Lilinoe Field-Perkins ’21 is headed to the stage after being cast in Hawaii Pacific University’s (HPU) theatrical production of Where Words Once Were. Field-Perkins plays the role of Orhan, “a young boy who lives in The City, a place where language has been limited to 1,000 words. Speak or write any words that are not part of The Language and The City silences you: you can no longer speak or write, and no one can speak or write to you,” according to the production’s website. Orhan begins to recognize the censorship and corruption in his city and becomes part of the revolution against it.
Field-Perkins auditioned for the role last year and was excited to hear the news that she landed the role. However, because of the pandemic, the play was put on hold. “I was ecstatic when I found out– since it was a college’s play with adult actors, and I was 16 at the time,” she said. “Now I’m honored to be able to come back and do it my senior year.”
Although she is still a senior in high school, she has demonstrated the professionalism and work ethic of an adult. With rehearsals taking place every evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Field-Perkins has taken great care to ensure that her schoolwork is attended to right after school – which doesn’t leave her much free time. But in the end, the experience and the growth has made it worth the sacrifices.
“Playing such a different character than I am used to, as well as being in a more serious show has definitely help me to grow as an actor. It’s expanded my range and helped me think about theatre in totally different and new ways,” Fields-Perkins said.
Because of the pandemic, the theatre decided on a virtual format rather than in-person. Half of the show is prerecorded, and the other half will be livestreamed for a virtual audience. Although unorthodox, Field-Perkins has found a silver lining.
“It’s definitely different than what I’m used to in terms of performing, but I got to learn about both film acting and stage acting. It’s been different but very cool nonetheless.”
HPU’s virtual production of Where Words Once Were is free and open to the public. The show runs from April 15-25, 2021. For more information and to reserve a seat, click here.