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Hawaii Theaters Adjust to Pandemic Life With Virtual or Outdoor Performances

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Hear from Kumu Kahua, Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, Diamond Head Theatre, and Manoa Valley Theatre.

Theaters in Hawaii have adjusted to life with the pandemic, some moving to online performances, with others attempting in person shows with social distancing guidelines in place, Star Advertiser reports.

"We are definitely going to stream the first two shows of our season," Kumu Kahua Managing Director Donna Blanchard said. "After that, we will keep an eye on the situation and adjust accordingly, (but) we are prepared to offer our entire season online, if necessary."

"We know it's a big pivot for people to accept an online version of live theater as the theater they know and love, but we think our viewers will be amazed at what we are able to offer digital payers," she said.

Hawaii Shakespeare Festival also went virtual this year, which allowed for some new options.

"We were able to include actors we normally wouldn't have had the opportunity to work with," said Founder/Director Tony Pisculli. "We were able to share our work with audience members around the globe - with viewers from five continents - and we were able to participate in what is emerging as a New Medium. I believe online, live performances will continue to evolve, even after things return to normal - whatever and whenever that is."

In addition, Diamond Head Theatre has launched a Drive-In concert series, featuring performers like Laurence Paxton, Aiko Schick, Drew Niles, Mary Chesnut Hicks, Andrew Sakaguchi and Lindsay Rabe.

"(The series) has been wildly popular, so we are happy to be able to offer at least a sliver of live entertainment, even if it is from a stage high above the DHT parking lot," said DHT Executive Director Deena Dray.

Manoa Valley Theatre Executive Director Kip Wilborn says that for the foreseeable future, MVT will "continue to be creative and provide digital content for our patrons as well as explore some outdoor concert opportunities."

Read more on Star Advertiser.

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