances for the past sixteen years.
Being a small community organization, we have an all-volunteer organization who work under an executive director with over 30 years of experience in the various aspects of community theater with an emphasis on team building. With each of our theater programs, community members, volunteers, other organizations, and board members work together to bring our programs to our community. In the almost seventeen years of KDEN’s existence, we have proven beyond any doubts the ability to bring our mission and goals to fruition.
Based upon our past successes, our programs offer special opportunities to introduce members of the community and the younger generation to the wonderful music (and invigorating lyrics) of various playwrights and composers. Our live productions help to bring the music and art to life beyond the flat screen of a television or computer for people of all ages.
KDEN serves the districts of Hilo, Puna, and Kaʻu on Hawaii Island with a land area that is larger than the other three main Hawaiian Islands combined. The population of the Hawaii Island is 198,449 according a Census Bureau estimate in 2017. The populations in these districts are considered the most multi-cultural as well as economically depressed, with over 32% of the entire island households housing children under 18 years old.
Part of KDEN’s philosophy in community building through theater is to get entire families involved in the summer musical. If one or two members of a family audition and get into the show, we get the whole family involved: onstage, backstage or in the front of the house. It is a great way for a family to become closer. Everyone is equally important and all are working toward a common goal. Everyone learns the value of participating and what it means to be a team member.