Goods provides native narrative
BY JOHN BERGER / email@example.com
Hawaii will see several sides of Moses Goods’ extensive repertoire this weekend as the multifaceted actor-writer-director-storyteller performs at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival.
On Saturday afternoon Goods will tell classic Hawaiian stories, accompanied by kumu hula Mapuana de Silva’s Halau Mohala ‛Ilima, in the Mission Memorial Auditorium.
At the Hawaii Book and Music Festival
» 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mission Memorial Auditorium, Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale
» 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Keiki Stage, Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale
» Cost: Free
Goods’ storytelling will include an excerpt from the epic story of Hiiaka, Pele’s loyal sister, who journeyed across the Hawaiian Islands and endured the jealous rages of her fiery sibling. He’ll speak of her encounter with Panaewa, the mo‘o, or supernatural lizard, as the halau dances hula connected to Hiiaka and her story.
He will also tell of Kamapuaa, the pig god, and hula will be attached to that story.
“It’s not going to be so much incorporating hula into the story, but connecting the hula with the stories,” Good explained. “They are two different ways of telling the same stories — in hula and in oral storytelling.”
On Sunday, Goods will be joined by another group of friends for a new staging of his original Hawaiian play “The Magical Pu Stealer” on the Keiki Stage.
Goods introduced the play in February as a student production at Windward Community College. This time he is telling the story with the help of several actor friends including Alvin Chan, Junior Tesoro, Maile Holck and Annie Lipscomb.
“Storytelling is a huge part of what I do for several reasons,” said Goods, who is of African-American and Native Hawaiian ancestry. “It is a way for me to do Hawaiian work. I can do it more constantly as opposed to waiting for a big production to happen.
“I can have this handful of stories that at any given moment I can go and do at a school, at a library, at a retirement home, at a festival. It’s a way for me to really get this work out there more regularly.
“And of course it’s a way for me to stay connected to the culture in addition to hula: It makes me research all these stories and think about these stories.”
Oahu discovered Goods, 38, when he was a theater student at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He appeared as a Japanese boatman in a full-costumed kabuki-in-English production of a classic kabuki play, portrayed the male half of Mephisto in Dennis Carroll’s blockbuster staging of “Faust,” and starred in a lab theater show, “Edmond,” for which he wore thick “white face” makeup.
His work since graduation has embraced an equally wide range of styles and genres. He did several shows as a company actor with Honolulu Theatre for Youth, starred opposite Jason Quinn in “Top Dog/Under Dog” at The Actors’ Group, appeared in a visitor industry show on Maui and toured as the star of an original one-man show, “The Legend of Kaulula‘au.”
His recent gigs include singing in the chorus of “Sweeney Todd” with Hawaii Opera Theatre and participating in a four-person touring production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
He is also a cultural educator at Bishop Museum and a member of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, and he is working with Bishop Museum and Honolulu Theatre for Youth on a one-man show about Duke Kahanamoku, which he will star in.
THIs month Goods goes to Washington, D.C., with fellow storytellers Kealoha Kelekolio and Lele Wong for an indigenous cultures program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
The annual event invites Hawaii artists and cultural practitioners to participate each year, Goods said. It will be his third time participating.
“Last year they invited Patrick Makuakane’s halau to come up and do a big performance there. The year before that it was Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom, so there’s usually one big act that’s there combined with the arts that are showcased.
“It’s my third year doing it, and it looks like we’ll be moved to a bigger venue,” he said. “Instead of storytelling in the outdoor area, we’re actually going to be in the theater. … It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work, too, but I enjoy it every year.”