Yokanaan Kearns


A classical scholar by training, YOKANAAN KEARNS writes plays that tend to be about personal identity in multiracial, multilingual, multicultural communities. Originally from Hawaii, he lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two daughters.


Dis/Troy: one-act adaptation of Homer’s Iliad commissioned by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and staged after development at the Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices program and the Playwrights in Our Schools program supported by the Alliance for Theatre Education and the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America. Staged by the education outreach arm of the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Published by Playscripts, Inc.

Icarus Fights the Minotaur: one-act play commissioned/staged by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Skilled artisan Daedalus and his son Icarus have been the captives of King Minos at the palace on Crete. Daedalus fears that his son is growing up as a member of a foreign culture and plans to fly him back to Greece, but Icarus doesn’t want to go, in part because of what he knows about the Minotaur in the labyrinth.

Gilgamesh the Shiny, Hero-y, Bossy King: one-act adaptation of the Epic of Gilgamesh commissioned/staged by the Lightbox Theatre.

Maui vs. Hercules: one-act play commissioned/staged by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Hawaiian demigod Maui and Greek demigod Hercules find themselves stranded on the same island, which both claim. When Brittany shows up, Maui and Hercules find common ground battling this silly girl, unaware that she is not who she says she is.

Choice: one-act play commissioned by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and the Sex Abuse Treatment Center Hawaii. High school quarterback Jared takes wide-receiver Malu under his wing to teach him the best way to get a girl to have sex: force. Malu thinks it’s all just locker room talk until it’s clear that Jared is deadly serious and wants to use Malu as an alibi.

Pidg Latin: one-act play commissioned by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and staged as a co-production by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and Kumu Kahua Theatre. Winner of an AT&T: Onstage grant. Ka‘imi is a college student who speaks only Pidgin (Hawaii Creole English). When the only language class with open seats is Latin, Ka‘imi translates Latin into Pidgin, much to his professor’s confusion.

How Kitty Got Her Pidgin Back: one-act play commissioned/staged by Kumu Kahua Theatre. Pidgin speaker Kitty Rodrigues gets hit on the head by her surfboard one morning and suddenly speaks only Standard English. She needs to figure out how to speak Pidgin by the end of the day, otherwise her prom date might change his mind.