Meet Scott Hanada

July 9, 2018

Scott Hanada plays Uncle Makana in the award winning Not One Batu, written by Co-Artistic Director Hannah Ii-Epstein, directed by Rachel Slavick, in association with cultural specialist Lanialoha Lee and Aloha Center Chicago. Not One Batu is the first full-length Hawaiian Pidgin-English play produced in Chicago, centered around the meth epidemic in Hawai’i and its impact on families for generations. Not One Batu closes July 21st. The play runs Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm, at Berger Park Cultural Center Coach House, 6205 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago IL. Tickets are available here. The press opening is Wed, June 27th, 7pm.


What's your personal story?

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Back home, I always had a hard time learning scripted work; instead I dove deep into the improv scene and absolutely loved it. I had never thought about moving off the rock until I visited Chicago in 2010 to check out the Chicago Improv Festival (CIF). It was awesome! All these people from all over world in one city for improv! 

From then on, I had Chicago in my brain. 2 years later, I jumped at a chance to attend iO’s Summer Improv Intensive. 5 weeks of improv classes and shows, exploring the city, breathing in its chocolaty air, it was a magical summer!

Your air smells of chocolate! If you don’t think that’s magical, get off your cynical butt and breathe!

Less than 11 months later, Chicago had moved from my brain to my heart and, my feet touched down at O’hare; not as a visitor, but as a new resident. Since the move, I have enjoyed my time in Chicago’s improv community. I’ve completed iO’s improv program and Second City’s Conservatory; performed in a bunch of groups, including Chicago’s longest running All Asian improv and sketch group, Stir Friday Night; and toured around the US with Chicago Improv Production Touring Company. I’ve even had the honor of actually performing in CIFs 2014-2016! 

Now, I’m in performing in my first Nothing Without a Company production, Not One Batu. I love that I am part of a show about Hawaii, in Chicago. Not One Batu’s story is beautifully written with characters that feel as real as the islands I’ve come from and Rachel is an awesome director, really encouraging us to discover those characters within us. 

Still need to find out where the chocolate air is coming from…


What's your character's story in "Not One Batu"?

Uncle Makana is friends with everyone. He is host of the party. He does not smoke ice, but he does deal marijuana. He might be homeless, but does not let that get him down. Uncle Makana is the personification of joy.


What challenges does your character face telling this story?

As challenges go, Uncle Makana doesn’t like people knowing he has any. He just wants everyone to be more like his chillaxin’ self. That desire does cause him to be more of a peacekeeper and can put him in the middle of some fairly unpredictable situations.Makana may never show it, but he does have some very serious secrets that no one else can uncover. 

How does the character overcome those challenges?

As peacemaker, he does what he can to make friends with everyone. Because, he’s homeless, he wants everyone to feel like they’re part of his ohana. He might be homeless, but he is very disarming. He is a clown and jester of sorts, which allows him to collect all sorts of secrets and treasures in his shopping cart. If you ask him how he does it, Uncle Makana would say, “No worries beef curry.”


Any other comments?

Two more things to note about why I love being part of this show:

  1. For a while, we have all noticed that other productions and their companies find it hard to create a show with a fully diverse cast. Nothing Without a Company proves with Not One Batu that it can be done. The show truly reflects the diversity of the state.
  2. People don’t want to hear about the ugly in Hawaii. They want to believe that it’s this perfect paradise. Just like how people outside of Chicago are uncomfortable hearing about this city’s ugly and its truths. But these stories need to be told because they are all part of our reality, our truths.

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Mia Park
Mia Park shares her passion of discovery through teaching yoga and acting. Currently studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine, Mia is also a producer, writer, motivator, and celebrator of life. Mia has lived in Chicago for over twenty years and calls this city that works her home.

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DePaul student Harmony Zhang ​acts in The House of Bernarda Alba​​ by Federico García Lorca, directed by Jeremy Aluma​. ​Lorca’s final play set in the provincial Andalusia, Spain, ignites with the funeral service of Bernarda Alba’s second husband. Ever determined that her five grown daughters maintain a house of honor, Bernarda declares they will have an eight-year mourning period of absolute seclusion. When the eldest daughter receives a large inheritance, potentially sweeping her away from this fate and into an engagement with a handsome bachelor, conflict brews among the sisters repressed by Bernarda’s rule. Set in a time of tumultuous political climate, this story explores the underbelly of what happens when a tyrant seizes power. The House of Bernarda Alba runs Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM November 7, through November 12, 2017. Free tickets can be reserved on October 27, 2017 at noon at the box office, by calling 773-325-7900, or emailing Press Opening is Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 7:30 PM. **Preview is Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM. The House of Bernarda Alba will be performed in Room 403 of The Theatre School at DePaul University at 2350 N Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 What's your personal story? I grew up in Tucson, Arizona as one of very few Chinese Americans in my neighborhood. I remember that my sister and I were the only Chinese kids in my whole elementary school. However, my family attended a Chinese church in downtown Tucson, and I also attended Tucson Chinese School where I learned to read and write Mandarin Chinese. I’m very thankful for the persistence that my parents had to have my sister and me grow up learning Chinese and holding on to our ethnic culture. However, growing up, I felt like I was never fully Chinese nor fully American. I didn’t feel the need to blend in with the other kids, but I also desired to connect better with others. An opportunity came up in kindergarten when the entire grade put on a show for the whole school. This was the first time that I felt like I was part of a team, part of a larger group effort to create something fun and beautiful. I remember that year, our production was called ‘To the Future and Beyond,’ and I sang the final solo of the show. In middle school and high school, I continued to take drama classes whenever possible. I loved learning about the lives of people so different from me, memorizing my lines, and sharing those stories with audiences. In college at Duke University, I decided to major in Psychology and Theater Studies, and also performed in three of the Theater Department’s Mainstage shows. Currently, I’m in my second year of my MFA in Acting program at The Theatre School at DePaul University. What's your character's story in "The House of Bernarda Alba”? My character’s name is Angustias, which means anguish or distress. She is the eldest unmarried daughter of Bernarda Alba and is already 39. Angustias is the sole daughter of Bernarda Alba’s former husband, while the rest of her sisters are the daughters of Antonio Maria Benavides, the man they are all mourning at the top of the show. Angustias’ father was rich, so when Antonio Maria Benavides dies and the property must be divided, Angustias’ share of the estate is much larger than that of her sisters. This wealth that Angustias has is then attractive to Pepe, who is trying to marry her, and while Angustias truly believes that he loves her for her, she really just wants to be loved and free from the oppression and alienation she feels within the walls of Bernarda’s house. What challenges does your character face telling this story? Angustias is constantly struggling with the antagonistic energy she receives from her sisters. No matter what she does, her sisters find some way to make her feel even more alienated and separate from the group. No one really gives her a chance to share more about herself. Angustias is always defending herself, but somehow it always comes off as offensive towards her sisters. She doesn’t feel understood. She wants her mother’s approval, but also doesn’t feel fully understood by her either. Angustias has a hard time in this story, because she doesn’t feel like anyone is on her side. How does the character overcome those challenges? Angustias changes throughout the play—I won’t give away too much, but in some ways, Angustias is redeemed from all of her bitterness at the end of the play when her sisters discover how they have wronged her. While Angustias behaved more out of spite at the top of the show, she begins to genuinely ask for help, advice, and empathy at the end of the play. Angustias overcomes her challenges of alienation towards the end of the play when she risks being judged by her mother and sisters by being more vulnerable, and seeking to find the truth, even if she gets hurt in the end. Any other comments? I hope that this play helps audience members to be thankful for the people in life who love them, to hold them close, and to try to understand each other instead of being blinded by individual desires. Why not work together? Why not be a team and create something beautiful? Life is too short not to make the most of it every day. Thank you so much for your time!
Mia Park