Stars shine in nuclear debut

The Declassified File debuted March 1 with multiple scenes detailed the development of the Marshall Islands nuclear weapons testing legacy. It launched with the 1946 departure of the Bikini people from their home islands for the start of the nuclear testing program. Photo: Chewy Lin.

WILMER JOEL

Stars were born during the first-ever theatrical play on the Marshall Islands nuclear legacy, a new approach to get the public’s attention and commemorate the March 1 Bravo test anniversary.

“The Declassified File” was a National Nuclear Commission and Jo-Jikum production involving primary and secondary school casts and crews. The play was based on the chronology of events that determined the ill-fated Marshall Islands nuclear legacy and the Marshallese people’s fight for justice.

Ariana Tibon, Jobod Silk, Tristen Horiuchi, Pijja Matutato and their production team were on full alert as they coordinated with Power 103.5’s Daniel Kramer, DJ Yastamon, and DJ Pat on the sound system and lighting at the Delap Park stage. The play followed a full day of events focusing on Nuclear Survivors Remembrance Day.

In The Declassified File, actors play a US Navy team ready for action, from left: Bruce Weishen, Kioyoshi Tadashi, Karmelo Kabua and Sergeant Jonathen Defan. Photo: Wilmer Joel.

The first act of the play started out bumpy due to sound technical problems. But as the show progressed it flowed smoothly. The way the actors conveyed the emotions of their characters was absolutely on point such as star performers including Goodwind Silk who acted as the Bikinans’ pastor brought this Christan leader to life with command and power. Haruka Saito did a fabulous in her portrayal as Commodore Ben Wyatt and as flight attendant with charm and clarity.

Junior Tierra, who played one of the Bikinans joining a delegation to Washington, DC, won the audience over with his humor and wit making his character very likeable as well as fun to watch. Manila Parungao produced a goose bump performance of mourning for her baby who was born with defects, a performance that almost caused the audience to tear up.

Then finally, narrator Aletera Martin guided the spectators from the beginning till the end with a dynamic flow of narration.

The ensemble were great in scenes like the Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb detonation scene where everyone gathered in a secure location singing courageously to a hymn “It well with my soul” to comfort them from their fears. This segued to a scene that showed the Bikinans leaving their homeland.

Overall the play was great and has been receiving positive feedback from the public and the many viewers online tuning into the live stream from the Marshall Islands National Telecommunication’s Facebook page.

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