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Hawaii Shakespeare Festival Announces 2020 Online Season

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The Hawaii Shakespeare Festival's (HSF) nineteenth season is full of romance and humor and is all virtual! We kick off with As You Like It opening July 17, then Love's Labour's Lost opening August 7, and conclude with Merry Wives of Windsor opening August 14. All shows will be performed live online via Zoom.

The season opens with As You Like It, Shakespeare's absurdly hilarious fairy tale of love games and improbable happy endings, directed by R. Kevin Garcia Doyle. Performed in a Zoom environment with an all-female identifying cast (including Chelsea Cox as Rosalind and Brooke Jones as Orlando, both of whom performed last year in HSF's Much Ado About Nothing), this production lets you get up close and personal with colorful characters in a whimsical world of song, dance, and puppets. Garcia Doyle is one of the founding members of HSF and this is his lucky 13th production for the Festival. His last production for HSF was King Lear and he most recently directed Manoa Valley Theatre's Tony n Tina's Wedding in 2019.

Kat Altman, first-time director with HSF, helms our second production - the high energy romantic comedy Love's Labour's Lost. This live Zoom experience features actors and crew in five different time zones and is set in a dying world, where the outside is so unsafe that people spend their time together in a virtual space. Our young King Ferdinand (HSF veteran Sean-Joseph Choo) and Princess Rosaline (Emily Steward, from last season's Much Ado About Nothing) and their friends must determine how to survive and save their world. Through the love and laughter they share, they discover the heroes that they want to be. Kat Altman is a Honolulu-based director, devised theatre practitioner, and educator who recently received their MFA in Directing from UH Mānoa. Winner of the 2019 National KCACTF SDC Directing Award, recent directing credits include The Moors, War of the Worlds, A Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, and Arms and the Man.

Our 2020 season concludes with Shakespeare's raucous domestic comedy Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Tony Pisculli. Mistress Ford and Mistress Page turn the tables on the amorous Falstaff when he woos them for their money in this delightful comedy commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I who wanted to see "Falstaff in love." This online production stars long-time HSF veteran Eden-Lee Murray (last seen as The Fool in HSF's King Lear) as Falstaff with local powerhouse and Po'okela award-winner Stephanie Keiko Kong playing alongside mainland actor April Lichtman as the wives. Pisculli is Artistic Director and co-founder of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival. He has directed over 20 shows for HSF and won multiple Po'okela awards for directing and fight choreography. He played Abraham Slender in Terence Knapp's 1993 production of Merry Wives of Windsor at Kennedy Theatre and he directed Merry Wives with an all-male cast for HSF in 2009.

Due to uncertainties regarding in-person gatherings in performance venues, this season will be delivered completely online! Tickets for shows are $10 per household and can be purchased online at HawaiiShakes.org up until two hours prior to each performance. Discounted $5 tickets are available for Thursday performances. Links to the broadcast will be sent two hours prior to the event. For more information, please visit HawaiiShakes.org.


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