Campus Life


Written By Gregory Fischbach

October 14, 2022
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  • HPU all-student cast of Stop Kiss.

    HPU all-student cast of Stop Kiss..

  • "Stop Kiss" presented by HPU. .

UPDATE: Stop Kiss has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.


HPU’s 2022 fall theatre production begins on November 3 with the heartfelt Stop Kiss, a play first produced Off-Broadway at the Public Theatre in New York City. Written by playwright Diana Son, this popular comedy with dramatic elements continues to hit home today. Son’s Stop Kiss explores love, self-identity, and resilience in the face of unforeseen tragedy. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Stop Kiss is represented by a total of 20 HPU students participating in the production, including an all-HPU-student cast. The play is also the directing debut of HPU’s new Theatre Director Emily Stapleton.

“I am completely blown away by our students – both cast and crew – who have come out to work on this production,” said Stapleton. “They are incredibly motivated, full of creativity, and just an absolute pleasure to work with.”

One of the reasons why Stapleton chose Stop Kiss was due to the play’s creative structure on time. The story is not told through a traditional linear timeline, but rather, it dances back and forth between past and present.

“We follow this budding romance between Callie and Sara,” says Stapleton, “and interspersed are short scenes revealing the horrific events following their first kiss. Diana Son's way of storytelling is truly captivating and allows us to revel in the beauty of Callie and Sara's relationship, even as we learn of the immense tragedy that has occurred.”

HPU Theatre is a member of the Hawaii State Theatre Council and has earned numerous awards for acting, directing, ensemble performance, playwriting, and overall play production. 

Stop Kiss Synopsis:

Callie is a traffic reporter who has been living in New York City since college. Sara has just moved to New York from St. Louis to pursue a teaching fellowship. These two young women spark up a friendship that develops into an unexpected romance. After sharing their first kiss, they encounter a violent attack that will change their lives forever. 

The cast of Stop Kiss:  

Callie: Athena Iokepa

Sara: Makenna Cooley

George: Michael Johnston

Peter: Liam Killeen

Mrs. Winsley/Nurse: Andrea Maminta

Detective Cole: Brianna Casey

The student production/technical team of Stop Kiss:

Stage Manager: Hannah Pockett

Assistant Stage Manager: Elizabeth Beattie

Lighting Designer: Max Dejesus

Costume Designers: Ayanna Coleman Gullette, Arya Sarma, Philippa Schwiegershausen

Props Designer: Nicole Hemphill

Sound Operator: Sierra Joshua

Wardrobe Assistant: Philippa Schwiegershausen

Lighting Assistant: Blake Jones

Backstage Crew: Noah Loi, Arya Sarma

Marketing/Publicity: Leon Noel Gaertner

Production Assistants: Ida Ulrike Holz, Jasmin Isaranuwat, Klara Sofia Nager

Make-up Designer: Daniela Sanchez


  • Thursday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 6 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 13 at 4:00 p.m.

Free admission with HPU student ID
General admission $10.00

To purchase tickets click here.

Paul and Vi Loo Theatre
45-045 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, HI, 96744-5221 

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