Shipment Day

A World Premiere
directed by Lorenzo DeStefano /

Previews - November 4, 6 & 7, 2018
Opening Night - Thursday Nov. 8
Runs through Nov. 25 w/ possible extension

“Shipment Day” tickets -

For more information please visit /

Imagine that you have stumbled upon a family secret, a relative in exile that no one has ever spoken of.
Intrigued, you meet that relative, a Portuguese cousin, and spend the next seventeen years, until her death,
getting to know the circumstances of her life, her struggles and her quiet achievements.
Such was the case when Hawaii-born playwright & director, Lorenzo DeStefano, learned about his late cousin, the well-known leprosy activist Olivia Robello Breitha.

“SHIPMENT DAY” is set in Honolulu between 1934 and 1937 and dramatizes Olivia’s traumatic early life experiences. The play chronicles her diagnosis with the condition at 18, her two and a half year confinement at Kalihi Hospital,
Up to the day before her shipment to Kalaupapa, the Hansen’s disease settlement on Molokai where,
as Hawaii State Department of Health parolee #3306, Olivia would spend the next seventy years of her life, until her death there in 2006, at the age of 90.

Playwright/director Lorenzo DeStefano is very pleased to announce the completion of casting for the world premiere production of "SHIPMENT DAY" during the 50th anniversary season at Honolulu's Manoa Valley Theatre. These eight talented actors will bring multiple characters to life over the next 7 weeks of rehearsals, prior to opening night on Nov. 8. They are...

Thanks also to MVT Producing Director Dwight Martin, Development Director Mangmang Qiu, Artistic Associate Bree Peters, Production Manager Braddoc DeCaires, and the entire crew and staff of Manoa Valley Theatre/Hawaii Performing Arts Company for their encouragement and support.

Manoa Valley Theatre's 50th Anniversary Season, which begins in late August, will feature the World Premiere production of "SHIPMENT DAY", running November 8-25, 2018. Tickets will go on sale soon.
In preparation, the play was given its first table reading on March 3, 2018 at MVT. Playwright Lorenzo DeStefano and Artistic Associate Bree Peters assembled a group of nine actors to voice the characters in the play. In addition to the theatre staff, a small group of people from the community and members of the MVT Board were in attendance.
An earlier version of the play received the "Best Play" award in Playbuilders of Hawaii's 2016 New Works Festival.


“Speaks to an important chapter in Hawaii?s history. Very poignant.” / “Instantly riveting. A highly relevant, first-person story.”
“The characters are dynamic and well-rounded.” / “Touching… Eye-opening.”
“History comes alive. How has a story like this not been told before?”
“Makes the far away past be immediately right at our doorstep here and now in all its horrific, moving, tangible, shame-inducing intensity.”
“Brilliant. Heart-wrenching. I can?t wait to see this play in its entirety!”
“Shipment Day is about humans and our treatment of each other, about connection and yearning, loneliness and fear, fulfillment, hate, ignorance. This play has it all. Major standing ovation.”
“Very movingly performed. Actors committed to telling this story.”
“So very touched by this presentation. How blessed we were to be introduced to this inspiring lady.”


Best Play - “Shipment Day” by Lorenzo DeStefano
Best Actress – Kuulei Shafee
Best Actor – William Ha’o

“SHIPMENT DAY” was first developed as a one-act at the Road Theatre Company in Los Angeles in
August, 2015,
directed by the playwright.

In addition to his extensive work as a photographer, writer and filmmaker, Honolulu-born Lorenzo DeStefano’s plays include “Shipment Day”,
a November 2018 world premiere for the Manoa Valley Theatre, Honolulu. First developed at the Road Theatre Company in Los Angeles as a one-act, “Shipment Day” won Best Play at the 2016 Playbuilders of Hawaii New Works Festival. DeStefano’s other plays include “Providence”, from the screenplay by David Mercer, and “Camera Obscura”, from the 17 million word “Inman Diary”. Developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre, “Camera Obscura” received its world premiere at London’s Almeida Theatre, both productions helmed by the celebrated English director Jonathan Miller. DeStefano’s directing credits include “Shipment Day”, the 25th anniversary production of William Inge’s
“Natural Affection”, for which he received an L.A. Drama-Logue Award, Horton Foote’s “The One-Armed Man”, the world premiere of “Conversations With The Spanish Lady” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, and the world premiere of “Twisted Twain”, a one-man show by Bill Erwin. (

The new edition of Olivia’s deeply moving autobiography,
“Olivia-My Life of Exile in Kalaupapa”, in print since 1988, is now available from

The Audiobook of “Olivia-My Life of Exile in Kalaupapa” now available from
Produced by Lorenzo DeStefano & Benjamin Hamilton Narrated by Deanna Espinas
Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
Release Date: 12-20-16
Publisher: The Estate of Olivia Robello Breitha

© / all rights reserved Lorenzo DeStefano