Work In Progress
Artistic Director of Monkey Waterfall, Yukie is a third generation Okinawan-American born in Hawai‘i and raised in San Francisco. She has an MFA in dance from the University of Hawai‘i, and in 1987 she started the dance program at Mid-Pacific Institute, where she was Director of Dance in the School of the Arts for twenty years. In 2006 she received the Hawai‘i State Foundation for Culture and the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship Award for her choreography and performance. That same year she received a teaching certificate from the Kin Ryosho Classical Okinawan Dance Academy under the direction of Master Instructor, Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone. She currently teaches at the University of Hawai‘i.
Co-founder of Monkey Waterfall, Ben received a BA degree in English from Vassar College and worked at Shoestring Theatre in Maine before moving to Hawai‘i to study Asian theatre. At the University of Hawai‘i he performed kabuki, Chinese opera, no drama, and Javanese dance and music, receiving an MFA in Asian Theatre and directing in 1986. Ben’s work with masks, puppets, and stilts led to collaborative creations with Yukie. He directed the drama program at Windward Community College for over twenty years. In 2007-8 he studied physical theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts, a school rooted in the teaching of Jacques LeCoq. Ben currently tours Hawai‘i and the Midwest as a storyteller.
Michael Harada was born and raised in Hawai‘i and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. His varied skills encompass drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital graphics, illustration, photography, video production, set design, prop, mask, puppet design and construction. His fascination with masks began in the early 90s when he started collaborating with Monkey Waterfall. Since then he has been sucked into the world of theatre and has designed and constructed masks, props and sets for Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Kumu Kahua, Manoa Valley Theatre and Monkey Waterfall. He currently teaches at Leeward Community College.