Hilo Community Players

Hawaii Island’s Oldest Theatre Company

The Hilo Community Players have been doing theater since 1938! Through the presentation of amateur and professional theater, youth theater and various special events, the Hilo Community Players strive to organize, promote, and conduct an inspirational, engaging program of quality drama throughout the year.

Current Productions


Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka



Hilo Community Players and the Palace Theater are proud to present Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka for three weekends on October 5,6,7 & 12,13,14 & 19,20,21. Friday & Saturday performances are at 7:00pm and Sunday matinees are at 2:30pm.


Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to chocolate-covered life on the Palace stage. The musical is based on a combination of the original Dahl story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, published in 1964, and the movie starring Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, released in 1971.


Willy Wonka, a famous candy maker, has hidden five golden tickets in chocolate bars distributed throughout the world. The finders of these tickets win a tour of the factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.


Willy Wonka conducts a tour of his factory for the 5 lucky children and their parents, through a dizzying array of fabulous rooms devoted to the creation of sweets and treats. Along the way, each child makes mistakes and learns life lessons until just one child remains.


The story of Willy Wonka would not be complete without his crew of colorful-haired and matching-outfitted Oompa Loompas who sing the infamous “Oompa-Loompa” songs that mark the lessons to be learned from each of the children’s mistakes.


Dr. Rachel Klein, director, says “This play is about thinking positively, and being a good person. The story teaches us that if we live pono, good things will come”.  She adds “Sometimes, a little imagination is all it takes to create a wonderful world”.


To bring this musical adaptation of the classic beloved children’s novel to life, Dr. Klein is joined by an amazing artistic staff including Rachel Edwards as the Vocal Director, Walter Greenwood as the Musical Director, and Kea Kapahua as the Choreographer. This will be a fantastic show filled with young local talent and supported by Hilo Community Players’ terrific design team. The 40 performers in the show range in age from 6-85! Hilo audiences will recognize some of their favorite performers: Bridge Hartman, David Penhallow-Scott, Reece Naukana-Christensen and Norman Arancon to name just a few. The show is fun and full of joy, bringing a lightness that is very much in need today. As Willy Wonka says, “There is no life I know; To compare with pure imagination.” So delve into Dahl’s world and unleash your imagination…and enjoy all the chocolate!


Tickets are on sale now at the Palace Theater Box Office. $20 General, $25 & $30 Reserved. All tickets will be $5 more on the day of the performance. You can call the Palace at 934-7010 from 10am to 3pm on weekdays. Visit www.hiloplayers.org and www.hilopalace.com for more information.


This will be the fourth co-production of a musical by Hilo Community Players and The Palace Theater and the 17th Fall Musical at the Palace. These two non-profit organizations are delighted to once again be working together to bring quality theatre and a bit of joy to downtown Hilo! The Fall Musical at the Palace Theater has become a beloved annual tradition in Hilo . . . one which, with your support, we hope will continue for many years to come. All proceeds from ticket sales will be shared equally by both organizations, thereby directly supporting the performing arts in our community.


Don’t miss Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka at the Palace Theater!

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