When you’re planning your Hawaiian vacation, you might not think about going to the theatre. But Diamond Head Theatre in Honolulu is a community theatre with a rich history, an all-volunteer cast and crew, and passion that results in show-stopping numbers and high-energy performances.
Diamond Head Theatre is the third-oldest operating theatre in the entire United States. It is a cultural institution in Hawaii that I truly consider to be a hidden gem.
Located about 3 miles from Waikiki, going to a show at historic Diamond Head Theatre is a great way to spend a night in Honolulu. Who says you have to go to Broadway to experience great shows?
The History of Diamond Head Theatre
Today, I’m going to take you back in time and tell you about the history of Diamond Head Theatre.
Diamond Head Theatre has an interesting history, going back to 1915, when The Footlights first performed at the Honolulu Opera House. Today, this is where the post office on Merchant Street is. In 1934, The Footlights became Honolulu Community Theatre (HCT).
In its original mission statement, the theatre committed itself to community service through the art of theatre, involving the people of Hawaii as audience members, stage crew, and performers. Diamond Head Theatre still honors that mission statement today through the way it runs its performances and its community programs.
During WWII, Honolulu Community Theatre took on the role of boosting morale for America’s troops through over 300 performances.
In 1952, Honolulu Community Theatre moved to the Fort Ruger Theatre. At the time, this was the Army Post’s movie theater. Over the years, the movie theater has been transformed into a stage venue. They have added scene and costume shops, lighting and sound systems, handicapped-accessible restrooms, and a lobby. Office space, spotlights, and lighting boards were also added upstairs.
Diamond Head Theatre Today
In 1990, Honolulu Community Theatre became Diamond Head Theatre (DHT). During that year, Diamond Head Theatre continued its tradition of serving the troops through its Pacific tour of Ain’t Misbehavin’.
Diamond Head Theatre boasts an all-volunteer cast and crew that is heavily involved in the community. It aims to help foster the talent and skills of Hawaii’s residents.
Each season, Diamond Head Theatre puts on six theatrical productions, including five musicals. Diamond Head Theatre also holds classes to provide both children and adults in Hawaii with training in the theatrical arts.
Every show you will see at Diamond Head Theatre is put on by the theatre itself, not outside groups. This gives the volunteer cast and crew the ability to learn valuable skills and gain experience in the theatrical arts. It also makes Diamond Head Theatre a true community theatre.
What’s on this summer at Diamond Head Theater
All Shook Up
May 19 – June 11, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
All Shook Up is a musical comedy built around a number of songs made famous by Elvis Presley. It’s not a biographical revue, but rather a tale of mistaken identity and romance inspired by Twelfth Night and other Shakespearean comedies.
It’s 1955, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling musical fantasy.
Among the 24 songs featured in the score are classics like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and of course the title tune.
If you want to purchase tickets, click here. Tickets range from $23-$35. Hurry, because this production only has a limited amount of seats left.
The Little Mermaid
July 14-August 6, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages which will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.”
Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and gives up her voice to the evil sea witch, Ursula, trading her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.
To purchase tickets to these performances, click here.
You can’t go wrong with a night at Diamond Head Theatre. You will experience community theatre at its finest while seeing local talent perform. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, be sure to check Diamond Head Theatre’s website for future offerings.
If you want to enjoy these or other cultural experiences while you are in Hawaii, give us a call today. Our travel agents can let you know what other experiences you might want to take advantage of while in Hawaii.